Dubai The Mark Jonston-trained Steeler puts his Classic credentials on the line in Saturday’s £200,000 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster, the last Group 1 event of the British flat racing season.
The son of Raven’s Pass, who is owned by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, holds entries in both the English and Irish 2000 Guineas next season.
Steeler caught the eye when lowering the colours of Godolphin’s Breeders’ Cup Turf hopeful Artigiano in the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket last month and comes into Saturday’s race as the most accomplished two-year-old among the seven contestants.
His Royal Lodge win guaranteed him a place in the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita but Johnston opted to keep him in the UK in instead.
“We’re not thinking about that at the moment. It’s nice to have it but first step will be the Racing Post Trophy. After that we’ll see if they want to continue this year or not,” he said in the build up to Doncaster.
Steeler, who is by 2008 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Raven’s Pass, has won three of his five races and finished second in the other two.
Among his six rivals at Doncaster is the unbeaten Van Der Neer who is raced by Dubai businessman Saeed Manana.
The son of Dutch Art has won both his starts for Richard Hannon but must now cope with a big step up in class if he hopes to maintain his winning ways.
Aidan O’Brien has won the Racing Post Trophy six times since 1997 and has a genuine contender in his seven-length maiden winner Kingsbarns.
The Irish handler sent Camelot out to win this race a year ago and bookmakers believe that Kingsbarns can give him a seventh victory by making him a 15-8 favourite.
Joseph O’Brien has the mount on this son of Galileo, who is held in high regard by his connections.
Jim Bolger saddles Group 3 Autum Stakes winner Trading Leather while Birdman, First Cornerstone and Sir Patrick Moore complete the field.