Top commentator Simon Holt previews Saturday's Vertem Futurity Trophy card at Doncaster and he thinks John Gosden can land yet another big Group One.
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Based on his exciting potential, TURGENEV is fancied to give trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori yet another Group One success in Saturday's Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster.
This beautifully bred son of Dubai, out of the high class race-mare Tasaday, was beaten by subsequent Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere winner Royal Marine on his seven-furlong debut on Town Moor in September since when he has gone one better in fluent fashion over a mile at Newcastle and Newmarket.
On the latter occasion, Turgenev showed a really impressive turn of foot to pull clear of his rivals and was being eased down by Dettori when the Aidan O'Brien-trained Il Paradiso closed up deep inside the final furlong.
Although the pair were fully six lengths clear of the Gosden-trained third Franz Kafka (who the trainer says he likes), the form was not exactly boosted when Il Paradiso was beaten at odds-on at Gowran Park next time, though very testing conditions may have had something to do with it.
However, there was no escaping the manner of Turgenev's victory and, with his star stable-mate Too Darn Hot not certain to get the Derby trip next season, he could well develop into Gosden's number one candidate for Epsom.
O'Brien has a tremendous record in this race and fields Magna Grecia, Circus Maximus and Western Australia who filled second, third and fourth behind the highly rated French colt Persian King in the Autumn Stakes last time.
There seems to be no reason why Magna Grecia, three lengths clear of Circus Maximus, shouldn't confirm those placings and the son of Invincible Spirit stepped up admirably that day on his debut Naas win.
The quality of his Newmarket effort hinges on the winner who had previously won two minor events at Chantilly in impressive fashion and seems to be highly regarded by his master trainer Andre Fabre.
Magna Grecia battled on really well and, given that he was competing at Group level whereas Turgenev won a novice event on the same course, probably deserves to be favourite.
For me, though, the selection showed a spark of brilliance.
The other clear leading candidate has to be Phoenix Of Spain, winner of the Acomb Stakes at York before chasing home Too Darn Hot in the Champagne over seven furlongs on this course at the St Leger meeting.
The Charles Hills-trained grey should certainly cope with an extra furlong, even though this could be quite testing, but his form has received few boosts apart from Too Darn Hot, subsequent winner of the Dewhurst, who brushed him aside very readily.
There are a number of other promising sorts in the field including three-time winner Great Scot, and both Raakib Alhawa and Dashing Willoughby who finished first and second in a sometimes informative race at Newbury but they probably need to find a good deal more to trouble any of the top three in the betting.
At a much bigger price, RAPID APPLAUSE could be worth an each-way interest in the sunracing.co.uk Handicap in which the return to five furlongs with some give in the ground should suit Mick Easterby's gelding ideally.
Formerly rated well over 100 when trained in Ireland, the son of Royal Applause won handicaps at Beverley (5f) and Hamilton (6f) in the spring beating Tanasoq and Logi respectively, and both those horses boosted the form strongly afterwards.
Slightly unlucky when staying on eye-catchingly over five furlongs at Sundown in early September after a break, Rapid Applause hasn't quite being getting home over six furlongs in three starts since including when sixth at Newcastle earlier in the week.
A fast gallop at the minimum trip looks guaranteed here and this strong traveller should not be far away at double-figure odds in the hands of Nathan Evans.
Posted at 1625 BST on 26/10/18.