10/21/2010 11:32AM

Two from Ireland look tops in Racing Post Trophy


International Racing Bureau

It looks as though the Irish angle will be crucial in Saturday’s Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster, the final Group 1 event of the British season.

The mile event for 2-year-old colts and fillies has attracted 10 runners, with the Irish-trained pair of Casamento and Dunboyne Express looking the strongest.

Neither has run a bad race this season, with the Michael Halford-trained favorite, Casamento, setting a strong standard. A Group 2 winner in his native country last time out, he was a narrow runner-up to Pathfork in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh before that.

A Shamardal colt owned by Sheikh Mohammed, Casamento looks to be still improving and has plenty of further potential. Frankie Dettori rides.

Dunboyne Express is another son of Shamardal, and is unbeaten in two starts, including a Group 3 at the Curragh on his last racecourse appearance in mid-July. The absence since then should not be taken as a negative. His Irish trainer, Kevin Prendergast, said he has purposefully given him a break and pointed him to this race.

Stable jockey Declan McDonogh takes the ride.

The British contenders should not be dismissed, as the unbeaten pair of Native Khan and Titus Mills are also talented. Trained by Ed Dunlop, Native Khan has won both his starts, including a Group 3 stakes at Sandown Park. His connections elected to come here instead of going for last week’s Dewhurst Stakes. He will be ridden by the British rider Paul Hanagan, who has a good record for the Dunlop stable.

Titus Mills is also 2 for 2, and though he takes a big step up in class from the Goodwood listed race he won last month, the colt, trained by Brian Meehan, has been well supported in the prerace betting this week.

Finally, trainer Aidan O’Brien will be looking to put one of the quirks of the 2010 turf season behind him on Saturday with Master of Hounds (the choice of stable jockey Johnny Murtagh) and Seville. Although he has trained multiple winners of 2-year-old races in Ireland, he has not managed a single juvenile winner in Britain this season.