Horse Racing

Andrew Balding's Kameko is only rival to Aidan O'Brien 11-strong team

Andrew Balding’s Kameko is only rival to Aidan O’Brien 11-strong team in Saturday’s Vertem Futurity Trophy

  • O’Brien responsible for 11 entries for the final group one race of the Flat season
  • The other entry in the Vertem Futurity Trophy is the Balding-trained Kameko
  • O’Brien’s team includes group two winner Mogul, a £3.57m son of Galileo

Trainer Andrew Balding could be forgiven for feeling a little like Davy Crockett at the Alamo at Doncaster on Saturday when he will stand alone in trying to repel Aidan O’Brien in the Vertem Futurity Trophy.

O’Brien is responsible for 11 of the 12 entries for the final group one race of the 2019 Flat season.

The exception is Balding-trained Kameko and he finished runner-up to Royal Dornoch, one of O’Brien’s entries, in Newmarket’s Royal Lodge Stakes on his latest run.

Andrew Balding-trained Kameko (left) takes on 11 entries from Aidan O’Brien at Doncaster

O’Brien’s team of 11 also includes group two winner Mogul, a £3.57million son of Galileo touted as the best of the Ballydoyle two-year-old crop.

With £200,000 on offer and place money down to sixth, the result seems likely to see O’Brien leapfrog John Gosden in the trainer title race, albeit temporarily.

Gosden’s potential runner in the race, Palace Pier, has had his season ended by injury.

A spokesman for Doncaster said: ‘The Vertem Futurity is a fantastic race, with an illustrious history that has in recent years featured future superstars like Magna Grecia, Saxon Warrior and Roaring Lion. 

‘We appreciate that the 2019 renewal offers a fairly unique situation, but are hopeful that it will once again offer the chance to uncover another star two year old to then look out for in next year’s Classics.’ 


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