Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Tippin’ Jimmy's Flat Horses to Follow 2019

With the British flat season now underway, thoughts turn to all the big summer meetings such as Ascot and Goodwood as well as the classics, so here we have listed some key horses to keep on your side as things get going in earnest on the level for 2019.

Al Hilalee (Charlie Appleby)

By Duawi out of an Authorized mare, this three-year-old Godolphin colt is a sure-fire improver over middle-distances this season and is in fact a fair fancy for the Dante and the Derby.

Having won his maiden in fine style at Newmarket back in July, Al Hilalee went on to win a Listed race at Deauville without looking remotely the finished article and plenty more is expected of him this term.

Broome (Aidan O’Brien)

Having won the Ballysax Stakes Aidan O’Brien’s decision to campaign him over middle-distances is already paying off and he could be a real Derby type.

He’s by Derby winner Australia who is going to prove to be an amazing sire and there could be plenty of fun to be had with Broome this year for the Ballydoyle team.

Calyx (John Gosden)

Having won the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer from completely the wrong side of the track, it seemed this horse would be the star of the juvenile season until Too Darn Hot came along but after he suffered a setback and had the rest of the year off many had forgotten him.

A Kingman colt who shows plenty of natural speed, connections have toyed with the idea of keeping him at sprint distances this season but he could yet be on track for the Guineas and all the other top mile races over the summer and if staying that distance will take some stopping at the top level.

Chasing Dreams (Charlie Appleby)

Sent off at 4/9 for her debut at the Craven meeting, it was no surprise when this two-year-old daughter of Starspangledbanner roared home by five lengths and she seems perfect for the Queen Mary Stakes.

Dubai Warrior (John Gosden)

John Gosden is willing to give so many of his three-year-olds a crack at the trials to see whether or not they are good enough to contest classics, but in Dubai Warrior he has one sure to feature in the top rank in terms of middle-distance races this season.

He won his debut race very easily at Chelmsford back in November and has been kept off the track since.  The horses in behind have done very well since and he gave them a pounding so is expected to be right in the top rank.  His entries include the Derby.

Entitle (John Gosden)

Enable’s half-sister arrived at the track with a reputation, but so far in two runs she hasn’t set the world alight in truth.

An ordinary debut was followed-up by a win at Lingfield and one thing is for sure and that is she looks like an improver, so whatever level she achieves first time up in 2019 will be bettered time and again one would feel.

First Eleven (John Gosden)

A proper maturing four-year-old, First Eleven really took his time to get going but began to peak last summer and was a frightfully unlucky loser at Royal Ascot before going on to win back at that track in September.

Those runs were over a mile-and-a-half but it looks as though the Ebor Handicap could be the main aim this time around for the son of Frankel and as long as they don’t let his handicap mark get too big he’d stand a major chance on the Knavesmire.

Ghaiyyath (Charlie Appleby)

Once thought of as a Derby horse, injury put paid to that but even as an immature type with only three juvenile runs under his belt, after his comeback win at Longchamp in September thoughts turned to the Arc although connections eventually thought better of it.

He is four now, made a very, very good return to the track in Paris in April and can take some stopping in mile-and-a-half races as the season goes by before he reaches his main target, the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe which this time he will contest.

Glorious Journey (Charlie Appleby)

This one could prove to be a typical Dubawi in that he may keep improving throughout his four-year-old career, something there was evidence for when despite taking a while to get going he won nicely at Group 3 level in France last August.

He’s been gelded over the winter and so thoughts are solely about success on the track now, something he can achieve especially if allowed to go up in trip to a mile-and-a-quarter.

Jash (Simon Crisford)

There is no doubting this colt’s level of form having finished an excellent close second to Guineas favourite Ten Sovereigns in the Middle Park Stakes (Group 1) last summer on only his third racecourse start, but his profile poses as many questions as answers.

Being by Kodiac, it’s possible that sprint distances could be his thing and that he may have been such a precocious two-year-old that we may not see the level of improvement from two to three as we may ordinarily expect.

However the lumps of improvement he showed between races last season would make it hard to believe that he won’t go forward again this term and if settling could be a live one for the Guineas, if not the Jersey Stakes at the very least.  He does retain the option to go sprinting however with the Commonwealth Cup a possible target.

Lah Ti Dar (John Gosden)

With Enable on course to go for an unprecedented third Arc and last year’s runner-up Sea Of Class ready to reappear, I feel many are forgetting the ability and promise shown last year by Lah Ti Dar and we would ignore her at our peril in the fillies’ mile-and-a-half division.

Winning three from three between April and August culminating in a demolition job in the Galtres Stakes at York, she looked a filly of the very highest order but did not like the 1m6f trip when finishing third in the St Leger and nor did she take to the sticky ground when third to Magical at Ascot on Champions Day.

Given a fair surface and with another winter on her back, she’ll take some pegging back this term and could herself end up in the Arc at the end of the year and/or at the Breeders’ Cup.

Laraaib (Owen Burrows)

A genuine, improving older horse, Laraaib put in his best career performance on his first outing this season despite being beaten by Marmelo.  He was not 100% ready and had to give away 3lbs making the performance seem all the better, and even though he’s done well thus far over a mile-and-a-half he could end up stepping up in trip again and might be a Group 1 performer in Cup races.

Le Brivido (Aidan O’Brien)

Having moved to Ballydoyle last Christmas from Andre Fabre’s yard, his owners now have an eye on the breeding sheds for this five-year-old of course but he is a Jersey Stakes winner for his former handler and there are definitely races to be one with him this year, potentially at the top level.

Given the strength of the three-year-olds in the mile and mile-and-a-quarter division this season it may be that he stays over six or seven furlongs and his trainer clearly feels he has the pace to do that.

Line Of Duty (Charlie Appleby)

Line Of Duty could well be Charlie Appleby’s number one Derby horse as he looks to quickly follow-up the achievement of training the first Blue Riband winner for the Godolphin team with Masar last year.

Line Of Duty had already taken a Group 3 in France over 1m1f before stepping back to a mile and scoring at the top level in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs and as a Galileo there’s no doubt he wants a trip.  The Dante could be first on his list before heading to Epsom where he is a serious contender.

Mythical Magic (Charlie Appleby)  

A four-year-old gelding who had reached a reasonable level, second in two Group 2 races, before eventually winning one in Dubai in February in fine style and it seems more improvement is on the cards.

He is from a real top-class family and his sire Ifraaj just kept getting better over a mile at four, and even five years old, so we can expect this horse to remain on an upward curve and contest some of the top mile races around Europe this year.

Quorto (Charlie Appleby)

Injured and now out of the Guineas and the Derby, this beautiful son of Dubawi will come back stronger and I’d like to see him contest mile-and-a-quarter races when he’s ready.

A very good winner of both the Superlative Stakes and the Group 1 National Stakes in Ireland last season, he is already rated 121 which is some level to reach by September of a juvenile season and it would be no surprise to see him run in something like the Juddmonte International and/or the Irish Champion Stakes later in the campaign.

Sergei Prokofiev (Aidan O’Brien)

Regardless of breeding, though he is by Scat Daddy, this horse has shown serious natural speed and although likely comfortable over five furlongs as the season goes on he could be perfect for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in June.

Some three-year-olds show their best when stepping up in trip as they get older, but this horse will improve over sprint distances this season and I can see the Nunthorpe Stakes at York being a target of his in August.

Star Catcher (John Gosden)

John Gosden is great with fillies and can bring them along nicely before coaxing all of their potential out of them, and in Star Catcher he has a young filly who could be good enough to contest the Oaks all being well.

An ordinary debut was followed by an easy win on poor ground at Newbury and a spin round Chester or York in May would tell us more about what level she’s at, but I expect it’ll be a high one eventually.

Well Of Wisdom (Charlie Appleby)

In a strong renewal of the five furlong novice race at the Craven meeting Godolphin had four runners, two of them trained by Appleby, with the Kodiac colt Full Verse expected to be the one on the day.

William Buick had instead chosen this son of Oasis Dream out of a Sunday Silence mare and it seemed that on breeding he should be outpaced, but despite racing keenly he got the hang of things with a furlong or so to go before taking off and landing the contest.

A sixth furlong at least for now will be to his liking and he looks a proper prospect for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.

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