Derby favorite Auguste Rodin leads a field of 17 in the five-day entry stage for Saturday’s Vertem Futurity Trophy in Doncaster, live on Sky Sports Racing.
The juvenile hasn’t put a foot wrong since finishing second to Crypto Force on his debut, leading Aidan O’Brien’s charge to a record 11th victory in the race.
Currently tied with Sir Henry Cecil on 10 wins in the one-mile contest, the Ballydoyle master is responsible for eight of those remaining, with favorite Derby joined in the five-day list by Spying, Victoria Road, Salt Lake City, Adelaide River, Covent Garden, Greenland and Hiawata.
O’Brien’s son Donnacha started second in the National Stakes Proud and majesticwhile John and Thady Gosden could be represented by the Autumn Stakes finalist Epictetus and promising colt from Juddmonte Stop.
Exciting winner from Nottingham king of steel could line up for Amo Racing.
David Loughnane’s youngster eclipsed his contemporaries in the Colwick Park paddock and was most impressive when scoring by the best part of five lengths on his running arc last week.
After ticking all the right boxes and confirming the promise of his work at home, the Derby entrant, who cost his owners $200,000 as a yearling, can ‘take a shot’ at the top prize of £118,400 if connections feel a trip to Town Moor is the right decision to make.
“He did very well in the race at Nottingham and we think he’s a good horse,” Loughnane said. “But it’s a tall order to go from a rookie or a young girl to a Group One company.
“There are 17 horses left in there and there are several Group and Listed winners in there and Aidan O’Brien has six or seven. I know they’re not all going to race but we’ll see how the week will unfold and will monitor statements and see from there – no decision has been made yet.
“He was very impressive at Nottingham and did everything we hoped he would do. He did everything on his own at home and we never had to take him off the bridle and obviously being such a big horse, we didn’t want to overphase him too soon, so we’ve been very patient with him and wouldn’t want to mess that up now.
“So if it’s the right race on Saturday we’ll take a break and if not we’ll wait.”
Andrew Balding Stormbuster arrives on the back of victory at Newbury, while the winner of Royal Ascot Holloway Boy is another notable entry. Captain Willow (Ralph Beckett), dancing magic (Roger Sarcelle) and Dubai Mile (Charlie and Mark Johnston) complete the list.
The prestigious Group One, which often helps shape the image of next year’s Classic, will once again be sponsored by the company founded by famed racehorse owner John Dance – Vertem Asset Management.
The Dance company has backed the last Group 1 of the UK Flat season since 2018 and several future Classic winners are on the recent honor roll.
“We are delighted to be able to continue our association with the Futurity Trophy for another five years,” said Dance. “The race has always proven to be one of the highlights of the end of the season and we couldn’t be happier with the number of horses that have achieved even more success in our race.
“We look forward to working with the Doncaster team for another five years, and hope we can continue to give racing fans some great advice for the next three years next spring. Additionally, Jess (Dance, wife) and I remain committed to earning it ourselves one day!”
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