Champion trainer Aidan O’Brien seems certain to end the racing year on a high with the stable responsible for 11 of the 12 declared runners in the final Group One event of the British season.
The Andrew Balding-trained Kameko is the only potential runner not from Ballydoyle at the latest confirmation stage for Saturday’s Futurity Trophy (1600m) for two-year-olds at Doncaster.
O’Brien has won the race for the past two seasons with Magna Grecia and Saxon Warrior and both colts went on to win the 2000 Guineas the following spring.
This year his chief hope appears to be Mogul, a full-brother to the top class Japan and winner of two of his three starts while Armory, a Group Two winner and placed twice at Group One level, arguably has the strongest form of the O’Brien team.
Hong Kong, Iberia, Innisfree, Louisiana, Mythical, New World Tapestry, Royal County Down, Royal Dornoch and Year Of The Tiger could all still run.
Balding’s Kameko brings strong form to the table, having finished second by a nose to Positive in the Solario Stakes and filling the same spot behind Royal Dornoch in the Royal Lodge at Newmarket, when beaten a neck.
Kameko is owned by Qatar Racing Ltd which had the late Roaring Lion run second to Saxon Warrior in 2017.
“It’s a horse race. You have to take them on and it doesn’t matter who trains them,” Qatar’s racing manager, David Redvers, said.
“It’s our horse running against a load of other horses, at the end of the day – it’s a bunch of horses running in a field.
“All we’ve got to hope for is luck in running. He’s gone close in his last two, so he deserves a change of fortune.
“It would be very poignant for us if he can go one better than Roaring Lion and one thing for sure is he’ll be trying.”
Bookmaker Coral has made the unusual decision not to offer pre-post betting on a Group One race.
“At this stage we’re not betting on it. Unless we get a steer on what Aidan might run, we’re finding it too difficult,” a spokesman said.
“We’d always price up a Group One at the five-day stage, but given these unique circumstances, where one trainer has virtually the whole field, it is just too difficult.”