The flat season may be officially over, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still time for another Group 1 on the level.
The Racing Post Trophy over a mile has been the springboard to success over the middle distances for many a horse in their Classic season, with five victors in the race going on to claim the Derby the following June.
As expected there have been some very special winners of the Doncaster contest in the past, but we’ve picked out a quintet of the best to look at in more detail.
Reference Point – 1986
The sixth of 10 victories for the late, great Sir Henry Cecil, the son of Mill Reef was the first horse to do the Racing Post Trophy (or William Hill Futurity as it was then)-Epsom Derby double.
He was sent off second-favourite behind stablemate Suhailie, but delivered in the style of a stable star, triumphing by five lengths.
What followed was a dazzling three-year-old career in which he took the Dante, the Derby, the King George, the Great Voltigeur and the St Leger.
High Chaparral – 2001
The first of a trio of Aidan O’Brien’s to feature in our top five, the Michael Tabor owned-colt came into the race off the back of a success in a £7k Tipperary maiden.
He was facing a very different challenge at Doncaster, with the likes of seven lengths Beresford Stakes winner Castle Gandolfo and Solario Stakes victor Redback in opposition.
Nevertheless he fought them off like the smart horse he was, before going on to win two Derbys and the Breeders Cup Turf in a dazzling 2002. He wasn’t too shabby at stud either, siring the likes of So You Think, Toronado and Free Eagle.
Authorized – 2006
With Doncaster closed for redevelopment Newbury opened its doors to host the 2006 running of the race, and those seeking a big priced winner were well rewarded.
Having finished third on his only previous start, Peter Chapple-Hyam’s horse was allowed to go off a 25/1 shot for the Group 1.
Leading home a 33/1 and a 20/1 shot to victory, his easy win on bottomless ground was a precursor to victory in the Derby and the Juddmonte International the following term, before being retired following a disappointing run in the Arc.
St Nicholas Abbey – 2011
Aidan O’Brien’s charge’s career didn’t follow the same path as many other previous winners, with a very disappointing three-year-old career following success in the race.
However, as he got older the son of Montjeu improved and improved, raking in a total of nearly £5m in prize money before injury prematurely curtailed both his career and his life.
A total of six Group 1s including a treble in the Coronation Cup and victories at the Breeders’ Cup and in the Dubai Sheema Classic saw him defeat the best middle distance horses around.
Camelot – 2013
So close to claiming the British Triple Crown in 2014, Camelot netted the first of four straight Group 1s at Doncaster.
While the quality of his Racing Post Trophy contest can be queried – none of his four opponents subsequently won a Group race – what he did as a three-year-old cannot be sneered at.
Victory in the 2,000 Guineas before taking both the UK and Irish Derby had the public falling over themselves to back him to become the first horse since Nijinsky in 1970 to claim the final Classic of the season, only for Encke to stand in his way in the St Leger.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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