HORSES TO FOLLOW: 25 unexposed two-year-olds to put in your notebook for next season
Now that the Breeders’ Cup and the Melbourne Cup are out of the way, racing can focus full beam on the Jumps season.
But before we wave farewell to the Flat, let’s put into winter storage an A-Z list of two-year-olds to follow when the action resumes next spring.
I have selected 25 juveniles from the UK and Ireland, all unexposed in that they have yet to tackle Group action. Providing they remain fit and healthy, I am sure they will pay their way in 2015.
ALFAJER (Marco Botti)
Progressive daughter of Mount Nelson who could be the 2015 flagship filly for one of the most under-rated trainers in the country. Franked debut promise with a sparkling win next time.
BEAUTIFUL ROMANCE (Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor)
Runaway winner of her sole start at Nottingham in October. A daughter of New Approach, she boasts a stout pedigree, so could develop into an Oaks filly.
CHRISTOPHERMARLOWE (John Gosden)
Possibly significant that this expensive Michael Tabor-owned colt was sent to Epsom to back up his maiden win. Handled the track well, and could return there next June.
CONSORT (Sir Michael Stoute)
A rare, but impressive, first-time-out winner for the trainer -- in a red-hot race at Newmarket that is working out very well. A son of fast-emerging sire Lope De Vega, he is entered in the Derby.
CONVEY (Sir Michael Stoute)
An odds-on favourite for an explosive debut-victory on Kempton’s Polytrack. Superbly-bred, he showed speed and power and is considered an exciting prospect by the Khalid Abdullah operation.
EASTER (Aidan O’Brien)
Big, scopy filly who improved markedly to produce a lovely, front-running performance at Leopardstown last month that had jockey Joseph O’Brien purring and talking of the Oaks.
ENDLESS DRAMA (Ger Lyons)
Travelled like a dream before bursting clear to demolish his rivals in a maiden at Naas. A modest race yes, but a potential star who will take in a Guineas trial next spring.
FLAMING SPEAR (Kevin Ryan)
Unlucky to pick up an injury after a winning debut at York in July. But still regarded by owners Qatar Racing as a colt of considerable potential at three, with the 2,000 Guineas his first target.
GIOVANNI CANALETTO (Aidan O’Brien)
A full brother to 2013 Derby winner Ruler Of The World who is rated one of the best young colts at Ballydoyle. Quickened up to land his maiden, despite glaring greenness.
GOLDEN HORN (John Gosden)
Unleashed an extraordinary turn of foot to collar a warm favourite on his Nottingham debut, even though he’d initially missed the kick. Group prizes are almost guaranteed.
HATHAL (William Haggas)
Expensive colt who showed immense promise when second on his only start so far in a red-hot race at Newmarket that is working out very well. Banker to progress into Pattern company.
LADY CORRESPONDENT (John Gosden)
US-bred filly who produced a sustained turn of foot to land a decent maiden at Newmarket’s Cambridgeshire meeting. The runner-up has since won impressively.
LAP OF LUXURY (John Gosden)
Well-bred daughter of Galileo who upset an odds-on favourite, and solid form yardstick, when winning on her first start at Haydock. Needs to strengthen up in the winter, but could be anything.
LIKELY (David Barron)
Missed most of the season because of injury, but few fillies made a bigger impression on debut, the form of which has since been franked in Group company. Potentially top class.
NIMBLE FOOT (David Wachman)
An unconsidered outsider, she made a mockery of her 25/1 SP by finishing with great gusto on debut behind two highly-rated Aidan O’Brien colts. She’ll never be that price again.
OOTY HILL (Roger Charlton)
One of several promising juveniles to emerge from the Beckhampton House yard, this grey son of crack sire Dubawi is one to monitor over middle distances next term.
PARISH BOY (Jim Bolger)
Overcame a long absence and an exaggerated hold-up ride to win a Listed event last month, leaving the shrewd trainer to believe he has a Classic contender on his hands.
PURPLE ROCK (Charles Hills)
Yet to be talked up in the yard, but I was impressed by the way he put his maiden to bed at Redcar to follow up a promising debut performance. Related to a Guineas winner.
SIR ISAAC NEWTON (Aidan O’Brien)
Admittedly not an original choice, but certainly a talented one on the evidence of his debut effort, even though he was a beaten odds-on favourite. Massive improvement expected.
SPANISH SQUEEZE (Hugo Palmer)
Yet another product of that excellent Newmarket maiden won by Consort. This colt followed up in style at Kempton three weeks later, and will land more races if not too highly tried.
SYMPATHY (Sir Michael Stoute)
Backed as if she was the only filly in the race when winning at Leicester -- and we duly found out why as she stretched clear. Held in the highest regard by the maestro of Freemason Lodge.
TWILIGHT SON (Henry Candy)
He’s no Limato, but this scopy half-brother to classy stablemate Music Master looks sure to add more kudos to the Candy yard, on the evidence of two smart victories so far.
WALDNAH (John Gosden)
No surprise if the Oaks and the St Leger are on the agenda of this filly, given her eyecatching middle-distance pedigree and even more eyecatching debut display when a luckless second.
WHEAT SHEAF (Roger Charlton)
It’s asking too much to emulate the feats of relatives North Light and Golan, but only inexperience scuppered the debut of this colt, who is ready-made winner in waiting.
ZAWRAQ (Dermot Weld)
Few trainers know the time of day more accurately than Weld, so take heed of his praise for this regally-bred son of Shamardal after he’d lowered the colours of an Aidan O’Brien favourite on debut.