Tag Archive for: Futurity

Luxembourg seeks 10th Futurity victory for Ballydoyle

Luxembourg bids to follow in some illustrious hoofprints with victory in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster.

Aidan O’Brien has saddled nine previous winners of the final Group One of the British Flat season – one short of the record by the late, great Sir Henry Cecil.

Among that number are a pair of Derby winners in High Chaparral and Luxembourg’s sire Camelot, a St Leger hero in Brian Boru and two subsequent 2000 Guineas winners in Saxon Warrior and Magna Grecia.

Throw multiple Group One winner St Nicholas Abbey into the mix, and the roll of honour for Saturday’s Town Moor contest reads like a ‘who’s who’ of former Ballydoyle superstars.

Luxembourg has certainly looked the part in his two starts so far – impressing on his racecourse debut at Killarney before continuing O’Brien’s domination of the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh.

Saratoga Springs, St Nicholas Abbey and Saxon Warrior all won the same Group Two before triumphing at Doncaster – and O’Brien hopes his latest star juvenile can follow suit.

“We’re looking forward to running Luxembourg – he seems in good form,” he said.

“He won nicely first time and then he won nicely last time at the Curragh. Everything has gone well since then.

“He quickens up well, has a lot of class and travels well – and in his two runs so far, he showed a good turn of foot.”

Royal Patronage after winning the Royal Lodge at Newmarket
Royal Patronage after winning the Royal Lodge at Newmarket (Tim Goode/PA)

One of the big dangers to Luxembourg is Royal Patronage, who has won his last three starts for Mark Johnston and Highclere Thoroughbred Racing.

The Wootton Bassett colt finished strongly to deny subsequent Autumn Stakes scorer Coroebus when completing his hat-trick in the Royal Lodge at Newmarket, earning him a step up to the top level.

Highclere’s managing director Harry Herbert said: “Any time you chuck your hat into the Group One ring you know you’re going to have to run like the wind, but he deserves to be there.

“He’s improved with every run, and I’m sure he’s not stopped improving, so we’re very excited and we hope he can be very competitive.

“He’s in very good form, and in time we hope he’ll step up beyond a mile. But he’s not short of speed either, as we saw in the Royal Lodge.”

Bayside Boy (left) won the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last month
Bayside Boy (left) won the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster last month (Mike Egerton/PA)

Bayside Boy also brings strong form to the table, having won Doncaster’s Champagne Stakes before finishing third in the Dewhurst at Newmarket a fortnight ago.

Trainer Roger Varian said: “He ran very well in the Dewhurst and he looks like he’s going to be suited by stepping up a furlong.

“He should be OK with a cut in the ground – it was good to soft when he won the Champagne Stakes – and he brings a high level of form to the race, so we’re looking forward to running him.

“He’s got a solid line from his Newbury Listed, to the Champagne, to the Dewhurst.

“He’s a top-level juvenile and he looks like he might improve for going the mile. If you watch the Dewhurst back, he was doing his best work late on.”

Imperial Fighter, trained by Andrew Balding, was second to Royal Patronage in the Acomb Stakes at York two months ago before chasing home Coroebus in the Autumn Stakes.

“He won well first time out at Goodwood on soft ground and ran a good race in the Acomb,” Balding told Sky Sports Racing.

“I hadn’t been happy with him after the Acomb for a while. I think he was just going through a growing spurt – I think he’d grown about an inch between York and Newmarket.

“I thought the Newmarket run was excellent – I think Coroebus is probably as good a two-year-old as there is out there.

“He beat us fair and square, but we were clear second best and he’s certainly entitled to run in the Vertem Futurity – I’d hope he’ll be very competitive.”

Two further challengers from Ireland, Jim Bolger’s Mctigue and Donnacha O’Brien’s Sissoko, also feature.