Mogul and Innisfree bidding to extend O'Brien's Trophy record

Kameko in opposition to O’Brien quintet at Doncaster

  • Friday 25 October
  • News
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Mogul will lead a five-strong Aidan O’Brien team into battle in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster on Saturday.

First successful with Saratoga Springs in 1997, the County Tipperary handler has since notched another eight victories – leaving him just one short of the record set by the late Sir Henry Cecil.

The likes of High Chaparral (2001), St Nicholas Abbey (2009), Camelot (2011) and the last two winners of the 2000 Guineas in Saxon Warrior and Magna Grecia respectively are all on the roll of honour for O’Brien, who appears intent on adding to his tally.

Having been responsible for 11 of the 12 juveniles following the confirmation stage, the Ballydoyle trainer has whittled his team down to five, with Mogul set to go off favourite following an impressive Group Two triumph at Leopardstown last month.

He is joined by the well-regarded Innisfree – a winner at the Galway Festival before providing his trainer with a remarkable 19th success in the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh – as well as Iberia, Louisiana and Royal County Down.

O’Brien said: “Innisfree travels well. We always thought he was a Classic horse and he’s been working nice since the Beresford. We thought this would be the logical race for him.

“Mogul has been progressing with every run – they are both smart colts.

“They are still on the upgrade and when they are doing that you don’t know who is going to progress the most.”

The horse taking on the Ballydoyle battalion is the Andrew Balding-trained Kameko.

Since making a winning debut at Sandown in July, the son of Kitten’s Joy has been touched off by the Clive Cox-trained Positive in the Solario Stakes and O’Brien’s Royal Dornoch in the Royal Lodge.

Balding said: “Obviously the ground is very much a concern, they are going to get an awful lot of rain.

“Having said that, there are suggestions in his pedigree that he could handle it.

“I think it’s more than likely he’ll run.

“I’m very happy with him and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

The newly-crowned champion jockey Oisin Murphy partners Kameko and would love to crown his campaign with another Group One victory.

He said: “I possibly rode him a bit wrong at Newmarket in the Royal Lodge and he over-raced. I’m not sure how I’m going to approach it tactically on Saturday just yet, but I’ll be concentrating on getting him to relax as he has a very good kick.

“I possibly should have won this race on Roaring Lion two years ago when he was narrowly beaten by Saxon Warrior, so it would be nice to right that wrong at some stage.

“It would be great if Kameko can do it and he is actually by the same sire as Roaring Lion in Kitten’s Joy.

“He looks great in his coat and we’re very happy with him.”

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