Kinross faces big-race examination in Vertem Futurity

Exciting Newmarket winner clashes with O’Brien big guns at Newcastle.

  • Thursday 31 October
  • News
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Kinross will test his Classic credentials in what looks an intriguing running of the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Newcastle.

Saved over from Doncaster’s abandoned meeting last Saturday, the Group One now has a far more competitive feel to it, after only two trainers – Aidan O’Brien and Andrew Balding – were originally scheduled to be involved.

Kinross was due to run at Newbury last weekend – but with that meeting lost to the weather also, trainer Ralph Beckett ultimately decided to switch tack and up his impressive debut winner in grade.

Friday’s race will be the first Group One staged on an all-weather surface in Britain.

Kinross will be ridden by Harry Bentley, who said: “I’m really looking forward to it, and he deserves people to be talking about him after his first run at Newmarket, where he did everything right – we’ll get to see how he builds on that effort.

“He’s an exciting prospect – a horse you look forward to riding, for sure – but he’s in at the deep end, up against class horses, and we’ll see how good he is.

“It will be different conditions to Newmarket, a furlong further on a different surface, so we’ll see how he reacts to it all.

“He’ll have been on the woodchip at home, which isn’t all-weather admittedly, but there is a trotting ring that has an all-weather, so he will have been on it at some stage.”

O’Brien’s two main hopes remain the same, in Irish Champions Weekend scorer Mogul and Beresford hero Innisfree.

Donnacha O’Brien rides Mogul – a full-brother to the top-class Japan – and said of the switch in surface: “He’s a nice, low mover and he’ll handle quick ground.

“I’ve never ridden at Newcastle. But I hear the reports are good, so it shouldn’t be a problem.”

His father said: “Both our Newcastle runners are very well in themselves. We were looking forward to running them at Doncaster, but we are very happy to be taking them on to the all-weather track at Newcastle.

“They both won Group Twos last time they ran, and I don’t think there’s a lot to choose between them. But whatever happens, they are horses that I am very much looking forward to running as three-year-olds.”

Seamie Heffernan is on Innisfree, while the Ballydoyle team is completed by New World Tapestry, Royal County Down and Year Of The Tiger.

Kameko would have been the only non-O’Brien runner last week, and he stands his ground.

He has finished second in the Solario Stakes and the Royal Lodge already this season.

“Obviously you never know how a horse is going to act on a surface until you try it,” said Balding.

“I think it was a good move from everyone involved to try and get the race on, and now it’s there we’ll give it a go.

“It looks a strong Group One, as it should be for the race’s profile.

“Being a week later is not ideal. We’ve had to jiggle things around, but hopefully he can take that in his stride.”

Ben Curtis rides Tammani, a Listed winner in France last time out, for William Haggas.

“He won a Listed race in Deauville the last day, albeit on heavy ground, but he won that very well,” Curtis told Sky Sports Racing.

“I’ve had a chat with Pierre-Charles (Boudot), who rode him that day, and he said he is a very straightforward horse – so I’m looking forward to it.

“It’s great for Newcastle to get it – everyone thought it would go to Newmarket, but to move it up there it will go down in the history books, so it’s brilliant for them.”

John Gosden has two runners, Godolphin’s Verboten and Cherokee Trail in the Coolmore colours – the latter having won his first two before getting stuck in the mud in the Autumn Stakes.

“Take his last run away, because he didn’t enjoy himself on very heavy ground,” said jockey Kieran O’Neill.

“Take that away, and he’d be going there two from two, and he’d be much shorter in the betting.

“I rode him at Ascot first time out, and then he went and won well at Newbury. I spoke to Ryan (Moore), and he thought he was a solid Group Three, probably a Group Two horse.

“I think it’s a wide-open Group One – nothing really stands out bar Aidan’s, but what he beat last time I don’t know.

“We like the other horse of Rab’s (Havlin, Verboten) so we’re going in with two outside chances.”

Kinross faces big-race examination in Vertem Futurity

Newcastle 18:00, 1 November 2019

Newcastle 18:00, 1 November 2019

Newcastle 18:00, 1 November 2019

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