Seven UK horses who will make headlines when UK racing returns
The Charlie Appleby-trained colt carried all before him as a juvenile and ended the campaign with an official rating of 128 – some 10lb more than any of his rivals and officially making the son of Shamardal the highest-rated two-year-old since Celtic Swing (1994) and Arazi (1991) who were each rated 130. For further context, Frankel was given a figure of 126 at the end of his first season, so the big question has to be can he live up to the hype? We will find out in the 2000 Guineas.
Not blessed with the profile of Pinatubo, but not many were last season, she brings strong claims to the table in the 1000 Guineas. Roger Charlton’s filly did little wrong on her debut before really impressing next time out and then heading to the Fillies’ Mile over the Classic course and distance. With stamina assured and class probably not in doubt, she must be the one to beat.
Set for a hat-trick of victories in the Ascot Gold Cup and will blow away any cobwebs at his return. It is an intriguing one, too, coming in the Coronation Cup, which this year has switched to Newmarket on Friday. It will be a first run at a mile and a half for Stradivarius since he was beaten in a handicap at Chester in May 2017, but he is a different horse now. And who knows, if he shines he might yet cross swords with dual Arc-winning stablemate Enable at some stage this year. What a prospect that would be.
BORN WITH PRIDE
There has been a real buzz about the William Haggas-trained filly since she made her winning debut in Listed company at Newmarket in November. The Oaks is the target and the 10-furlong Classic Trial at Kempton on Wednesday will tell everyone whether she is the real deal. The suspicion is she might be.
A +6600 winner of the 1000 Guineas two years ago, Richard Hannon’s charge returned to do her connections proud again last season. She took a couple of runs to find her feet, but found her stride from there and eventually picked up another Group One, courtesy of the Sun Chariot Stakes.
He was a real two-year-old type last year, powering to victory in the Norfolk Stakes, Flying Childers and Prix Robert Papin. A line can be put through his disappointing run in the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita and his appearance at Newcastle on Thursday is being used as a stepping stone to another trip to Royal Ascot.
The twice-raced colt was trading as second-favourite to Pinatubo in ante-post lists on the 2000 Guineas, but it seems Gosden and connections are taking a more low-key approach to his three-year-old campaign and are looking at a Newcastle handicap on Saturday instead.