Aidan O’Brien says he will saddle ‘four or five’ in Vertem Futurity Trophy

Tue 22 Oct 2019
Mogul looks a smart prospect for Aidan O'Brien
Mogul looks a smart prospect for Aidan O'Brien

Aidan O’Brien plans to saddle “four or five” runners in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster on Saturday.

The Ballydoyle handler has sent out nine previous winners of the final Group One of the British Flat season – one short of the record set by the late Sir Henry Cecil.

O’Brien first struck gold with Saratoga Springs in 1997 and has since added to his tally with 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.

There was a surprise on Monday after the confirmations revealed O’Brien was responsible for 11 of the 12 remaining contenders, with Andrew Balding’s Kameko the only entrant not trained in County Tipperary.

Speaking at the Curragh on Tuesday, O’Brien said: “We will run four or five, I’d imagine.

“The two horses that were being trained for it were Innisfree and Mogul, and then it’s whatever else we’ll run with them.

Innisfree is likely to join Mogul at Doncaster on Saturday
Innisfree is likely to join Mogul at Doncaster on Saturday

“Armory might go to France (on Sunday), but it’s not guaranteed. We have the two main ones going there and we could run three others. It’s a good race.”

Mogul is the 2-5 favourite with Paddy Power after claiming his second win from three starts in a Group Two at Leopardstown last month.

Innisfree – also a dual winner after following up success at the Galway Festival with victory in the Group Two Beresford Stakes at the Curragh – is a 4-1 shot with the same bookmaker.

The race carries prize-monet of £200,000, with O'Brien trailing John Gosden by about £115,000 in the trainers' championship.

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