Roger Teal is looking forward to taking on the big guns with Dancing Gemini in Saturday’s Kameko Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster.
Aidan O’Brien is responsible for five of the 11 remaining entries, including ante-post favourite Diego Velazquez, while Godolphin have supplemented recent Newmarket scorer Ancient Wisdom, as expected.
However, Teal is not shying away from going for Group One glory with Dancing Gemini, who followed up a Newbury maiden win by romping away with the Listed Flying Scotsman Stakes on Town Moor.
“Everything seems spot on with him and it’s all good at this stage,” said the Lambourn trainer. “He was very impressive at Doncaster last time and we’re looking forward to giving it a go.
“I think the mile will suit him, as he certainly wasn’t stopping there over seven furlongs – and when he won at Newbury, he was only just getting going in the closing stages.
“Soft ground obviously wouldn’t be a problem as it was pretty testing up there last month but, looking at the weather forecast, it could well end up heavy and that is always a bit of an unknown.
“But all we can do is roll our sleeves up and get on with it. It’s a good race and something like this is never going to be easy, but we’ll be giving it a real go.”
Ballydoyle maestro O’Brien has won this race a record 11 times and will be chasing a hat-trick of victories following triumphs for Luxembourg in 2021 and Auguste Rodin last term.
His main hope this season appears to be Diego Velazquez, last seen securing a Group Two success at Leopardstown in September when seeing off stablemate Capulet, who is another possible Doncaster contender.
O’Brien also has Battle Cry, Chief Little Rock and Henry Adams still engaged.
The Charlie Appleby-trained Ancient Wisdom created a big impression when powering just under four lengths clear of Chief Little Rock in the Group Three Autumn Stakes at Newmarket.
John and Thady Gosden could be represented by God’s Window, a course and distance maiden winner on soft ground when getting the better of Ben Brookhouse’s Redhot Whisper, who could reoppose.
David Menuisier will bid to follow up Sunway’s Group One success in France on Sunday by saddling Devil’s Point and outsider Deira Mile could make his debut for Owen Burrows after being switched from Charlie Johnston.
Coral’s David Stevens said: “Whilst Dancing Gemini is very much respected following his Listed course success last month, the market for the season’s final Group One is dominated by Diego Velazquez and Ancient Wisdom.
“Both colts are also prominent in the betting for next year’s 2000 Guineas and Derby, although it will take a special performance from either to dislodge City Of Troy as winter favourite for either Classic.”