Vertem Futurity Trophy (aka Racing Post Trophy)

The Vertem Futurity Trophy is the final Group 1 race of the British Flat racing season. Open to two-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies – the latter receive a 3lb weight allowance – but not geldings, the race is run over a straight mile at Doncaster Racecourse, a.k.a. Town Moor, and is staged annually in October.


Inaugurated, as the Timeform Gold Cup, in 1961, the juvenile feature was subsequently run as the Observer Gold Cup, the William Hill Futurity and the Racing Post Trophy before Vertem Stockbrokers took over sponsorship in 2018. The 2018 renewal was worth £131,000 to the winner, with a total purse of £200,000. The outcome of the Vertem Futurity Trophy almost invariably has an effect on the betting for the Derby the following year; at the time of writing, the 2018 winner, Magna Grecia, trained by Aidan O’Brien, is quoted at 20/1 joint second favourite for the 2019 renewal of the Epsom Classic.


All in all, five horses have completed the Vertem Futurity Trophy – Derby double. The first of them, Reference Point, was the sixth of 10 winners of the Vertem Futurity Stakes for the late Sir Henry Cecil – who remains the most successful trainer in the history of the race – in 1986 and, as a three-year-old, won not only the Derby, but also the Dante, King George, Great Voltigeur and St. Leger.


The last of them, Camelot, was similarly the sixth of nine winners of the Vertem Futurity Stakes for Aidan O’Brien in 2012 and, having won the 2,000 Guineas and the Derby, came within 1½ lengths of becoming the first horse since Nijinsky, in 1970, to win the Triple Crown. In between times, the other three horses to complete the Vertem Futurity Trophy – Derby double were High Chaparral, also trained by Aidan O’Brien, in 2001/02, Motivator, trained by Michael Bell, in 2004/05 and Authorized, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, in 2006/07.

John Gosden

John Gosden served his apprenticeship as assistant trainer to two of the most influential figures in the history of horse racing, Sir Noel Murless and Vincent O’Brien, before setting up on his own in California in 1979. From small beginnings, he eventually trained over 500 winners during his time in California, before returning to England in 1989.


Initially based at Stanley House Stables in Newmarket, Suffolk, Gosden moved to Manton, Wiltshire for the start of the 2000 season before returning to Newmarket in 2006. At that point, he moved into his current property, Clarehaven Stables, on the Bury Road just outside the town.


All in all, Gosden has trained over 3,000 winners worldwide, 600 of which were in the US, demonstrating his international outlook and sucesses. He’s won the Flat trainers’ championship twice, in 2012 and 2015. Indeed, at the time of writing, he heads the trainers’ championship table once again, with 144 winners from 567 runners but, more importantly, over £6.3 million in prize money. Gosden has handled some exceptional horses over the years, winning the St. Leger four times, the Derby and the Oaks twice apiece and the 1,000 Guineas.


More recently, he was won the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe three times in the last four years, with Golden Horn in 2015 and Enable in 2017 and 2018. John Gosden’s phenomonal success on British Champions Day in 2018 ensured that he was crowned Champion Trainer that year. His stunning Qipco British Champion’s Day triple was made up of Roaring Lion in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes, Stradivarius in the Long Distance Cup and Cracksman in the Qipco Champion Stakes.