Flat Horses to Follow 2019

Doug Campbell’s 50 three-year-old Flat horses to follow for 2020

When Horses to Follow run, they are flagged under Daily Racing Tips http://www.theracinghub.com/category/horse-racing-value-tips/

Al Madhar colt

Trained by Richard Hannon

Not seen since making a winning debut at Newmarket over seven furlongs in July, in a maiden contest that has been boosted many times since, with seven of his beaten rivals going on to break their maiden tags at some stage later in the season. Al Madhar showed batting qualities that day, getting the better of Al Suhail by a neck following a sustained duel inside the final furlong. He is a son of the Aga Khan’s sire Siyouni, who is best known for siring the wonderful, multi Group 1 winning filly Laurens, while his dam Phiz – a daughter of Galileo, was a smart middle distance/stayer for John Gosden a few seasons back, winning a maiden over 1m 5f at Lingfield and was also placed in Listed company over the same C&D. Al Madhar looks open to improvement, and will appreciate a step up in trip to at least ten furlongs, with a try at a mile and a half at some stage looking assured.

William Haggas

Al Qaqaa colt

Trained by William Haggas

Beaten over eleven lengths when fourth of fifteen at Newmarket over seven furlongs on his debut in early October, but showed the benefit of that run when beaten narrowly over a furlong further by Stepney Causeway at Chelmsford the following month. Al Qaqaa may not be one of the stable’s leading lights, but is open to progress during 2020, and strikes me as a winner waiting to happen – particularly when given a stiffer test of stamina. He appeared to act well on the surface at Chelmsford, but could well be equally effective on turf – as the lack of experience is sure to have played a part when beaten at Newmarket. A maiden success should come his way with the minimum of fuss before hopefully moving on to something better.

Al Rufaa colt

Trained by John Gosden

Got off the mark at the second time of asking at York over seven furlongs, beating the Andrew Balding trained Fox Duty Free by a neck. That win came just nine days after his racecourse debut, when four-and-a-quarter lengths fifth of twelve at Lingfield behind David Simcock’s Rovaniemi. Al Rufaa is a son of one of the sires of the moment – the four times Group 1 winning champion three-year-old Kingman, out of the maiden Cape Cross mare Clarmina. He appeared well suited to seven furlongs at two, but should stay a mile this term, however he may need to learn to settle better during his races if he is to have any chance of staying any further. Should win more races.

Angel Power filly

Trained by Roger Varian

Slowly away, but definite promise on her only start at two, when a staying on fourth at Newmarket behind Heiress and Dancin Inthestreet – beaten a total four- and three-quarter lengths. Angel Power started favourite that day, in a Novice event that contained runners from many of the leading yards, and one that is likely to produce a number of future winners. She is a likeable filly, and will stay further than the seven furlongs of the Newmarket race. Success in Maiden company should be a formality, before hopefully moving on to something better. Angel Power is by the popular and well related stallion Lope De Vega who was successful in the French Guineas & Prix Du Jockey Club a decade ago and is the first foal of the unraced Aussie Rules mare – Burning Rules. Looks open to much improvement.

Anjah gelding

Trained by Simon Crisford

Ran with credit on his only start of 2019, when two lengths fourth of thirteen behind King Ragnar at Newcastle, over six furlongs towards the end of November. Anjah was gelded shortly after that run and put away for the winter, and I would imagine he will resume his career in the Spring. His sire Kodiac was a smart performer at six and seven furlongs, and was placed in Group 3 company, and is also closely related to the Haydock Sprint Cup winner Invincible Spirit, while his dam Terhaab’s only success in five starts came in Maiden company over six furlongs at Kempton. Anjah is unlikely to prove anything special on the racecourse, but should however be found suitable opportunities in the right grade over trips in the region of six furlongs. May well develop in to a handicapper for the all-weather tracks.

Richard Fahey

Assayer filly

Trained by Richard Fahey

Looked in need of the experience when making her debut in the third week of November, running five and a half lengths fourth of fourteen behind Fantail over a mile at Chelmsford, I doubt that much was expected of her that day as her starting price was 20/1. It was a respectable effort nonetheless, and improvement will hopefully come about this term as she is stepped up in trip. She’s by Galileo, out of a New Zealand racemare who was successful in Group 2 company over ten furlongs. Assayer should be better suited to middle distances at three, and should be placed to shed her maiden tag before stepping up in to handicap company over the summer months. She has a long way to go to justify her lofty price tag of 400k euro as a foal, but will hopefully prove up to rewarding her followers with a success or two.

Boccaccio colt

Trained by Charlie Appleby

Collected a Novice event over seven furlongs at Yarmouth towards the end of May on his racecourse debut, looking a youngster to follow throughout the season. However, he was then off the track for six months before returning to record another win over the trip, this time on the Polytrack at Kempton – readily accounting for Ed Walker’s Juan Les Pins by a shade over three lengths. He stayed on strongly that day, indicating that he should get further during his three-year-old campaign. Those two successes earned Boccaccio an official rating of 95, already marking him down as a pretty decent performer. He appears open to further progress, and should at some stage this season prove up to contesting Pattern Class races. Boccaccio is a likeable son of Dubawi, out of the Footstepsinthesand mare J Wonder who was successful in Group 3 for Brian Meehan back in 2014.

Born With Pride filly

Trained by William Haggas

Surprised many people, including in all likelihood her trainer when taking a Listed contest over seven furlongs on her only outing last term early in November. Born With Pride started the complete outsider in a field of seven, rewarding those that had the confidence to back her with a battling success at 20/1, holding on after leading for much of the race to get the better of the Aiden O’Brien trained Peaceful by a neck. That win came on going officially described as Heavy, which brought her stamina in to play, and she is sure to get further at three. Born With Pride is a half-sister to Raheen House (by Sea The Stars) who was also trained by Haggas, and also to Shraaoh who took the Group 1 Sydney Cup over two miles for Chris Waller in April of 2019 – having been a mid-90’s rated handicapper for Sir Michael Stoute a couple of years earlier. Potentially a very nice filly in the making over middle distances.

Brentford Hope colt

Trained by Richard Hughes

Took a Newmarket Maiden over ten furlongs in good style towards the backend of October on his only outing to date, despite showing clear signs of inexperience. Held up, he made headway approaching the three-furlong pole, and led on the bit with a furlong to run – before quickening away to comfortably account for Princess Bride by five lengths. It was a good education, and a ride perfectly executed by Jamie Spencer, with hopefully plenty more to come. Brentford Hope is a son of Camelot, and will have no trouble staying at least another couple of furlongs. He holds an early entry in the Irish Derby, but will need to step up significantly if he was to take up that entry. However, there is lots to look forward to for his trainer Richard Hughes and owners Bernardine & Sean Mulryan, and he is already looking a fair purchase at 130k euro from the Arqana Breeze up sales in May.

Business colt – unraced at two

Trained by John Quinn

The Phoenix Thoroughbred organization have been known to splash the cash over the last few years, and have made a number of seven figure purchases. Business – however, is not one of them, costing a more modest 180k euro at yearling sales in Deauville back in August of 2018. He is by Siyouni, out of the Kingmambo mare Mambo Mistress – who to date has produced five winning offspring, best of whom is the French Listed winner Mambomiss (by Mastercraftsman). I would imagine that Business would start off at trips in the region of a mile, and should stay a couple of furlongs further as he gains experience. He is in good hands and will should be placed to win his maiden, before hopefully moving on to something better.

John Gosden

Celestran colt

Trained by John Gosden

Made a pleasing enough debut at the start of November, despite showing signs of greenness, when finishing third of ten behind Louganini over seven furlongs at Newmarket – beaten around three and a half lengths in total. Just a couple of weeks later, Celestran shed his maiden tag when getting off the mark over nine and a half furlongs at Wolverhampton when beating the Hughie Morrison trained Kipps by half a length, with another half back to William Haggas’s Favourite Moon. Kipps boosted the form next time out when successful at Lingfield, as too did the fourth placed home Pride Of America for Harry Dunlop when winning over the extended mile back at Wolverhampton late in December, so we know the race at least carries some substance. Celestran is unlikely to be a headline maker for the powerful Gosden stable during 2020, but is open to further progress and is sure to be place to the best of his ability, and will hopefully prove his worth for followers of this list.

Cosmic Princess filly

Trained by Hughie Morrison

Caught the eye on her only outing of 2019, when finishing well to be sixth – despite being switched inside the final furlong, when beaten under four lengths behind Jaariyah at Kempton in late October. She started at 33/1 that day, so one can assume that little was expected of her chance, however I’m sure that she went into a few notebooks as a horse to follow for 2020. Cosmic Princess is a daughter of Kingman, from a dam that produced the smart Oaklahoma City trained by Aiden O’Brien a few years back, and another winning offspring – the fairly ordinary Cogital. I’ll be amazed if Cosmic Princess doesn’t win her Maiden, sooner rather than later before going on to something better. She will be well suited to a mile in the first half of the season, and is worth a try at slightly further as she gains experience. One to look out for.

Copper Point colt – unraced at two

Trained by John Gosden

A 375,000 guineas yearling at the October Book 1 sales of 2018, and half-brother to the talented Group 2 winner Eminent. Sire Fastnet Rock was a Champion sprinter in Australia, and has thrown quality performers such as Group 1 winners Fascinating Rock – Merchant Navy – Awesome Rock (Aus) – Comin’ Through (Aus) and One Master to name just a few, along with many more Stakes winners around the world. I would think that Copper Point will start his career over a mile or so, and if anyone can find a race for him – I would think Gosden could. At this stage it is impossible to predict what level he will reach, but it will be disappointing if winning opportunities cannot be found.

Custodian colt

Trained by Richard Fahey

First foal of the Elnadim mare Zuhoor Baynoona (also trained by Fahey) and from the first crop of the four times Group 1 winner Muhaarar, so boasts a pedigree all about speed. Custodian got off the mark at the second time of asking when taking a Novices event at Pontefract in August in fair style by three lengths from the Karl Burke trained Ainsdale (who went on to win three times later in the season – improving to a mark of 98), that followed a debut at Ayr that was not without promise in a race that also produced a couple of future winners. I’m not certain why Custodian didn’t race after August, but he remains open to further improvement during his second season, with distances of around six furlongs always likely to prove ideal. He may well be one for a handicap campaign in the North at that trip.

Dauntless gelding – unraced at two

Trained by John Gosden

Dauntless is the fourth foal of her Majesty’s Montjeu mare Enticement, with her three previous offspring each winning at least twice. The full brother Diploma being the best, winning in Listed company at York at three, while Elector (by Dansili) was a mid-90’s rated handicapper and Pick Your Choice (by Elusive Quality) managed to reach a rating of 91 after just five races. Interesting to note that Dauntless has already been gelded, but if there is ability there then there is no better man to develop it than John Gosden. Pedigree suggests that trip in the range of ten furlongs should prove ideal, and he maybe worth a try at a mile and a half at some stage – although for obvious reasons he will not be able to take up that long-range entry in the Epsom Derby.

Domino Darling filly

Trained by William Haggas

Collected a late October Doncaster Maiden over a mile under testing conditions, by a neck from the Roger Varian trained Gold Wand, giving the Epsom Derby winner of 2015 Golden Horn a 1-2. It’s very early days in Golden Horn’s stud career, but there are some positives signs, and his stock are likely to be improvers in their second season. That certainly should be the case with Domino Darling who showed some nice qualities at Doncaster, and strikes me as a middle distance filly in the making – with ten furlongs being the absolute minimum of her requirements at three, and even though she went well on the rain softened ground there’s no suggestions at this stage that she will be ground dependent. I would imagine she will be tested in one of the trials races for the Epsom Oaks, whether she proves good enough only time will tell, however I have little doubt that she will progress enough to make her mark in pattern company. Potentially a very nice filly.

Do You Love Me filly – unraced at two

Trained by Karl Burke

Another unraced Phoenix Thoroughbred owned horse to be included in the fifty, but while the colt Business cost just 180k euro – this beautifully bred filly cost a whopping 3.2m euro back in October 2018 at the Goffs Orby Yearling Sales. By Gaileo, out of the Theatrical mare Green Room, making her a full sister to the Epsom Oaks winner Forever Together and also the Group 1 winning miler Together Forever, and a half-sister to five other individual winners – including the Group 1 winner Lord Shanakill which was also trained by Burke. As you can see Do You Love Me has plenty to live up to on pedigree, and while it is impossible to predict how good she will on the racetrack – it will be fascinating to see if she can manage to get some black type to enhance that lofty purchase price. One to watch out for with great interest.

Eastern Sheriff colt

Trained by Hugo Palmer

A full brother to the 2016 St Leger winner Harbour Law – who was also placed in the following season’s Ascot Gold Cup. Easter Sheriff won his only start of 2019 when taking a mile event for Novices at Kempton in late November, looking every inch a middle distance / stayer of the future. Settling well in midfield, he was switched right to challenge approaching the final furlong and stayed on in good fashion to pull two lengths clear of Hurricane Alex, with the odds on favourite Cranberry a further head back in third place. Easter Sheriff is also a half-brother to a couple of other winners over a mile, but given the achievements of Harbor Law I would imagine improvement will be forthcoming when faced with a stiffer test of stamina. Sure to be placed to the best of his ability.

Eastern World colt

Trained by Charlie Appleby

A half-brother to five winners, including the three times Group/Grade 1 winning Thunder Snow (2 x Dubai World Cup), Group 2 winning filly Ihtimal and Group 3 winning two-year-old First Victory. Eastern World only made his racecourse debut very late in 2018, in the second week of December – looking and racing as if the experience would do him good, but showing enough nonetheless to suggest that there will be races to be won with him. Racing over a mile at Kempton, he tracked the leaders before making an effort with just over a furlong to run and stayed on to grab second close home, beaten three quarters of a length by the Hughie Morrison trained Starcat with a head further back to Kuramata in third, and a yawning gap of five lengths and more back to the rest. Eastern World looks the type to improve at three, and is likely to be best served by trips in the region of a mile and a quarter.

Elmetto filly

Trained by Hughie Morrison

Beaten by the minimum margin on her only outing of last year, losing out to the James Fanshawe trained Penpal over seven furlongs at Kempton, following a sustained battle inside the final furlong, with only a half-length back to the third placed Must Be An Angel. It was a fair effort considering she had taken a keen hold, and will hopefully progress with racing during 2020. Elmetto is a half-sister to three winners, over trips ranging from six furlongs to a mile, and that is the range which should suit her. Success in Maiden / Novice company will hopefully come before too long, and by the second half of the season Elmetto should be taking in handicaps. Looks to have the ability to reward connections and followers over the months ahead.

Emissary colt

Trained by Hugo Palmer

Emissary is by Kingman, from the Sadler’s Wells mare Soviet Moon – whose best offspring to date (by some way) is the 2010 Epsom Derby winner Workforce. He also has a full sister, the lightly raced Strelka – winner of a Novices event at Kempton over a mile and a half from four starts for Ralph Beckett. Emissary was successful on his only outing last term, when taking a nine and a half furlongs contest at Wolverhampton in the second week of October. The form of the race doesn’t appear anything out of the ordinary, but there was much to like about the manner of the win, and he looked to have more in hand than the two-and-a-quarter length winning margin suggested. Emissary looks open to improvement over middle distances at three, and should be equally at home on turf or an artificial surface. It will be disappointing if this nicely bred colt cannot add to his winning tally.

Andrew Balding

Fox Duty Free colt

Trained by Andrew Balding

Disappointed at York in August, when well fancied for a valuable Maiden, finishing only tenth of fourteen behind Molatham – which may possibly be down to the pretty quick underfoot conditions. That run was sandwiched between two very respectable efforts, firstly on his racecourse debut when finishing a close third over six furlongs at Newbury behind Owney Madden, and then back at York in October when runner up to Al Rafaa – beaten by just a neck. On both those occasions there was some give in the going, with his most recent outing coming on ground officially described as soft. Fox Duty Free will start the new season on a mark of 79 , which to me looks a workable one. He should find success in maiden company fair easy to come by, should connections choose to go down that route, but may well be pitched in to handicaps straight away in 2020 – where opportunities should arise at trips in the region of a mile.

First Receiver colt

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute

A Royal bred colt by the Epsom Derby winner of 2008 New Approach, out of Her Majesty’s mare Touchline who was twice placed in Listed company over seven furlongs and a mile. First Receiver had two outings as a juvenile, and ran well in both. He finished third on his debut at Newmarket in July over seven furlongs behind Al Madhar in a race that the form has been franked since on a number of occasions. While on his second run – some four months later, he was beaten just half a length at Kempton over a mile by the Godolphin runner First View, who was following up a win at the track the previous month. I would imagine First Receiver would start his season off over a mile in Maiden or Novice company, but may well make up into a nice handicapper over ten furlongs with a bit more experience behind him. He has the added bonus of acting on both turf and an artificial surface.

Golden Pass filly

Trained by Hugo Palmer

Ran a respectable first effort when third of nine at Newmarket over a mile in September – beaten under four lengths, despite looking in need of the run, she may even have finished closer but for failing to gain the clearest of passages with a couple of furlongs to run. It looked a pretty decent contest, with the winner Queen Daenerys – trained by Roger Varian, now rated as high as 102, and the runner up a solid looking 93. Golden Pass can only improve for a step up in trip, and being by Golden Horn I would imagine she will require a minimum test of a mile and a quarter during her second season, and a mile and a half should be within her grasp. Her dam is the Raven’s Pass mare Lovely Pass, who was successful in the 2013 running of the UAE 1000 Guineas, and has a half-brother to Golden Pass by New Approach who was also a winner for Palmer. Golden Pass looks a surefire winner this term, and will hopefully progress into becoming a smart performer herself.

Heiress filly

Trained by John Gosden

Became the eighth winning offspring of the Epsom Oaks winner of 2000 – Love Divine, when taking a seven furlongs contest for Novices at Newmarket in early November. Racing prominently, she only had to be shaken up approaching the final furlong and quickened away to win by three and a half lengths, beating the William Haggas trained Dancin Inthestreet – with a further length and a quarter back to the Roger Varian trained Angel Power in third. The form has received a couple of boosts since, with the runner up winning at Lingfield three weeks later, and the eighth placed filly home Exhibit also shedding her maiden tag on her next outing. Heiress is bred to be suited to middle distances, her half-brother Sixties Icon (by Galileo) even had the stamina to win the St Leger in 2006 when the race was ran at York. That said she didn’t look entirely short of pace, a trait that may well have been passed on by her sire Kingman. Heiress looks a potentially smart filly and I await her return with great interest.

High Accolade colt

Trained by James Tate

A very cheap yearling a just 4k euro, with that price rising to 42,000 GNS just eight months later at the Tattersalls Guineas Breeze Up Sales last Spring. High Accolade repaid connections faith on his only outing at two, when collecting a seven furlongs Maiden at Newcastle in October beating the experienced Saint Of Katowice by half a length. It wasn’t a bad first effort at all, with the runner up already rated in the high 70’s. There should be more to come from High Accolade, and he is worth a try at a mile at some stage, although the son of Outstrip – whose first crop were 2yo’s in 2019 – is a half-brother to a five times winning sprinter and it wouldn’t be the biggest of surprises if a strongly run six furlongs was suitable to his needs. He’s no world beater in the making but should be up to winning in handicap company over the course of the season.

Higher Kingdom colt

Trained by Archie Watson

A once raced son of Kingman, who must have been expected to run well on his racecourse debut judging by the betting. Starting a well backed 8/11 favourite he didn’t disappoint his supporters, always travelling well and quickening clear inside the final furlong of a seven furlongs Novices event at Kempton in October – beating the William Haggas trained Star Of Wells by a comfortable looking four lengths. He looks open to improvement at three, and may well be much better than the bare form of the race. Higher Kingdom is a half-brother to four individual winners, including a couple of Listed winners in France, and it would be nice to think that he could progress to that sort of level with a bit more experience behind him. Distances of around a mile should suit, and it will be a major disappointment if he cannot add to his winning tally over the coming months.

Highest Ground colt

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute

Highest Ground comes from a successful distaff line of the Niarchos breeding operation, and the son of Frankel is a half-brother to six winners from the Sunday Silence mare Celestial Lagoon, including a brace of pattern class winners in France and also to Roatan who was successful on ten occasions for Pascal Bary up to 2012. Highest Ground is likely to have went into a few notebooks when winning on his only start at two over seven furlongs at Leicester in September, and Stoute – not being one to rush his juveniles, put him away rather than giving him an Autumn campaign. Progress at three looks almost assured, and will need to be forthcoming if he is to take up any of his long-range big race entries of the Irish Guineas or either of the Derbies. I would imagine he will start his season off over a mile and then step up in distance, and hopefully he will reward connections and followers over the course of 2020.

Jaariyah filly

Trained by Roger Varian

Travelled well, and quickened a furlong out under a hands and heels ride to take a seven furlongs Novices contest at Kempton in late October. It may not be the strongest of form, but it was a likeable debut and the third placed home – the John Gosden trained Shimmering franked the form when winning at Lingfield three weeks later. Jaariyah will stay further, and should be suited to trips of around ten furlongs at three. She appeared to act well on the Polytrack at Kempton, but should be equally well suited to turf – her dam won three from eight races on grass, which will hopefully give her trainer more options. With a bit more experience behind her Jaariyah should be up to winning more races, most likely in handicaps.

Kumasi colt

Trained by David O’Meara

Will start the year on a mark of 75, following three outings last season, best of which was the middle one when a half-length runner up to Aberffraw at Newcastle. All three starts came over seven furlongs, but Kumasi struck me as the type that may appreciate slightly further. He is a half-brother to the smart Lake Volta (by Raven’s Pass) who was successful in Listed company at three, and while Kumasi is unlikely to match that achievement – he should prove up to winning a handicap in the North. It was interesting to note that Kumasi was withdrawn from an intended start on going officially described as Good to Soft (stated as unsuitable), however that official rating could be a workable mark under suitable conditions on turf and we already know that he acts on the artificial Tapeta surface.

Leafhopper filly

Trained by John Gosden

Leafhopper was a 480,000 GNS purchase at the October book 1 sales of 2018, and went a very small way to repaying some of that amount when taking home the £5175 first prize for winning a Newmarket Maiden on her only outing of 2019. That was over seven furlongs, and she narrowly got the better of another Godolphin owned filly – Thread Of Silver by a head in a driving finish. Leafhopper has three full siblings, the best of whom is the Group 2 and Listed winner – Birchwood, trained by Richard Fahey, with Desert Frost and Jazirat (both race winners themselves) being the other pair. Leafhopper will hopefully progress and win more races at three, and is likely to prove best at around the seven furlongs trip, although Gosden may be tempted to try her at a mile at some stage – but it must be pointed out that none of her three siblings appeared to be suited by a mile, Birchwood himself was beaten a long way on his only try at the distance.

Naizagai colt

Trained by Roger Varian

Consistent form in three starts at two without getting his head in front, twice finishing in the frame on testing ground at York and Newmarket in the Autumn, before a half-length defeat by Transition at Lingfield towards the end of November. Those three outings have earned Naizagai an official rating of 80, and one would imagine he will start his campaign in handicaps. His dam was an unraced mare by Galileo, and bred to be suited to middle distances, while his sire Dark Angel only raced at two and can certainly pass on pace to his offspring. Naizagai stayed the mile well at Lingfield, and may even get further with a bit more experience behind him. One thing is for sure is that he has already shown enough ability to remain winless for too long.

Notforalongtime colt

Trained by Clive Cox

Only saw a racecourse for the first time with a couple of days of November remaining, but immediately hinted that there would be races to be won with him, when finishing fourth of fourteen at Chelmsford over six furlongs. Connections didn’t have to wait too long either, just fifteen days in fact – back at Chelmsford but over a furlong further, he comfortably got the better of Eevilynn Drew by a shade over three lengths, and Notforalongtime followed up that win in the first week of January – again over seven furlongs, but this time at Kempton beating the Roger Charlton trained Makram by a length and a quarter. I’d imagine that he may have a little rest now and return to action in the Spring, but I don’t think his improvement has stopped just yet. He gave the impression that a mile should be within his compass, and there’s no reason at this stage to suggest that he will be solely an all-weather performer. There looks to be more to come and Notforalongtime can add to his winning tally.

One Idea colt

Trained by Simon Crisford

A nicely bred son of the high-class miler and super sire Dubawi, out of the Group 3 placed mare Rose Diamond – herself a daughter of the seven times Group/Grade 1 winner Daylami & Hadock Sprint Cup winning mare Tante Rose. One Idea had just the sole outing at two, when beaten a shade under four lengths in third place behind Boccaccio and Juan Les Pins over seven furlongs at Kempton in late November. It wasn’t a bad first effort, particularly as he had taken a keen hold in the early stages and the winner looks a potential Pattern Class performer in the making. One Idea will stay at least a mile, and will be placed to the best of his ability, with handicaps possible be the order of the day as he gains some valuable experience.

Postileo colt – unraced at two

Trained by Roger Varian

A half million guineas purchase as a yearling back in the autumn of 2018, Postileo didn’t make it to the racecourse last season. He is a son of Galileo, out of the Indian Ridge mare Posterity – who has produced four winning offspring to date, best of whom is Future Generation who was successful in the Group 3 Desmond Stakes for Ger Lyons back in 2011 – before going on herself to produce the ill-fated Group 2 winner Brundtland. Postileo’s full brother – the lightly raced Oscar’s Ridge was a maiden winner over ten furlongs for John Gosden and achieved an official rating of 91 after three starts. I would imagine Postileo will start off over a mile and a quarter or thereabouts, and may well stay an extra couple of furlongs. Sure to be found suitable opportunities to have his talent nurtured.

Rideson filly

Trained by Roger Varian

Out of a mare that was placed in a Turkish Group 3 for Roger Varian, and sired by one of the best middle-distance performers of recent years in the shape of the four times Group 1 winner (Epsom Derby – Eclipse – Irish Champion Stakes & Arc) Golden Horn. Rideson has posted three fair placed efforts in Novice company in as many starts so far without getting her head in front, twice over a mile following a neck defeat on her debut over seven furlongs in the first week of October. Her most recent being just a couple of days into 2020, when touched off by half a length by the Charlie Appleby trained Al Maysan. All three runs have come on the Polytrack at Chelmsford, but it’s much too early to suggest that she is solely an all-weather performer, that experience has earned her an opening rating of 78 which looks fair and quite possibly workable. She gave me the impression that a mile and a quarter will pose no problems whatsoever, and would have a good chance of staying twelve furlongs. Will be somewhat surprised if she is not rated higher than 78 some stage in the future.

Hughie Morrison

Royal Astronomer gelding

Trained by Hughie Morrison

Showed little on his first two starts over a mile at Kempton, appearing a bit immature and somewhat short of pace. However, there was clear improvement on his final outing when upped to nine and a half furlongs at Wolverhampton in mid-December, finishing a one and a quarter lengths runner up to the Richard Hughes trained Punting. Royal Astronomer was gelded shortly after that run, and will start 2020 from an opening handicap mark of 76, but could well be open to further progress for a stiffer test of stamina. He essentially looks a middle distance/staying sort, and should be found suitable opportunities from his more than capable trainer. His half-brother Regal Monarch (by Notnowcato) was a similar type, showing improvement at three over 1m4f to 1m 6f for Mark Johnston a few years back, winning four times and also placed four further times from eight races – jumping from a mark of 63 to one of 91. Royal Astronomer is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Royal Crusade colt

Trained by Charlie Appleby

Already boasts a pretty decent standard of form in three outings over seven furlongs from his two-year-old days. Having won a Novices event at Newmarket on his debut, Royal Crusade was then pitched straight into Group 2 company in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, and equipped himself very well in running Threat to a neck in a driving finish, with three quarters of a length back to the smart Juan Elcano back in third. On his final start he found only his stablemate King’s Command three and a half lengths too good in a Group 3 in France, however that race was run on a very testing surface – to which he may not have been entirely suited. Royal Crusade will stay a mile at three, and will be worth a try at ten furlongs at some stage. He should be placed to win in pattern company, but at this stage rates some way off the very best. A very likeable individual nonetheless.

Snow Shower filly

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute

Snow Shower is the fifth winning offspring from as many runners for the unraced Galileo mare Solar Pursuit, and sired by the popular and very successful French Guineas and Derby winner Lope De Vega who has been responsible for many a good horse – including last year’s Irish 2000 Guineas winner Phoenix Of Spain, multiple Australian Group 1 winners Santa Ana Lane & Vega Magic, 2014 Dewhurst Stakes winner Belardo and the Roger Varian trained Prix D’Ispahan winner Zabeel Prince to name just a few. Snow Shower collected a Salisbury Maiden in the first week of September over seven furlongs, by a length and a half from Alash Orda on her only outing at two, it didn’t appear the strongest of races – with only the sixth placed home Tadreej going on to win a race before the season was through from her eleven beaten rivals. In fairness though Snow Shower won with more in hand than the official winning distance suggested and could well make up in to a nice three-year-old. She is bred to appreciate ten furlongs, and progress should be a formality when asked to tackle that trip.

Sir Michael Stoute

Satono Japan colt

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute

Likely to have gone into many notebooks as a highly promising prospect for 2020, following his eye-catching win over seven furlongs at Kempton in October on his only outing of his two-year-old season. He was always travelling nicely and quickened up in the style of a nice horse entering the final furlong, and won with more in hand than the three quarters of a length winning margin from Raatea suggested, with a shade under two lengths back to the William Haggas trained Fruition (a winner next time out) in third place. Satono Japan is by the Japanese super sire Deep Impact, who was sadly put to sleep last summer at the age of seventeen following complications of a spine fracture – his passing will prove a huge loss to the breeding industry worldwide in the coming years, his dam is Dubawi Heights – a two time Grade 1 winner in the States whose best offspring to date is the Grade 2 winning Japanese trained filly Liberty Heights. So, as you can see Satono Japan has much to live up to on pedigree. He will stay ten furlongs as he gains experience, and is an exciting colt – with his return to action eagerly awaited.

Sir Dandy gelding

Trained by Lucy Wadham

Doesn’t appear the most obvious of candidates for a horses to follow list at first glance, having failed to beat a horse home in two outings as a juvenile, finishing twenty five lengths last of fourteen on his debut at Kempton over a mile – looking immature and running green, bordering on clueless at times. Sir Dandy didn’t perform any better just over three weeks later with just a couple of days of November remaining, again over a mile but on this occasion at Lingfield – finishing some twenty-seven lengths behind the winner Transition, looking slow but not as green maybe as the first effort. It could be that Sir Dandy lacks the ability to win races, however given his pedigree (by Sir Percy out of  Cartoon – by Danhehill Dancer) – he’s a full brother to Group 2 winning filly Lady Tiana from a few years back, and also to the Listed winning middle distance performer Blakeney Point – but for the time being I’m not prepared to pass judgement. A mile is clearly an inadequate trip for Sir Dandy, and if he is to get his head in front then it would likely to be over a half mile further or thereabouts, and maybe on turf with some give in the going – as his siblings were suited to. He is very much a dark one at the time of writing but hopefully he will prove his worth over the months ahead.

Thumur colt

Trained by Owen Burrows

Another son of Golden Horn to make the list, and one that looks open to better during his second season. Thumur had just the one run at two, finishing third of thirteen behind Ya Hayati – beaten just under four lengths, over a mile at Kempton in late October, staying on well in the latter stages without ever looking a threat. He may well have finished a little closer, had he not been short of room with around a quarter of a mile to go – but third looked a fair finishing position. It Is interesting to note that Thumur underwent wind correction surgery back in the Summer before making it to the track, and it appears that he has been given time to overcome that. Improvement will hopefully forthcoming over middle distances, and I will be disappointed if he doesn’t shed his maiden tag before moving up in grade.

Tiempo Vuela filly

Trained by John Gosden

Put up a very likeable performance on her only start last term, when taking a Novices Stakes over the straight mile at Newcastle in October, travelling well throughout and quickening away inside the final furlong to pull three lengths clear of the Mark Johnston trained Tulip Fields – despite drifting left in the latter stages. It rates as fairly smart form, as the runner up already had a rating of 81 and Tiempo Vuela appeared far superior. She is bred to be suited to middle distances at three, being by Lope De Vega out of a mare that won over 1m 5f. She strikes me as a smashing filly to take into the new season, and can only improve as she gains experience. I’d imagine her trainer will test her in one of the trials in the Spring, to gauge if she is good enough to contest some of the better races, and I would like to think she can make up into a pattern race filly. It’s a long way off, but at the start of 2020 Tiempo Vuela is available at a top price of 50/1 for the Epsom Oaks… and there are many worse 50/1 shots on offer than her.

Top Secret gelding

Trained by Clive Cox

Showed some promise in two outings over an inadequate looking seven furlongs at Lingfield in December, finishing a shade over four lengths behind Harrison on his debut, and improving a place on his second start but this time beaten six-and-a-quarter-lengths behind the Simon Crisford trained Corvair towards the end of the month. The form is nothing special, but the signs are there that he can win a race or two in the right grade, when faced with a stiffer test of stamina. His half-brother Secret Weapon won a Maiden over six furlongs for William Muir back in 2013, but three years later when trained in Hong Kong had progressed to win in Group 2 company over ten furlongs. A mile and a quarter should be in the range for Top Secret, and he has the ability to succeed in Maiden / Novice company before a campaign in Handicaps beckon.

Trigger Happy gelding

Trained by Richard Spencer

Ran well on his only start last year when a length and a quarter runner up to the Jamie Osbourne trained Forus, over seven furlongs at Chelmsford in a Novices Auction Stakes, despite showing signs of greenness. The form is nothing to write home about, but there was enough to suggest from the performance that with a couple more races behind him he should be winning within similar company, and with a little improvement may well pick up a handicap or two. He gave the impression that he may stay a mile (I would have doubts at this stage about any further), however there is no guarantee on pedigree – as both his sire and dam were essentially sprinters. He is by the high class Gutaifan – who raced only as a juvenile, but was good enough to win both the Prix Robert Papin and Flying Childers Stakes at Group 2 level, while his dam was a fair but limited handicapper rated in the mid 70’s. It was noted that Trigger Happy was gelded over the winter and is likely to be given time to recover from the ‘unkindest cut ‘, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for him in the right grade.

Verboten colt

Trained by John Gosden

Ran disappointingly when only seventh in the rearranged Group 1 Vertem Futurity Stakes at Newcastle on the second of just two outings last term, beaten around eleven-and-three-quarter lengths behind Kameko. Verboten had been supported in from an early morning best price of 25/1 (and an opening 14/1 on track) to an SP of just 8/1 – on the back of a promising win in a Novices contest at Yarmouth over seven furlongs in the Summer. I am more than prepared to forgive the Newcastle run, as it came following a break of 107 days since his debut, and in fairness looking back it was a huge step up in class to face genuine Group level performers for one so inexperienced. Verboten remains a horse of great potential and will hopefully prove up to winning in pattern company himself in 2020. It will be interesting to see what proves to be his optimum trip, his half-brother Istanbul Sultan (by Zoffany) stays a mile and a quarter – but being by the very speedy No Nay Never he may well be best served by shorter distances.

Wand filly

Trained by Lucy Wadham

Wand is the third offspring of the unraced Nayef mare Ape Attack, all three being sired by Camelot. Her two siblings have only proved fairly ordinary on the racetrack, with Arendelle providing the sole visit to the winner’s enclosure over a mile back in 2018. Wand had the two outings last year, both over a mile and looked a little short of pace. However, there was some encouragement to be taken from the second of them, after taking a keen hold in the early stages she stayed on at the one pace under hands and heels to finish six lengths sixth of ten behind Merryweather. Both her starts came on the artificial surfaces of Kempton and Lingfield, and I feel she is worth a try on turf – but most importantly a step up in trip is what she appears to require. Wand will hopefully prove up to winning a small race or two, possibly at around a mile and a half and is worth keeping an eye out for when faced with the task. Being from a small yard with little form to date it may even be at rewarding odds.

Whatabird filly

Trained by Richard Fahey

Clearly appreciates testing conditions judged on her two runs in 2019. On her debut in the first week of September Whatabird indicated that there should be races to be won with her, when finishing a one length second to Brookside Banner over six furlongs on going officially described as Soft, staying on well from the rear without ever looking likely to catch the winner. Three weeks later, back over the same C&D but this time on heacy ground, he beat Tom Dascombe’s Quick Recap by a short head. Whatabird is by Gleneagles, out of Coolmore’s mare Inkling who won her only racecourse appearance at two, and is a half-sister to three other winners. She won’t be making any headlines this year, but should be up to adding to her tally in handicap company, and maybe worth a try at slightly further.

With Thanks filly

Trained by William Haggas

Only needed to be pushed out to get the better of Waliyak by three quarters of a length on Heavy going over seven furlongs at Newmarket in early November, it wasn’t a bad performance given that the filly had pulled hard in the early stages, it also highlighted the talents of young Cieren Fallon who by the end of 2019 had already ridden a total of 66 winners. There should be more to come from With Thanks who fetched 100k euro at the Tatts Goresbridge Breeze Up Sales last Spring, having failed to sell at just 5000 as a yearling. Her sire Camacho can often prove an influence for speed, and it would be interesting to see how the filly fared over a fast run six furlongs- that said, her win on a testing surface over seven will surely tempt her trainer to test her over a mile also. There’s no reason to suggest at this stage that With Thanks won’t be equally at home on a sounder surface, and she can be placed to the best of her ability by Haggas over the course of the season.

White Moonlight filly

Trained by Saeed Bin Suroor

Unbeaten in two starts as a juvenile, over seven furlongs on the Polytrack at Kempton in September, when narrowly getting the better of Breath Of Joy by a short head, before following up a month later at Newmarket over a mile when putting up an improved showing to take a Novices contest by three and three quarter lengths and upwards from the Brian Meehan trained outsider Arthurian Fable. White Moonlight is by the top-class American dirt performer Medaglia d’Oro, out of a daughter of Dubawi who herself was successful in a German Group 3 over 1m 3f, and has produced another filly that was successful over a mile and a half – albeit in modest company. White Moonlight should be suited to trips of around ten to twelve furlongs this season, and should continue to go the right way. She starts the year on an official rating of 92 and it would be nice to think that she should progress well enough to earn some black type.

© Doug Campbell and The Racing Hub 2020