Luxembourg underlines Epsom claims with cosy Futurity win

Aidan O’Brien’s colt shows his class in final Group One of British season

Luxembourg cemented his position at the head of the ante-post lists for next year’s Epsom Derby with a clear-cut 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 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 2,000 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.

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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.

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 2,000 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.

“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.”