Keep it simple with Century
Matt Brocklebank provides a runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Group One Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster.
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ALTRUISTIC: Looks a bit of a handful but there was loads to like about his debut victory in a Naas maiden in August and no doubt improved on that level of form when beaten two lengths into third by Geoffrey Chaucer in the Group Two Beresford Stakes at the Curragh. Looks sure to handle the surface and impossible to ignore representing trainer/jockey who can do very little wrong at present.
BUONARROTI: Son of Galileo who is a half-brother to the yard's Pattern-race winners Fire Lily and The United States. Left fairly moderate introductory effort firmly behind when storming to victory by over eight lengths in a Tipperary maiden, a race his trainer won with recent St Leger winner Leading Light 12 months ago. Fascinating, stamina-laden contender with a bright future.
CENTURY: Made a winning start when taking a 15-runner Curragh maiden in decent style less than a fortnight ago and, although the form is hard to gauge given the fourth has since filled the same place at Navan, he's clearly showing the right signs having been supplemented. Montjeu colt who will relish any further rain and encouraging to see he's the pick of Joseph O'Brien.
CHIEF BARKER: Trainer/owners opted not to run Toormore but can certainly look forward to a bold bid from this unbeaten Azamour colt. He has a profile of steady progression, adding to maiden and nursery gains with a Listed victory at Haydock, all three starts coming over a mile. Haydock form already looks serious, with the runner-up since winning the Fillies Mile, and he's well worth his place in this line-up.
DOLCE N KARAMA: Should be all the wiser for last month's Wolverhampton debut experience but he was beaten over eight lengths into fourth that day and is not one to be getting excited about in this company.
JOHANN STRAUSS: Completes the Ballydoyle challenge but he looks the least obvious contender for top spot given he's had two maiden attempts already without success. Only missed out narrowly over seven furlongs last time and the return to a mile is likely to suit, but drastic improvement needed for him to break his duck in a race of this magnitude.
KINGSTON HILL: Form ties in nicely here having beaten Beresford Stakes second Oklahoma City with something to spare in the Group Three Autumn Stakes at Newmarket, confirming the fine impression made there when scoring at Newbury last month. Proven on soft ground, open to stacks more improvement and clearly held in high regard having been supplemented for this prize.
PINZOLO: Overcame clear signs of greenness to make a winning debut at Headquarters in August and showed the benefit of that experience when extricating himself from a tricky position to maintain his unblemished record in a traditionally informative conditions event at Newbury. Will relish any ease underfoot and it was no surprise to see him supplemented here.
SNOW SKY: Another added to the field at the supplementary stage on the back of a runaway Salisbury maiden victory at the start of the month. Revelled in the heavy conditions there, so ground won't be an issue, but his form could certainly have worked out a little better.
SOMEWHAT: Has improved steadily as the season has gone on and it would be folly to rule out further progress. Beating Be Ready at Newbury and just missing out to Berkshire in the Group Two Royal Lodge last time represents two of the better pieces of form heading into this event and, although raced solely on decent ground so far, his rounded action suggests he'll handle cut.
THE GREY GATSBY: Got up late to land a six-furlong York maiden on debut in July and has followed that with two highly creditable efforts in second, finishing in front of subsequent Dewhurst runner-up Cable Bay in the Group Two Champagne Stakes at this course last month. Trying a mile for the first time now and no surprise to see him go well for the trainer who saddled the winner in 2005.
CONCLUSION: Irish raiders have won the past four renewals, Aidan O'Brien being responsible for three of them, and he fires three arrows this year. Buonarotti is evidently on the up following his wide-margin victory at Tipperary but Century has the most intriguing profile. The Montjeu colt recently made an impressive debut in the same Curragh maiden won by the yard's subsequent Irish 2000 Guineas hero Magician, and is fancied to justify the decision to supplement him. Somewhat and The Grey Gatsby shouldn't be overlooked, while Pinzolo has been all the rage through the week, but the home challenge is led by Roger Varian's Kingston Hill, who was also added on Monday. He looked really professional when comfortably landing the Autumn Stakes at Newmarket and should give the O'Brien trio plenty to think about.