Racing commentator Simon Holt previews Saturday's action at Doncaster and Cheltenham, with Roaring Lion his fancy for the feature at the former.
In his bid to break the record of 25 Group One victories in a season, Aidan O'Brien seeks to dominate Saturday's Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster with four runners in the same way he monopolised the recent Dewhurst Stakes in which he saddled the first four home.
The strength of Ballydoyle's two-year-olds this season cannot be underestimated and Saxon Warrior, unbeaten in two starts so far and the chosen mount of Ryan Moore, looks the stable's number one contender.
Successful on his debut at The Curragh, a subsequent Group Two win at Naas vaulted the son of Deep Impact to the top of ante-post markets for next year's Classics, and the form has been well boosted with fourth-placed Kew Gardens and the fifth Riyazan winning since.
However, a line through the Naas runner-up Delano Roosevelt, who was beaten over three lengths by stable-companion Nelson in a Group Three at Leopardstown on his previous start, suggests that ROARING LION is a value price to beat the favourite.
John Gosden's unbeaten colt took a big step forward when beating Nelson by a neck in the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket last month and still looked a bit green when edging left in the closing stages.
Like many in this field, there is a good chance of further improvement and this son of Kitten's Joy is proven on the likely surface at Doncaster.
Of course, any of O'Brien's runners could be a threat and it wouldn't be the first time if his second- or third-string triumphed.
The Pentagon (Seamie Heffernan) looked very smart at The Curragh in July but was perhaps a little less convincing subsequently at Leopardstown while I can't find much wrong with the expensively-bought Seahenge (Donnacha O'Brien), who appeared to be crying out for an extra furlong when winning the Champagne Stakes here (7f) last month and has since chased home stablemates U S Navy Flag and Mendelssohn as part of Ballydoyle's Dewhurst clean sweep.
Meanwhile, there is another strong Irish-trained contender in Jim Bolger's highly-regarded National Stakes winner Verbal Dexterity who missed the Dewhurst but showed a very willing attitude to beat Beckford and the O'Brien pair Rostropovich and the re-opposing Coat Of Arms (Wayne Lordan) at The Curragh.
The promising Chilean, held by Saxon Warrior on lines involving Dee Ex Bee and Kew Gardens, scopey Goodwood winner Loxley and Sir Michael Stoute's useful colt Gabr add to this very strong renewal.
Tom George's gelding made great progress over fences last season, winning on the New Course at the December meeting before running a blinder in the Ultima Handicap Chase in March when he led at the last only to go down by a short head to the classy Un Temps Pour Tout.
Also a winner over hurdles at Cheltenham, Singlefarmpayment seems ground versatile, is a particularly strong traveller and could develop into a leading contender for the Ladbrokes Gold Cup (formerly the Hennessy) at Newbury if all goes well here.
Successful over just two miles at this fixture last season, the son of Yeats appeared to be in need of a much stiffer test in the spring when a keeping-on fifth in the Martin Pipe and then when making eye-catching late headway after being hampered to finish fourth behind stable companion Rather Be at Aintree.
Well suited by good ground, Thomas Campbell won his first three starts last term and is sure to be well primed by trainer Nicky Henderson for this reappearance.
Recommended bets: Simon Holt
Click here for our transparent tipping record
Related horse racing links
- Free horse racing betting tips
- All today's racecards
- Today's fast results
- Today's full results
- Today's Goings
- Today's Naps Table
- ABC Guide
- Sky Bet's horse racing odds
Posted at 1155 BST on 27/10/17.