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Lancashire Telegraph Racing Column
11:05am Saturday 26th October 2013 in Sport
A cracking renewal of the Racing Post Trophy looks well up to scratch and Kingston Hill can take what is the final Group One of the year to be staged in Britain.
The Doncaster showpiece is invariably won by a smart horse, and the list of recent winners to have gone on to Classic or other big-race success is a long one.
An attractive grey colt who made a striking debut at Newbury last month, the son of Mastercraftsman took a step up in class in his stride when coming from last to first to see off Oklahoma City on Future Champions Day at Newmarket.
That form is solid, as the runner-up had been a shade closer to stablemate and leading Derby fancy Geoffrey Chaucer in the Beresford Stakes and had also been victorious in a big sales event at Newmarket.
Proven ability with cut in the ground is an added bonus for supporters of Roger Varian’s runner and he does not hail from a yard that would throw around the £17,500 it needed to add him to the field lightly.
It will take a good performance to lower the colours of Night Of Thunder in the Scott Dobson Memorial Doncaster Stakes.
From a family that excels on soft ground, he looked potentially smart when trotting up in similar conditions in his maiden at Goodwood.
The Betfred Monet’s Garden Old Roan Chase takes centre stage at Aintree, with Wishfull Thinking fancied to defy top-weight.
The Philip Hobbs-trained 10-year-old looked to have the world at his feet following a thrilling novice campaign over fences a couple of years ago, but he has perhaps not reached the heights expected of him.
That said, his last season was not a bad one, with wins in the Shloer Chase at Cheltenham and the Game Spirit at Newbury backed up by his distant third-place finish in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.
It could be that two and a half miles is more his bag these days and although he has to concede weight to each of his opponents this weekend, he is well capable of doing so in what is a slightly disappointing renewal of this Grade Two event.
The Merseyside fixture is brought to a close by the Betfred “Racing’s Biggest Supporter” Maiden Hurdle, in which last season’s Champion Bumper runner-up Regal Encore should make a winning start to his career over timber.
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