Luxembourg cruises to victory to claim Vertem Futurity at Doncaster

Luxembourg underlined his position at the front of the ante-post lists for next year’s Derby with a dominant victory in the Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster.

Trainer Aidan O'Brien had saddled nine previous winners of the final Group One of the British Flat season - one short of the record by the late, great Sir Henry Cecil.

Among that number were a pair of Derby winners in High Chaparral and Camelot, a St Leger hero in Brian Boru and two subsequent 2000 Guineas winners in Saxon Warrior and Magna Grecia.

Luxembourg, a son of Camelot, was the 4-6 favourite to add his name to the illustrious roll of honour, having looked every inch a top-class colt in the making in two previous starts.

Previously successful on his Killarney debut and in the Group Two Beresford Stakes at the Curragh, Ryan Moore's mount travelled like a dream up the straight mile on Town Moor before readily extending clear.

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Sissoko, trained by O'Brien's son Donnacha, did his best to make a race of it, while Champagne Stakes winner and Dewhurst third Bayside Boy finished strongly after a slightly troubled run.

But Luxembourg left nobody in any doubt he was much the best horse in the race as he passed the post with almost two lengths in hand.

Paddy Power swiftly trimmed the winner's odds for next year's Derby at Epsom to 4-1 from 8-1, while he is 6-1 from 8-1 for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Moore said: "I'm delighted with him. He's a really smart horse, very scopey. He travelled easy. I lost my cover at halfway and I had to keep going. He took me to the front. When I asked him the question, he just waited a bit.

"I grabbed hold of the him the last 100 yards and he found a bit more.

Jockey Ryan Moore after winning the Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes on Luxembourg during Vertem Futurity Trophy Day at Doncaster Racecourse.

"That's three races and three wins. We're delighted with what he's done and he's an exciting horse to look forward. It couldn't have gone smoother and there's more improvement to come."

O'Brien raised the possibility of Luxembourg running in both the Guineas and the Derby next season.

He said: "He would have preferred a stronger gallop, but he's a high cruiser and he got there a little bit after halfway. He was very babyish in front, but he's a lovely horse. You'd have to be delighted.

"The lads will decide, but what he's able to do over four furlongs at home says that he probably wouldn't have any problems starting in the Guineas if that's what the lads wanted to do.

"He's been coming along slowly an he's got a lot of class. Ryan was impressed with him.

"He's always been very exciting. The work he's been doing he shouldn't have been able to do over four furlongs, but that is what good horses usually do.

"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?"

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