Racing Post Trophy: Horse-by-horse

Matt Brocklebank previews Saturday's Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster with a horse-by-horse guide to the 10-runner field.

The Anvil (right): Good value to beat stablemate Yucatan

Bay Of Poets (Sky Bet odds: 28/1)

Off the mark at the second time of asking with impressive Kempton display and everything looked to be going swimmingly two furlongs from the finish in the Royal Lodge last month before he weakened tamely to end up last of the eight runners. Massive reservations on the back of that display but there's obviously a pretty smart engine under the bonnet and it's far too soon to be writing him off.

Brutal (25/1)

Has progressed with every start to date and the step up to a mile did the trick with a clear-cut Leopardstown success. Steps from maiden win to Group One which is never a simple transition and a drop of rain wouldn't do his chances any harm, but his trainer is adept at improving juveniles and first-time tongue tie could help eke out a little more.

Contrapposto (12/1)

Shaped with promise at long odds on his first two starts before landing a Nottingham maiden over extended mile earlier this month. Enjoyed getting his toe into the ground that day which he may not be able to do on Town Moor given forecast conditions but he's a nice staying prospect for his relatively small stable and could perform above expectations.

Finn McCool (18/1)

One of three from the all conquering Aidan O'Brien yard and though the outsider of the trio, he'd be a first choice for many stables represented here. Son of Galileo who has taken a while to come to hand and took a Navan maiden over a mile earlier this month. Narrow second has been beaten in another maiden since but Finn McCool's full brother Kingfisher was a late-maturing type and highly unlikely we've seen the best of him yet.

Raheen House (14/1)

Son of the Sea The Stars but a relatively cheap purchase at 35,000 guineas. Trainer Brian Meehan couldn't hide the regard in which he holds this colt following York maiden success this month but there's no denying he needs to take his form to new levels if he's to emerge with Group One glory.

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Rivet (11/2)

Quietly fancied for the Dewhurst after toughing it out to beat Thunder Snow in Doncaster Group Two but both of them ultimately came up well short and he now has questions to answer. Moving up to a mile on decent ground looks likely to suit William Haggas' Fastnet Rock colt and he remains a nice prospect.

Salouen (10/1)

More exposed than any of these but his form certainly entitles him to have a crack at this following Group One second at Chantilly on Arc weekend, where his trainer was openly disappointed that he didn't take top spot. Hopes will obviously be high back on home soil and short-listed with Tom Marquand back in the saddle.

Sir Dancealot (9/1)

Left debut form well behind when winning twice over seven furlongs at Kempton and back in the groove dropped back to six furlongs at York last time following narrow Group Three defeat in third. So building a really likeable and consistent profile though question marks over new trip and step from Listed to Group One company.

The Anvil (16/1)

Shade disappointing on the face of it when beaten four lengths into third in Newmarket Group Three last time but the race didn't pan out in his favour and he was forced to challenge away from the favoured stands' side rail. Had previously just missed out in Group Two Royal so he's not out of place at this level and looks seriously over priced despite being overlooked by Ryan Moore.

Yucatan (evens)

Major plunge in the market after it became clear he, rather than Curragh conqueror Capri, was to be the O'Brien first-string and there's no getting away from the fact he's an exciting, progressive colt with a lovely pedigree (dam out of a half-sister to Miesque). At the same time, he's short enough in the betting now in a race containing several equally interesting prospects for the future.


Yucatan dominates the market and another Group One to Messrs O'Brien and Moore would come as no surprise whatsoever. However, the juice in his price has long gone and it could pay to focus on Salouen and THE ANVIL. Sylvester Kirk's Salouen has Group One form in the book after his solid second in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere and looks likely to be there or thereabouts once more, but The Anvil is definitely less exposed and probably wants marking up for his effort on the worst part of the track at HQ. He's one of the best three-year-old maidens in training based on his Royal Lodge second and is fancied to get off the mark at the fifth time of asking.

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