Frankie Dettori must have to pinch himself when he looks back on this season. The world’s most famous jockey has had plenty of lows in recent years, but they have been laid to rest after a quite remarkable 2015.
Golden Horn has been his saviour. Wins in the Investec Derby, Coral Eclipse, Irish Champion Stakes and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe have led to the Italian declaring him the best he’s ever ridden.
And then there’s the small matter of the Breeders’ Cup Turf next weekend which is looking increasingly like a penalty kick.
What has given Dettori even more pleasure is that these big wins have come for his boss John Gosden and the duo have an outstanding chance of plundering Britain’s final Group One prize of the season.
Not many juvenile races have been a better breeding ground for future superstars and I expect FOUNDATION to add his name to an illustrious roll of honour tomorrow.
The Highclere-owned son of Zoffany is unbeaten in three starts. Back-to-back successes at Haydock were followed by a snug win in the Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket last month.
Betway currently have Foundation as their 12/1 market leader for next year’s Derby, although he is far from certain to get 1m4f on breeding.
More interesting is the same firm’s quote of 13/2 for him to win the QIPCO 2,000 Guineas without hot favourite Air Force Blue.
Anyway, that’s a long way off and I’m happy to take evens tomorrow.
Deauville, who Foundation beat last time, is the biggest threat, but I expect my selection to uphold the form.
Earlier on the card, I simply can’t leave DUNGANNON out of my portfolio in the five furlong sprint (2.35pm).
Andrew Balding’s eight-year-old has won this race for the last two years and the trainer has done very well to get him down to a mark 4lb lower than when successful 12 months ago.
This is Dungannon’s time of year – his last six successes have come between September and December – while decent 5lb claimer Rob Hornby has been booked for the ride.
You can be sure this has been the plan for some time.
The following 1m4f handicap (3.10pm) is often used as a trial for the November Handicap run back here in a few weeks.
It’s always hugely competitive, but I’m very keen on the chances of David Barron’s ESTEAMING.
Although the five-year-old hasn’t won for 18 months, he’s run some very good races in defeat and conditions should be absolutely perfect for him tomorrow.
What he needs is 1m4f with some cut in the ground, which is exactly what he should get.
He’s down to a handicap mark of 88, which is the lowest he’s been since that last success at Newcastle, but his recent form is solid.
Barron’s horses are in fine form, Graham Gibbons takes the ride and I’d be surprised if he didn’t finish in the first three.
I’m only firing one dart at Newbury and that is KASTINI for Denis Coakley in the 10 furlong handicap (3.00pm).
The Halling gelding loves it here, winning his last two starts over course and distance, and there should be enough dig in the ground for him to go close again.
Dungannon e/w 2.35pm Doncaster
Kastini e/w 3.00pm Newbury
Esteaming e/w 3.10pm Doncaster
Foundation 3.45pm Doncaster