By Andrew Atkinson
Luxembourg – tipped by fromthehorsesmouth.info – trained by Aidan O’Brien landed the Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster on Saturday.
Luxembourg, who beat Sissoko by 1 1/4 lengths, with Bayside Boy a further head, third, was ridden by Ryan Moore for Ballydoyle based O’Brien, who matched a record 10 wins set by the late Sir Henry Cecil in the race.
“We’re very happy with the year. Someone told me that was our 18th Group 1 win and we had seven Classics,” said OBrien.
Luxembourg (4-6) win in the final Group 1 race of the British season was priced 4-1 favourite for the 2022 Cazoo Derby, clipped from 6-1, and 6-1 from 8-1 for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas.
O’Brien said: “We lost loads of races, we won a few but that’s the way it is. It has to go around and everyone has to live, everyone has to get a bit of it and we’re delighted when we do get a bit of it.
“We try very hard to get every one of them, but usually we go home not having the winner and we have to accept it, move on and learn from what we did. I might have made mistakes with horses this year, maybe ran them in the wrong races and sometimes horses were disappointing, sometimes they surprise you.
“A lot of stuff went other people’s way, not our way, but that’s the way it is. You have to accept that and we’re delighted to get any bit that we can.”
O’Brien said St Mark’s Basilica is the star of the stable this season: “We haven’t had the like of him since Galileo, and we might never have had the like of him. We were so lucky to find him.”
On Luxembourg, a 150,000gns yearling, he added: “He’s always been very exciting. Everything he’s done from day one. He’s a big horse, he travels very well, everything seems right with him.
“Today he had to get down and stretch in the last furlong, which was good for him really.
“He was very babyish in front but he’s a lovely horse. You’d have to be delighted with him.
“He has a lot of class and a lot of pace. The last day he won at the Curragh they said his last three furlongs was faster than all the sprints on that day.
“He has a big open stride but that’s what good horses have. Like human beings, the good athletes cover the most ground, don’t they?”
Jockey Moore said: “He’s a real smart horse – very scopey. We’re delighted with what he’s done and he’s an exciting horse to look forward to.
“It couldn’t have gone smoother – there’s more improvement to come.”
Image: Twitter Doncaster Racecourse