Horses to follow during the Flat season
Now the Flat season is well underway, we highlight 5 horses to follow for the remainder of the season below…
TALAAYEB – Talaayeb is a beautifully bred filly. Her dam won a listed race over 9f as a three-year-old before officially finishing 3rd in the Investec Oaks behind the brilliant Snow Fairy. She hails from a family that the owners have had considerable success with, with her dam being a half-sister to 1000 Guineas winner Ghanaati. Talaayeb is directly descended from one of the most influential broodmares of the 20th Century, Height Of Fashion, the dam of Nashwan and Nayef.
Talaayeb made her debut at Newmarket in September, travelling powerful to record a somewhat authoritative success. It was an impressive debut from this daughter of Dansili. It is likely that she heads straight to the QIPCO 1000 Guineas next weekend with just a maiden win to her name, highlighting the regard this filly is held in.
Her task is no easy one against more experienced rivals, but she has the pedigree and uncapped potential to be competitive. A bold showing in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas would set her up nicely towards a tilt at the Investec Oaks.
ALPHA DELPHINI – Alpha Delphini didn’t manage to win his maiden until the August of his four-year-old career but made giant strides in 2016, rising 27lbs in the handicap from a rating of 79 to 106, signing off with a narrow defeat in a Group 3 at Newbury. This 6-year-old is from a family these connections know well and a family that gets better with age, so it will be no surprise to see him improve and reach new heights again during this campaign.
Most notably, Alpha Delphini’s half-brother, Tangerine Trees, improved significantly with age, with his career highlight coming as a six-year-old when he won the Group 1 Prix De L’Abbaye at Longchamp. If Alpha Delphini resumes his progression, it is not implausible to suggest that races such as the Coolmore Nunthorpe at York or the Prix De L’Abbaye at Chantilly will be the ultimate objective for him this season.
CORONET – Early season form is no guarantee to future success but one thing that is apparent is that John Gosden has an embarrassment of riches in his stable – and selecting just one of his three-year-old battalion could prove to be very much wide of the mark!
Nevertheless, Coronet was unbeaten in two starts as a two-year-old and looks the ideal candidate to progress to new heights at three. If her pedigree is any guide, she will have no problem getting at least 1m4f and she looks prime Investec Oaks material. She may even get further than that – her half-brother Midas Touch finished 2nd in the St Leger. Should she fail to quite hit the heights expected over 1m4f, she would be an interesting candidate for staying contests such as the Park Hill Stakes or the St Leger itself.
BARNEY ROY – Barney Roy won a maiden at Haydock last September in decisive fashion and was purchased over the winter by Godolphin. He then won the Greenham Stakes at Newbury last weekend in extremely impressive fashion, despite the 7f trip almost certainly being on a sharp side for him.
It was a taking performance by the son of Excelebration and the QIPCO 2000 Guineas looks tailor made for him. Granted a good showing there, connections’ will be faced with a decision of whether to keep him over a mile or step up in trip to run in races such as the Prince Of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot, the Coral Eclipse or the Irish Champion Stakes. Either way, he looks an exciting prospect and firmly one to follow for the duration of the season.
BRIAN THE SNAIL – Brian The Snail is another horse that was purchased by Godolphin over the winter. He was undefeated in two starts as a two-year-old, with a maiden victory at Pontefract followed by a facile success at Catterick. He reappeared earlier this year in a Pontefract handicap giving in excess of 9lbs to his rivals where he couldn’t have been any more impressive.
He looks a top-class sprinter in the making, with the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot the logical mid-season target. Beyond that, races such as the July Cup at Newmarket, the Haydock Sprint Cup and the Sprint on British Champions Day will no doubt come under consideration for this son of Zebedee. It surely won’t be long until he is plying his trade in group company.
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