Curtains for the big boys

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The seasons are at tipping point this weekend. The Racing Post Trophy at

Doncaster is the last hurrah of the domestic flat programme on Saturday.

On Sunday, the Cheltenham Gold Cup winner, Kauto Star, gets his defence

of the jumping crown started at Aintree. Over the pond, eight Group 1

races are run in a single night at New Jersey’s Monmouth Park.

The Racing Post Trophy was once regarded as an end of term jamboree that

the cream of the juvenile crop ignored, largely because of the

likelihood of poor ground. The best advice for Saturday is not a bet. It is

to set the video. Since 2001, the winners of this race have won three

renewals of the English Derby, two Irish Derbys and a St. Leger. A

decent sprinkling of Group races can be added to that cocktail of

Classics.

If the Dewhurst, won last week by New Approach, is the official two-year

old championship, this race is not far behind. It also boasts a rare

2007 clash between the best of breeding empires Ballydoyle and

Godolphin. The champion of Ballydoyle is Frozen Fire. The boys in blue

from Godolphin will be cheering on Ibn Khaldun.

But an Irish raider from a rather less exulted stable may claim the spoils, Curtain Call.

Kauto Star has to give lumps of weight to the field in the Old Roan

Chase at Aintree. On his day he could, just, do it. That day is not

Sunday. He is a big, stuffy sort, who needs racing to get fit and will

not be ideally suited by this flat track over a distance where his

stamina won’t be seen to its best advantage.

Monet’s Garden is the percentage call, but Ashley Brook looks sure to run a big race.

Stateside at the Breeders’ Cup, Europe has a pretty poor representation.

Dylan Thomas is even money in the Turf, but he is no good thing given

his bad draw. English Channel looks the best in that race. If you feel

in need of a patriotic punt, Passage of Time ticks the right boxes in

the Filly & Mare Turf.

Selections

3:40 Doncaster: Curtain Call (win)

6:55 (EST) Monmouth Park (N.J., USA): Passage of Time (win)

2:40 (Sunday 28 Oct) Aintree: Ashley Brook (win)

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