2016 Flat Season Review
With the November Handicap at Doncaster concluding the 2016 flat season, we take a look back and some of the summer highlights and horses we can look forward to seeing again next year.
Lady Aurelia Blows Them Away
2-year-olds trained by American Wesley Ward are always respected at Royal Ascot but nobody could have anticipated the impression Lady Aurelia would make in the Queen Mary Stakes this year. On ground slower than ideal, she sprinted away from her rivals to win by 7 lengths, leaving those in attendance amazed at what they had just witnessed. Despite having her colours lowered at Newmarket on her latest start, she could be back for more at the minimum trip next year.
Rated as the best flat horse in recent history, 2016 saw the first of the magnificent Frankels’ progeny hit the track. It got off to the best possible start with his first runner, Cunco, making a winning debut at Newbury in May. In all, he has sired 15 individual winners this season, with Fair Eva being his first Group race winner at Ascot in July. Of those that have already made their debuts, look out for the likes of Atty Persse, Mirage Dancer and Swiss Storm when they return next season.
O’Brien’s 21 Group 1s
Aidan O’Brien and Coolmore have once again been dominant in Britain and Ireland, with the standout performances coming from their fillies. Galileo filly Minding claimed 5 Group 1s across three different distances (1m, 1m2f and 1m4f) in what was a remarkable season. She is likely to stay in training next year and could add to her impressive haul.
4-year-old filly Found also deserves a mention. Runner-Up in 5 consecutive Group 1s, she finally got her head in front on the biggest stage of them all, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. She is unlikely to return next season but has already cemented her place in the history books.
If you prefer the Flat to National Hunt, start saving this winter and make your day next day at the races extra special. You can spend your Rewards4Racing points and enjoy some top class flat action from the likes of Newmarket, Epsom Downs, York, Sandown Park & many more in 2017!