Derby favourite Auguste Rodin heads a field of 17 at the five-day entry stage for Saturday’s Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster, live on Sky Sports Racing.
The juvenile has not put a foot wrong since runner-up to Crypto Force on debut, leads Aidan O’Brien’s charge for a record 11th win in the race.
Currently tied with Sir Henry Cecil on 10 victories in the one-mile contest, the master of Ballydoyle is responsible for eight of those remaining, with the Derby favourite joined in the five-day list by Espionage, Victoria Road, Salt Lake City, Adelaide River, Covent Garden, Greenland and Hiawatha.
O’Brien’s son Donnacha has left in consistent National Stakes runner-up Proud and Regal, while John and Thady Gosden could be represented by Autumn Stakes runner-up Epictetus and promising Juddmonte colt Arrest.
Exciting Nottingham winner King Of Steel could line up for Amo Racing.
David Loughnane’s youngster dwarfed his contemporaries in the paddock at Colwick Park and was most impressive when scoring by the best part of five lengths on his racecourse bow last week.
Having ticked all the right boxes and confirmed the promise of his work at home, the Derby entrant, who cost his owners $200,000 as a yearling, may “take a crack” at the £118,400 first-prize if connections feel a trip to Town Moor is the right move to make.
“He’s come out of the run at Nottingham very well and we think he’s a nice horse,” said Loughnane. “But it’s quite a tall order to go from a novice or a maiden to Group One company.
“There are 17 horses left in there and there’s multiple Group and Listed winners in there and Aidan O’Brien has six or seven. I know they are not all going to run, but we’ll just see how the week pans out and monitor declarations and see from there – there’s no decision made yet.
“He was very impressive at Nottingham and did everything we hoped he would do. He’s just done everything within himself at home and we’ve never had to take him off the bridle and obviously being such a big horse, we didn’t want to over-phase him too soon, so we’ve been very patient with him and wouldn’t want to ruin that now.
“So, if it is the right race on Saturday, we will take a crack and if not, we’ll wait.”
Andrew Balding’s Stormbuster arrives on the back of victory of at Newbury, while Royal Ascot winner Holloway Boy is another notable entry. Captain Wierzba (Ralph Beckett), Dancing Magic (Roger Teal) and Dubai Mile (Charlie and Mark Johnston) complete the list.
The prestigious Group One, which often helps shape next year’s Classic picture, will be sponsored once again by the company founded by successful racehorse owner John Dance – Vertem Asset Management.
Dance’s company has backed the final Group One of the UK Flat season since 2018 and multiple future Classic winners appear on the recent roll of honour.
“We are delighted to be able to continue our association with the Futurity Trophy for another five years,” said Dance. “The race has consistently proven itself to be one of the highlights of the end of the season and we could not be more pleased at the number of horses that have gone on to even further success from our race.
“We very much look forward to working with the team at Doncaster for another five years, and hope that we can continue that run of giving racing fans some excellent pointers as to the three-year-olds to follow come next spring. Furthermore, Jess (Dance, wife) and myself remain determined to win it one day ourselves!”