The 2020-21 European Road to the Kentucky Derby kicks off on Saturday with the Royal Lodge (G2) at Newmarket in England, awarding points to the top four finishers on a 10-4-2-1 basis. The one-mile turf race is also a "Win and You're In" qualifier for the Nov. 6 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Keeneland.

Cobh
Total 3 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
1
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
N/A
Total Earnings:
$28,950
Owner:
China Horse Club International
Breeder:
Awbeg Stud
Trainer:
Clive Cox
Jockey:
Adam Kirby
Sire:
Kodi Bear
Dam:
Arbeel
Color:
Brown

Promising colt has gone 2-for-3 while competing against quality competition and enters the Royal Lodge off a victory in the Stonehenge S. at Salisbury, where he defeated next-out stakes winner Fancy Man by a half-length. But Cobh is 2-for-2 on soft ground and suffered his lone defeat over good going similar to what he'll encounter at Newmarket. Will the turf prove to be firmer than Cobh prefers?

Gear Up
Total 2 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
N/A
Total Earnings:
$35,332
Owner:
Teme Valley 2
Breeder:
J. S. Bolger
Trainer:
Mark Johnston
Jockey:
Franny Norton
Sire:
Teofilo
Dam:
Gearanai
Color:
Bay

Undefeated son of Teofilo has gone 2-for-2 to open his career, winning a novice race at York before battling to victory in the 7-furlong Acomb (G3) over the same course. Versatile colt has won with multiple running styles and ranks as the most accomplished horse in the Royal Lodge field.

New Mandate
Total 4 start(s)
Wins:
2
Place:
0
Show:
2
Top Speed Rating:
N/A
Total Earnings:
$25,614
Owner:
Marc Chan
Breeder:
Mishhar Syndicate
Trainer:
Ralph Beckett
Jockey:
Frankie Dettori
Sire:
New Bay
Dam:
Mishhar
Color:
Bay

Although New Mandate could only finish third in his first two starts, he's shown significant improvement during the last month or so, winning a handicap at Sandown before launching a determined rally to claim the 7-furlong Flying Scotsman S. at Doncaster. With acclaimed jockey Frankie Dettori in the saddle, New Mandate figures to attract significant wagering support, even while stepping up in class and distance for the Royal Lodge.

Ontario
Total 4 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
1
Show:
1
Top Speed Rating:
N/A
Total Earnings:
$24,430
Owner:
Mrs. John Magnier, Michael Tabor, and Derrick Smith
Breeder:
Coolmore
Trainer:
Aidan O'Brien
Jockey:
Ryan Moore
Sire:
Galileo
Dam:
Timbuktu
Color:
Bay

Conditioned by seven-time Royal Lodge-winning trainer Aidan O'Brien, Ontario has already shown strong form against Group 2 company, setting the pace in the Curragh's 7-furlong Futurity (G2) before weakening slightly to finish third. A son of superstar stallion Galileo, Ontario had previously won an about 1 1/16-mile maiden race at Galway, so the distance of the Royal Lodge shouldn't be an issue. Star jockey Ryan Moore has been named to ride.

Pleasant Man
Total 1 start(s)
Wins:
1
Place:
0
Show:
0
Top Speed Rating:
N/A
Total Earnings:
$6,883
Owner:
Brook Farm Bloodstock
Breeder:
Northern Farm
Trainer:
Roger Charlton
Jockey:
Jason Watson
Sire:
Galileo
Dam:
Melito
Color:
Bay

A lightly-raced son of Galileo, Pleasant Man is already proven over the one-mile distance of the Royal Lodge, having scored by 1 1/4 lengths in a novice race over soft ground at Haydock Park. He'll tackle good going on Saturday while sharply ascending the class ladder, but this well-bred youngster might have the goods to outrun expectations.