Juddmonte International Preview

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By Samantha Martin (@sam_angelina22)

The Juddmonte International is the feature race on day one of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival. This race is a group one over one mile two and a half furlongs for horses aged three years old and older. Five runners go to post and they’re a group of very talented individuals. They’ve won a combined twelve group ones between them so this looks the race of the meeting for me.

Ghaiyyath, the Godolphin-owned son of Dubawi, will head the market after two brilliant group one successes so far this year. His first was in the rearranged Coronation Cup at Newmarket. He ran boldly from the front and beat none other than Stradivarius. Next time, he made all in the Coral-Eclipse and beat Enable by two and a quarter lengths. That literal form puts him as one of the top horses in the country and both Enable and Stradivarius have won subsequently. There is the argument that both of those horses weren’t at full fitness but it is still an impressive feat to cross the line in front of them.

Before Ghaiyyath’s victory at Newmarket, he hadn’t been seen in England since October 2017 when he won the Autumn Stakes at the age of two. By not racing in England for such a long time, it made his Newmarket win seem a bit of a surprise and I get the impression that people have struggled to get behind him as they have done for the likes of Enable or Stradivarius. He’s a beautiful stamp of a horse and I guess William Buick and Charlie Appleby will want to keep things simple on the lead. In the Arc, he was hassled for the lead and, in a way, intimidated out of the race so it is going to be interesting to see what the other jockeys chose to do. Will they hassle him for the lead and risk their own horses doing too much too early? Or, give him an easy lead and attempt to peg him back?

The big question is – who can keep tabs on Ghaiyyath? For me, Magical is the answer to that. This mare was rumoured to be retiring at the end of last year, after her Champion Stakes victory at Ascot on soft ground. She’s paid Aidan O’Brien and Coolmore back for keeping her in training as she’s made easy work of the group one Pretty Polly Stakes and the group one Tattersalls Gold Cup. She’s been long odds-on for both races and this will be her first proper race of the season. I believe she is good enough to beat this field. She’s so straight forward like most of Aidan’s, being by Galileo out of a Pivotal mare, and that will play to her strengths here.

We’ve had a heatwave lately but it looks like the downpour will arrive in time for this race and the ground looks like it could be on the softish side. Magical has form of 12441251 on ground with soft or heavy in the description; in comparison to Ghaiyyath, who has won on good to soft twice but didn’t handle soft in the Arc, but there could’ve been other influences for the below par performance. Both successes in England so far have been on rattling quick ground.

It was a shock for me when Lord North managed to win the group one Prince Of Wales Stakes over one mile two. He beat a classy group of horses, including the winner of this last year, Japan, who I expected to take his chance this year. The win was in great style. Before then, he won the rearranged Brigadier Gerard Stakes, beating Elarqam by a short head. Elarqam was subsequently well-beaten by Aspetar, who is now sadly a non-runner after some abnormal blood results. He’s an extremely consistent horse, winning six from seven, and pacing twice. This horse was gelded in June 2019 and will be partnered by James Doyle, who rode him to victory at Royal Ascot. Frankie Dettori will not be riding at York this week due to quarantine restrictions after choosing to ride at Deauville last weekend. This now looks a smart decision as he won the Prix Guillaume d’Ornano Stakes (Group Two) on Mishriff and the Prix Du Jacques le Marois on Palace Pier – and a large prize fund came with it!!

Lord North is still improving and the same can be said for Kameko. This son of Kitten’s Joy finished off his two year old season with an impressive win in the Vertem Futurity Trophy (Group One) at Newcastle. This season, he managed to win the 2000 Guineas by a neck, cementing himself as the best three-year-old miler. However, he went to the Derby next and he apparently didn’t stay the trip but I thought he stayed on quite nicely to be fourth, but was still beaten six lengths by the brilliant Serpentine. He dropped back to the mile for the Sussex Stakes and was ‘denied a clear run’ in the final stages and was beaten three and one quarter lengths. There have been excuses on his past two runs and this race is the chance to prove himself. I think one mile two will be absolutely perfect for him. The only problem is the ground as he’s never tackled anything like this before but Roaring Lion, who was by the same sire and ran in the same colours, won the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes on soft ground.

It was announced on Tuesday that Rose Of Kildare has been bought by Qatar Racing, Kameko’s owners, as a broodmare prospect but she’ll be racing in the colours she has carried for her previous runs for the rest of the season. It appears the attraction to this filly, as well as her tough attitude, is her sire Make Believe. He’s really hit the headlines this year with Mishriff winning the French Derby. She’s three years old and has raced sixteen times, winning six and placed in five. She won the Musidora Stakes over course and distance when last seen and won two group threes at the age of two. She won’t want it much softer than good and I’d be surprised to see her feature in the finish.

So, my selection. I’ve been struggling to pick between Magical and Ghaiyyath. I have absolutely fell in love with Ghaiyyath this season as he’s absolutely stunning. I just don’t think this race is going to play to his strengths so I’m going to side with MAGICAL. This mare is extremely likeable and versatile. She should go on the ground and she doesn’t have to be raced in a certain way, which makes her seem like a logical choice for this race. Tactically, this is fascinating and I can’t wait to see how it plays out!

Rest Of The Card

1:45 York – Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap

It is hard to look past the favourite, JAWWAL, here. He is two from two and the latter of those wins was so very impressive. Justanotherbottle could run well at a bigger price.

2:15 York – Tattersalls Acomb Stakes (Group Three)

The form of ROYAL SCIMITAR’s debut is very strong as the second placed runner, Line Of Departure, has won twice since. (He runs again in the 4:50 later on in the card). My selection is out of a Dark Angel mare, who is a half sister to eight individual winners. Clive Cox and Adam Kirby are a formidable combination.

2:45 York – Sky Bet Voltiger Stakes (Group Two)

For me, this is MOGUL’s race to lose. He ran an impressive win at Goodwood last time and he’s more proven than the rest. Darain is well-bred but I’m unsure on the trip for him. Highland Chief has ran very well on all of his starts this season that weren’t the Derby.

3:45 York – Sky Bet Handicap

I like MONSIEUR LAMBRAYS for this two mile race. He won over course and distance well last month and is looking for the three timer. Tom Clover had a nice winner at Newmarket on the weekend and Jack Mitchell is in form.

4:20 York – Sky Bet Fillies’ Sprint Handicap

I’m a huge fan of FREE LOVE (Read her story here). She has a tiny weight in this and has such a wonderful attitude. She only lost out by a nose to Glamorous Anna at Windsor last time out, which was agonising. Since then, Glamorous Anna has won well at Glorious Goodwood. William Cox gets on well with this filly, who is difficult. She’s shot from a mark of 85 up to 96 and carries 9st6 compared to Free Love’s 8st8 so I fancy Free Love to reverse the form and hopefully run well. Both fillies are roughly 14/1.

4:50 York – Sky Bet Nursery Handicap

LINE OF DEPARTURE has raced five times and won his last two. He is more exposed than a lot of these but there is still more to come!

Syndicates – The Future Of Racehorse Ownership

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Farouk De Cheneau, owned by Owners Group 049 (Including me!), at Kempton in March.

By Samantha Martin (@sam_angelina22)

Horse racing is known as the Sport of Kings. The Queen has owned racehorses for many decades and her home-bred Tactical won the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot this year. Prince Charles and the Duchess Of Cornwall own Pacify, who is a smart hurdler with Jamie Snowdon. Sheikh Mohammed is the owner of Godolphin, who’s blue silks have been worn on many great horses through the years. Now, it is not just the nobility who can enjoy being a racehorse owner – anyone, even you or I, can own part of a racehorse with syndicates or racing clubs.

Syndicates are a cost-effective way of owning a racehorse and it consists of multiple ‘shares’ (anything from 4 to 4000 in some cases) within a horse. People buy the shares so they own a percentage of the horse. These shares range from £50 a year to larger shares with buy-in fees and monthly payments. I have a share with Owners Group in a horse called Farouk De Cheneau. My parents bought me the share for £55 for my fifteenth birthday and I’ve loved having the updates and videos about him. It was so exciting when he ran at Kempton, when he showed promise despite finishing seventh. For me, this is the beauty of syndicates and racing clubs – I’m fifteen and yet I can say I’m a ‘part owner’ of a racehorse, even if that share represents a tiny percentage of him. There’s no way of football fans having any part of that sport but any racing fan could realistically own part of a racehorse.

For this article, I have spoken to two long-time members of syndicates and a syndicate manager.

Middleham Park Racing is one of the leading syndicates in the UK and Jamie Brownlow has been a part of the syndicate for eleven years, “One particular day, at work, in a lunch break, I was reading through a Racing Post and in the middle section of the paper there was, on the corner, a black and white very small rectangle advertisement and it was from Middleham Park Racing and there was a mobile number of Tim Paling and I thought about it in my lunch break and I gave him a call and asked him details of about what is syndicate ownership and I asked him for help and advice, which he did. Also, he gave me some information that he sent through the post and it was newspaper clippings of Middleham Park runners, of wins and trainers etc, which was very helpful, and also it gave me a couple of ways to give it a think over to see if it was the right thing for me to do to get involved in a syndicate. The first ever horse that I started with was called Park Valley Prince, who was trained by Willie Muir and that’s how it all started just over eleven years ago.”

Being involved in a syndicate has opened a lot of doors for Jamie, including being involved in the Money Rider Podcast, Cheltenham Festival Preview nights and involved in being a ‘RaceMaker’, “It has helped me get involved in ‘race making’. I’ve wanted to be trying to promote horse racing and why horse racing is exciting and also the experience and give people the experience of our racetrack and give them a little bit of knowledge or a little bit of help while they’re betting etc. I put my name down for being a RaceMaker, which I’ve been doing now in these past five years. This would’ve been my fifth year but unfortunately with circumstances with COVID-19 it would’ve been my fifth year. Also, I’ve been involved in RaceMaking at the Champions Day, Qipco British Champions Day, which is always held in October. If people have seen me, or know me, I’m normally the one, with me and the rest of the RaceMakers, throwing scarves to people who’s watching horse racing there at Ascot.”

I was interested to know what Jamie’s highlight of being in a syndicate was, “My favourite part of it is, one, the stable visits. They have a really good insight of what happens behind the scenes at the stables and, two, talking to the work riders/ stable lads and lasses. Also, you get the chance to ask questions to your trainer at stable visits. They parade all your horses in front of you and explain what is the main targets, the horses’ strengths and also his positives and negatives etc. You can ask so many questions and he’ll try and answer as many as possible. Also, on raceday itself, as in being with your syndicate ownership, as in the group, so you’ve got friends meeting there and being in the paddock. People are watching your horse go round the paddock and putting their money on your horse, which is really exciting. On the race itself, it’s a really good buzz – it’s a great day. I was very lucky to have a Cheltenham Festival winner three or four years ago with Towering and that was a tremendous experience on that with all my syndicate owners and syndicate friends, who were there.” Jamie is a huge advocate for syndicate ownership and you can keep updated with the horses Jamie is involved in by following him on Twitter (@BROWNLOWJ74) or on his blog (https://brownlowjblog.wordpress.com/).

David Edmondson first became involved in syndicates and racehorse ownership over thirty years ago. The first experience he had was with the British Thoroughbred Racing & Breeding Club (BTRB), which was run by Toby Balding. The set-up for this was like the current Elite Racing Club, who have tasted top level glory with Marsha, Ribbons and Soviet Song. David got involved with ownership because he “was very interested in the more technical aspects of racing and indeed still am today. However, some years later, having learnt to ride (very badly) at the advanced age of 45 on Dartmoor, I became just as interested in horses. My eldest daughter was quite a good rider and I purchased an ex-racehorse for her to ride from the Ascot Sales. This then led to a fascination with the bloodstock side of the sport.”

Over the years since then, David has been part of many leading syndicates and gave his thoughts on each, “Ontoawinner (OTAW) – This syndicate group has grown considerably in the last 5 – 8 years. They increased their profile considerably by purchasing Quiet Reflection (I turned down a share in her!). They are well-organised and one of their team is allocated to you as an owner. Their communication is good.

“Nick Bradley Racing (NBR) – This has only been going for 6 / 7 years. I had encountered Nick Bradley at MPR and knew that he was a shrewd buyer of horses. In the last 5 years most of my syndicate horses have been with NBR. Communication is good and Nick always responds to emails quickly. Over the years he has tended to buy better bred and hence more expensive yearlings / breeze–up horses.

“Ursa Major Racing (UM) – I have only become involved with this group in the last 4 or 5 months. It is more of a racing co-operative than a syndicate business. Communication is via a set of Telegram app accounts and decisions are made on a voting basis by members of a particular syndicate. Only this afternoon I was viewing a set of videos from this morning’s stable visit. Unlike all of the syndicates above, UM only uses a single trainer.

Enigma Racing – This outfit scores very highly, in terms of accessibility. They will purchase (say) 2.5% of a horse from either MPR or NBR and then subdivide that into 12 or 15 micro shares. To participate one does have to pay a membership fee of about £77 per year but of course if one owns a number of micro shares this isn’t too bad. Typically, a micro share costs around £250 for year one and less in year 2 and subsequent years. In this way I have a micro share in a Frankel filly. This outfit is VERY well-organised and efficient and pass on information through threads in a very large blog post.”

In addition, I spoke to Clive Hadingham, who is one of the founders of Surrey Racing. “Steve [Grubb] and I decided on Surrey Racing after having owned horses ourselves and being involved with other syndicates. Neither of us were happy with the syndicates we were with (including one of the big ones). There were too many individuals in each syndicate and the personal service was really poor. We thought we address this by setting up Surrey Racing and focus on buying quality over quantity and giving the personal service that was missing in our previous ownership experiences.”

The personal service is something that is very important to Clive and Steve and this is reflected in the way the syndicate has been put together, “Syndicate ownership allows us to buy better quality horses and spread the cost of the horse and training fees over a number of owners. This means they enjoy all the benefits of owning a share in a horse (which are expensive) at a more affordable price and still get the same amount of fun and benefits as owning the horse outright. We cap ownership at 10 shares which spreads the cost but allows the owners to make friends and share the highs and lows of watching their horse. We find this number of owners in the syndicate ensures all the benefits but does not feel impersonal.”

They have roughly five horses in training under both codes, with a range of trainers. One of their horses, Surrey Gold, is entered in the 2021 Derby! He’s by Golden Horn and out of a group three-winning mare, who has produced four winning foals. They’ll have a lot of fun with him and there are still shares available so visit their brilliant website http://www.surreyracing.co.uk/.

I asked all three of my interviewees the same question – “Do you think syndicates are good for the future of the sport and why?”. It was interesting to see the responses they gave. David said, “They probably are. At the moment there is the top tier of the sport in the UK dominated by Godolphin et al – the very big owner breeders. Unless something goes dramatically wrong in the UK, that situation will continue into the future. Thus, ownership needs to be encouraged at the middle and lower level. The vast majority cannot afford to keep a horse in training and so the only way to retain and grow the sport is through syndication.”

Clive mentioned about how syndicates help to attract people to the sport, “Absolutely. Owning a racehorse is expensive and without syndicates you would be limiting participation in ownership to a small the pool of owners at the top end. It is essential for the future of racing that it attracts both more owners and different types of owners (younger, female, families etc). A key element of this will be to make racing more affordable and get people to the racecourse to enjoy a day at the races. As I have explained above, owning a share of a horse with a syndicate makes this possible. More owners means more horses in training and so everyone benefits, from the breeders, trainers, the racecourses and all the employees and businesses associated with the industry.”

Jamie agreed that syndicates are good for the sport, “It is just that people in syndicates have got to start pushing their business a little bit more forward to reach to people who are interested in the sport. […] But we need, the UK, as in Scotland, Wales and England, need to push syndicates. Ireland are very popular with syndicates. They’ve done it very successful and so has Australia. I think that syndicates should push their advertisement in a little bit more – like in newspapers or anything. […] The best thing for all for syndicates is to advertise on social media, which is all free. That’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and, if they can, WhatsApp.”

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world is going to look a lot different and, combined with the smaller prizemoney on offer than other countries, the type of people able to be involved in outright ownership is going to change. Jamie spoke about this, “I think you will see a lot of own/single owner figures will drop a little because, obviously, they can’t afford the training fees or payments etc because of these uncertain times so you will see a drop in that. You will see, and I’m hoping, a good rise in syndicates as in where people cannot afford their own, they can afford it in a syndicate in a group, which is an easier, if not a cheaper, way. There is a reasonable way of paying.”

An issue Clive raised was in regard to transparency within syndicates as Surrey Racing syndicates offer two badges for each owner and the horses are insured, “Another challenge is that whilst there are many good syndicates – there are also many poor ones with bad horses, too many owners in the syndicate and over-inflated prices. That can give syndicates a bad name and we could lose owners to the sport. I would encourage new owners to do their homework and look for transparency.”

David mentioned a similar issue in terms of the regulation of syndicates, “As far as I am aware, anyone can start a racing syndicate (unless you have been warned-off.) The BHA has published some guidelines for syndicates but of course these are not binding. Most syndicates have a contract and I suspect most are derived from the MPR contract. Three important points that have to be made clear to possible participants: Will one own a share of the horse or is this a lease arrangement? Though it is certainly a cheaper option, leasing makes little sense to me. Prize money is pathetic in the UK and the only chance of getting any sort of return is through the sale of the horse. What is the arrangement for Owner’s badges? For a wet Monday at Catterick this is certainly not a problem. If you are lucky enough to have a runner at Ascot (or even Royal Ascot) this is a BIG PROBLEM. I remember one of the OTAW team running around like a maniac at Royal Ascot a few years ago, trying to get paddock badges for the throng of owners and partners. What control do I have? In the majority of syndicates, one has no real say in the plans for a horse. This really has to be made clear to everyone.”

Something that was brought up by Jamie, David and Clive was the responsibility that racecourses have to syndicates, as they are an important part of racing. This responsibility involves giving out an appropriate number of badges and making sure facilities are good enough. This is something that has been talked about quite a bit whilst the COVID-19 rules are in place at the racecourses.

Recently, I have spoken to Megan O’Brien, who is the racing manager for Titanium Racing, in an interview, which you can read here. Also, in Lockdown, I spoke to Tony Linnett about the North South Syndicate, which he is one of the founding members of and his brilliant little filly Free Love. You can read that here. Martin Smith’s Racing Club is really popular and you can learn more about it here.

I hope you have all enjoyed this insight into syndicates. I’d like to thank Jamie, David and Clive for giving up their time to answer my questions and I wish them the best of luck with their horses.

My Ten Exciting 2-Year-Old Prospects to Follow

By Kieran McHugh

 

One of my favourite pastimes is to go through and pick out any horses at the beginning of their careers or even whilst they are still effectively “babies” and track their progress and see whether any of them make it to the very top, sometimes some reach the heights that I hoped they would while others, may be retired before they even make it to the racetrack! I do this in numerous ways, from researching any yearlings that have interested me from the sales or going through race entries and looking at the breeding. As the season goes on, the now two-year olds are given names and go into training. The more precocious of these will make their debuts at courses like Doncaster, Newmarket and The Curragh, in time for Royal Ascot. Those that are considered more slow burning, may make their debuts around August/September, to challenge for the major honours. This, of course, depends on which stable they are from. For example, the Ballydoyle stables will run middle distance bred horses over inadequate trips in order to give them the education of a couple of days at school, before entering them in more suited races. Below I have listed some 2-year olds that have caught my eye and may well be worth following.

 

 

Mastercraftsman x Alexandrova

This unnamed colt is a Coolmore homebred whose parents are responsible for 7 Group 1s and 3 Classics. He is a half-brother to multiple Group 1 placed and Group winner Somehow and recent Group race scorer Happen. Both of which raced around 1 mile and 1 furlong. It is believed that the colt is in training with the French virtuoso Andre Fabre. The majority of Mastercraftsman’s progeny range from 1 mile to 1m 6f, with Technician being the exception. Alexandrova’s dam, Shouk, also bore a half-brother to Alexandrova called Masterofthehorse, who was third to Sea the Stars in the Derby. Going off this, I would expect the colt to range from 1m to 1m 4f. If he stays in France, then I would expect him to contend for the major 3 year old races as both parents excelled at the age of 3.

 

Van Gogh

Van Gogh has had two runs, the first being a quite solid fourth over 7 furlongs behind a few nice types who were better suited to the trip and then in his latest run, he was second beaten a neck in a 7f Group 3, which I was highly impressed by. In the Group 3, he switched the places with the aforementioned “nice types”. I still maintain that he would benefit from racing over longer distances. The time was quite slow, which could be why he ran well over 7f. The race has produced many nice horses, many of which have struck at the highest level over longer distances. Cape Blanco, New Approach and Anthony Van Dyck are amongst these. He is by the highly regarded American Pharaoh and his Dam is Irish 1000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks winner Imagine. He is a half-brother to some very nice horses and I would expect him to step up in distance next time and is definitely one to watch!

 

New Kingdom

New Kingdom is out of Dubawi by Nightime, thus making him a full brother to the fascinating Ghaiyyath (!) and a half-brother to 2017 Man O’ War winner Zhukova. He was sold for 1.2 million guineas at Goffs November Foal Sales to Anthony Stroud on behalf of Godolphin. The colt is in training with Charlie Appleby. There has been no word on when his debut may be but if you were to go off what route Ghaiyyath took, then you would expect his debut to be around September. I would consider him to be a bit of a slow burner, like Ghaiyyath and may take a season or two to really come to his best form. The colt looks impeccable as well and I, for one, cannot wait to see him on a racetrack!

New Kingdom Colt
Figure 1: From Goffs Sales Information

 

Zagato

Out of the incomparable Frankel by dual Group one winner Izzi Top, Zagato is bred in the purple! He is with the master trainer John Gosden and in the same ownership of last year’s Derby hope Telecaster. He was sold at Tattersalls October sales last year for a mighty 725,000 guineas. It would not be hard to imagine that Zagato would follow suit with some of Izzi Top’s other progeny and race around 1m 2f, being out of Frankel, I would not be very surprised if he even goes further than that. He is also a half-brother to impressive dual 1-mile winner Bizzi Lizzi, who is out of the crack sprinter Muhaarar. This only reinforces my belief that Zagato will stay 1m 2f and possibly further. I think that Zagato may be one that makes his debut later in the season or possibly next year, like Telecaster. As connections have already targeted the Derby, I wouldn’t be to surprised if they do so again with Zagato. However, if they play the waiting game with him then I would expect him to target races such as the Great Voltigeur at York or the Gordon at Goodwood, en route to the St Leger, if he stays, or the Champion Stakes. He may not run for a while yet, but he is certainly intriguing!

 

Eternal Flame

Eternal Flame is a horse that I was incredibly excited to see! He is out of Coolmore stalwart Galileo and by Ladies Poker Two, this makes him a full brother to 4 times Group one winner Winter. If he turns out to be anything like his sister, then he is a corker! He has already had a run over 7 and half furlongs, where he finished fourth but still made a very good impression and will definitely come on for the run, as he seemed very green on his first day at school. With him staying on in the final 100 meters, I am left in no doubt that he will benefit from a step up in distance and could very well be one to look out for in the near future. If he reaches the heights of his sister, then he could be in with a shout for numerous Group 1’s. As a two-year-old, I would not be overly surprised if he went for the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardère or depending on how well he turns out to stay, possibly a tilt at the Critérium de Saint-Cloud over 1m 2f.

 

Frankel x Attraction

As noticed above, going to press, this colt has not been named yet but it does not make him any less exciting! He is by Frankel out of star mare Attraction, making him a full brother to multiple Group scorer Elarqam and a half-brother to many nice horses! He was bought for 525,000 guineas which, considering Elarqam went for 1.6 million, seems a steal! Phoenix Thoroughbred has confirmed that he will go into training with the legendary Peter Chapple-Hyam. Elarqam seems to excel over 1m 2f, so it would be expected that this colt may follow suit. It seems that the distance of Attraction’s progeny, when the sire was a 9 to 10 furlong, is around 1m 2f. However, Elarqam did win over 7f, so the colt may have plenty of scope.

 

Caprioli

The colt is a Juddmonte Farms homebred, by Galileo and Juddmonte’s incredible Mare Banks Hill, thus making the colt a full brother to Group one scorer Romantica and a half-brother to Ideal World. Banks Hill’s progeny range from 1 mile to 1m 4f, but it would be expected that Caprioli would follow Romantica over 1m 2f. There is currently no word on who he is in training with, apart from that he is based in Ireland, so it could be expected that he may be with Classic winning trainer Ger Lyons. His second Dam, the great broodmare Hasili, foaled Dansili and many other top-class sires. This would mean that Caprioli is related to many Group 1 winners, on his Dam side. If you go further down the Dam side, then you would find that he also has the legendary Ribot in his pedigree, as well as multiple American Grade 1 scorer Buckpasser and the only horse to defeat the legendary Brigadier Gerard, Roberto. Judging from the lack of entries and radio silence, it seems that it would be more likely that Caprioli will make his debut as a 3-year-old, much like Romantica. If he specialises at 1m 2f, then I would suspect the likes of the Irish Champion Stakes would be the target for him.

 

Derab

By far one of the most exciting colts on this list, Derab is out of the great Sea the Stars by the dam of Enable, Concentric. This, of course, makes him a half-brother to Enable and also a half-brother to the exciting Portrush! The most compelling feature that I would expect him to have is the devastating turn of foot that Sea the Stars progeny seem to have: Sea of Class, Crystal Ocean and Harzand, to name a few. This combined with the class and grit from Concentric, makes a potentially very high-class horse. He is currently in training with John Gosden, as would be expected! It would not be so hard to imagine that he has a lot of upside and could very well be a major player in the coming seasons. As with many on this list, I presume that his debut will come later this year or next year, as Enable’s first run was in November and Portrush did not run until he was 3 years old. I would imagine that Mr Gosden would not rush him through and would more than likely wait for the later contests or even plan his assault on the Group 1’s for when he is 4.

 

 

Mahomes

Owned by Qatar Racing and again out of the Godolphin supremo Dubawi by one of my favourite Mares to grace the track, The Fugue. Mahomes was bought for 1 million guineas in the same Tattersalls sales as Zagato and is also currently in training with John Gosden, it is expected that he will make his long-awaited debut in the Autumn. The Fugue excelled mainly over 1m 2f and Dubawi progeny from a mile up to 1m 4f. With also having Dansili as the dam’s sire, there is the possibility that Mahomes could stay 1m 4f. The grapevine suggests that Mahomes has been very pleasing and would be one for the future! I would expect him to be a major player in next season and could possibly be a contender to give Qatar Racing their first Derby. There are a range of races that they could go for with him and is certainly one for the tracker.

Mahomes colt
Figure 2: From Tattersalls sales information

 

 

Sea the Stars x Zarkava

When you have got a pedigree of this calibre, you do not need a name! This colt is the 5th progeny of the fantastic Zarkava and her second with Sea the Stars, sadly her first colt with Sea the Stars passed away as a 3-year-old in 2014. The colt is a homebred and is currently in training with French maestro Alain De Royer Dupre. He is a half-brother to Group one winner and multiple Group 1 runner up Zarak (who’s first foals are expected to make their debut next year) and a half-brother to Prix Vermeille third Zarkamiya, who was regally bred but sustained an injury in the Vermeille and was retired and is now in foal to Medaglia d’Oro! I would expect the colt’s distance to range from 1m to 1m4f, in line with his parents. I think that he would make his debut as 3-year-old and could very possibly be a leading contender for the French classics next year.