Champion trainer Aidan OBrien will face the twin threats of Godolphin and Andrea Atzeni in Saturdays Racing Post Trophy, who will both aim to thwart the Ballydoyle maestros attempts to set a new world record for Group 1 victories.
Loxley has been supplemented for the final Group 1 of the year in Britain by Godolphin, while Atzeni will get the chance to win the race for a fifth consecutive year after landing the ride on lively outsider Chilean.
Atzeni has been the king of Doncaster in recent season, no more so than when riding in the Racing Post Trophy where he has guided Kingston Hill, Elm Park, Marcel and most recently Rivet to victory.
Despite such an impressive record, the jockey was preparing himself for a weekend on the sidelines with no obvious ride lined up. However, he has been given the chance to retain his crown with trainer Martyn Meade snapping him up for the ride on Chilean.
Atzeni said on Monday: Ive got a pretty good record in the race as Ive been lucky enough to win it for the last four years, but I was in the position of not having a ride in the race until this morning. I spoke to my agent last night when it looked like I wasnt going to have anything to ride in the race and Im delighted hes got me on Chilean.
Just because youve won the race four times doesnt mean youre guaranteed or deserve a ride in it. So its great to have a ride and he looks to have a good chance too.
Chilean has triumphed on his two most recent outings, the latest of which came in the Listed Ascendant Stakes at Haydock when he powered away from his rivals to score by three-and-a-half lengths.
Since then he has been targeted at Doncaster, and Meade could not be happier with the horse or the jockey.
He said: Its very positive to have Andrea riding. You only have to look at his record not only at Doncaster but also specifically in this race. I think hell suit the horse really well.
Everything has gone perfectly well in his preparation and hes in belting form. Its a big step up but he won very convincingly at Haydock and theres more to come from him. I’m hoping for a seriously big run from him.
The Sefton Lodge-owned juvenile is a 16-1 shot for the Racing Post Trophy, for which the market and the field is dominated by Aidan OBrien.
OBrien has 11 of the 22 confirmations for the race, including favourite Saxon Warrior and second favourite The Pentagon. Should any of his contingent win, OBrien will move on to 26 Group/Grade 1 successes this year, breaking Bobby Frankels record which he currently shares.
Atzeni is undaunted by the prospect of taking on the OBrien battalion, and added: When Aidan OBrien has anything entered its always going to be hard, but its a Group 1. Hes had a great year and I have a lot of respect for whatever he runs but I wont be worrying about it.
The 26-year-old’srecord in the race contrasts starkly with Godolphin, who are seeking a first win in the Racing Post Trophy for ten years, although Sheikh Mohammed captured the race with Casamento in his own colours in 2010.
Their chances of ending the lean spell have been doubled after Loxley was added to the race, which already contains his Charlie Appleby-trained stablemate Masar. thoroughbrednews.com.au