Turf Talk: Derby hopefuls line up at Doncaster

THE Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster on Saturday has a final field of only seven runners but, as usual, whoever wins will end up somewhere near the head of the market for next year’s Derby.

I was hoping Team Coolmore were going to run Battle of Marengo, the initial 7/4 fav in the ante-post market for this prestigious Group 1 race, but in slipped another colt from the O’Brien yard early this week in the shape of the once raced Kingsbarns. This grandson of Belmez only lacks the big white blaze of the 1990 King George winner, who actually beat that year’s Derby winner in the Chester Vase. A son of Galileo, this fine looking colt’s odds have tumbled from an initial 6/1 and he is now the 7/4 favourite for Saturdays big race.

Anyone who fancies this well regarded colt for Saturday should be tempted with the current 14/1 on offer for the Derby. However, my current idea of next year’s Derby winner also runs in Saturday’s race. He’s a Teofilo colt and has bloodlines packed with stamina. I believe whatever he does.

At Doncaster at the weekend he will make up into a proper Derby horse as a 3yo. My main hope, named Trading Leather, was having his first run ever when beaten by the aforementioned Battle of Marengo and, had the latter been running on Saturday I’d have expected Trading Leather to turn the tables. I’m not convinced this Jim Bolger trained 2yo really wants it too soft, unlike the favourite who will be suited by it, but I will be supporting him on the day. Trading Leather is also still available at 14/1 for the Derby.

Over at Aintree we have the pleasure of the Old Roan Chase. There’s no Monets Garden running anymore but it’s still worthy of its Grade 2 status,

As I write we still haven’t seen the final declarations but I’m hoping the likes of Poquelin, Wishful Thinking and Noble Prince stand their ground as they are genuine Grade 2 horses. However, looking at how the weights are framed, I’m hoping David Pipe’s 6yo Notus de la Tour turns up with the featherweight of 10-2. He’s used to carrying a lot more weight than that and I can see him running a big race in those famous Peter Deal colours.


Doncaster (15.05) ‑ Trading Leather

Aintree (15.30) ‑ Notus de la Tour