O’Brien’s Kingsbarns faith marks him out in Racing Post Trophy
It is somewhat rare that Aidan O’Brien puts all of his eggs in one basket when chasing a Group One success and it is for this reason that Kingsbarns has become tough to oppose in the Racing Post Trophy.
O’Brien initially had six horses entered at Doncaster, but the decision was made to take out the likes of well-fancied Battle Of Marengo and leave Kingsbarns to stand alone to represent the yard.
The result is that Kingsbarns is the clear favourite at 6/4 to win the Racing Post Trophy and it is hard to believe that O’Brien and owner John Magnier would pay to supplement the horse late if not heavily confident on its chances.
There is little form to go on thus far, with the horse bounding away to an impressive seven-length victory on his sole start in a maiden at Navan.
What he beat remains a mystery and there is a feeling that those in behind are not up to much, although the success did come on ground similar to that he is expected to encounter at Doncaster.
Additionally in favour of Kingsbarns is that the market is normally right with favourites landing the spoils seven times in the last decade, while O’Brien has saddled three winners in this period.
However, there are some punters that will argue that the jump is too great between winning an ordinary maiden and then competing at Group One level.
Jim Bolger has a respected record when sending two-year-old horses to England, with ante-post Epsom Derby favourite Dawn Approach flying the flag for the yard.
Trading Leather is another with a Derby pedigree and seems to be getting better with every race, taking a Group Three in his stride in Ireland last time.
Steeler is one of the most experienced two-year-olds in the field and one of only three to have previously tasted success over 1m.
Both of First Cornerstone’s triumphs have come on heavy ground and so any late rain at Doncaster would be to his benefit, but it is the only other unbeaten entrant, besides Kingsbarns, that is his most interesting challenger.
Van Der Neer comes from the Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes combination, has previous form that appears to have depth to it and has not been seriously asked any questions yet.
He may prove the best of the each-way options at 11/2.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.