Flat 10 To Follow

By Samantha Martin (@sam_angelina22)

Over the past three years, I have put together 20 To Watch articles for the National Hunt season with at least one Cheltenham Festival winner each time. For this flat season, I’m trying something new – I have put together a 10 To Follow for the upcoming flat season.

The horses included in my ’10 To Follow’ are all of a range of different abilities and ages – from unraced two-year-olds to experienced six-year-olds. The majority of horses are by no means group one contenders but the idea with this list is that they will win a few races each this season

Here is my inaugural Flat 10 To Follow…

Nurseclaire (NO1)

No 1 – Nurseclaire

2yo Bay Filly (Ribchester x Nymeria) (Soldier Hollow)

Trainer – Richard Fahey

Owner – Nick Bradley Racing

Breeder – ?

I met this filly when I visited Nick Bradley’s yard for my two-part article about the bloodstock/syndicate operation. They purchased this filly from France’s Deauville Select Sale at Arqana for roughly €30,000 as a private sale. She is by Ribchester and he was an impressive racehorse, winning four group ones. He seems to be making a pleasing start to his stallion career: I have only heard good things about his progeny when they went through the sales ring and, from four runners, two have placed. Nurseclaire will be the second foal to race out of Nymeria. A daughter of Soldier Hollow, who offers a stamina influence, Nymeria won at seven furlongs as a two-year-old and her only other win was over one mile two furlongs. Her first foal, Romanello, by Vadamos, was well-beaten on his only two-year-old start before finishing a good second over one mile three earlier this year. Nurseclaire is a gorgeous individual and Nick Bradley racing achieved a lot of success with their juvenile fillies, Dandalla and Fev Rover, last season. Hopefully, this filly can follow in their hoof-prints.

Nick Bradley Racing Stable Visit Part One – https://reinitinracing.wordpress.com/2020/09/17/nick-bradley-racing-yard-visit-part-one/

Nick Bradley Racing Visit Part Two – https://reinitinracing.wordpress.com/2020/09/19/nick-bradley-racing-yard-visit-part-two/

No 2 – Instinctive Move

2yo Bay Colt (Showcasing x Peach Melba) (Dream Ahead)

Trainer – Clive Cox

Owner – Isa Salman Al Khalifa

Breeder – R Kent & The Executors of Lady Lonsdale

Instinctive Move is out of a mare called Peach Melba, who I was a massive fan of when she was racing for Mark Johnston. She ran fifteen times between May and November 2017, winning five races, including a listed race at Hanover in Germany. Her half-sister, Dam Beautiful, has produced three winners. Showcasing sired speedy two-year-olds like Advertise, Quiet Reflection and Soldier’s Call. On pedigree, it looks as though Instinctive Move will be a fast horse. In training with Clive Cox, he is in the perfect hands. Cox is an extremely good trainer in general but especially so with sprinters and two-year-olds like Supremecy, Isabella Giles and Nando Parrado last season as well as incredible sprinters like Harry Angel, Tis Marvellous and Profitable. In November 2020, Instinctive Move’s half-brother by Zoustar was sold for 90,000 guineas at the Tattersalls December Foal Sale.

No 3 – Love Is You

3yo Bay Filly (Kingman x Fallen For You) (Dansili)

Trainer – Roger Charlton

Owner – Normandie Stud LTD

Breeder – Normandie Stud LTD

Being by four-time group one winner Kingman and out Coronation Stakes winner Fallen For You, it makes Love Is You a half-sister to Glorious Journey, a multiple group two and three winner. Love Is You started her career faultlessly with a neck win at Ascot in September and followed that up in listed company at Newbury on heavy ground in October. She has already had the benefit of one run in 2021 when she ran at Newmarket in the Nell Gwyn on 14th April. She finished third that day, beaten by Sacred and Saffron Beach. She was keen and just couldn’t quite quicken at the seven furlong trip. It is slightly disappointing that she wasn’t part of the latest field for the 1000 Guineas as I think she would enjoy the extra furlong. I’m sure she will be successful over that trip during the rest of the season. She comes from a brilliant yard and their stable jockey Jason Watson is extremely talented.

Jason Watson Interview – Chatting With… Jason Watson – REIN IT IN (wordpress.com)

No 4 – Montego Bay

3yo Bay Filly (No Nay Never x Lessons In Life) (Duke Of Marmalade)

Trainer – Aidan O’Brien

Owner – Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith & Mrs John Magnier

Breeder – Camas Park & Lynch Bages

Montego Bay is on my list because I was impressed with her first start of the 2021 campaign. She was quite keen early and raced in mid-division, before staying on to be fourth, in a Leopardstown maiden. The fascinating thing about this is that the race was over one mile. At the backend of last season, she ran in two races over five furlongs. Aidan O’Brien very rarely get things wrong but this filly seemed far more comfortable at a mile and has two good entries at around that trip. Being by No Nay Never, conventionally, she would be a sprinter but it appears she has inherited stamina from her dam, who raced solely at one mile one furlong or further. Montego Bay’s half-brother Pasley won over one mile six before moving to the Jonjo O’Neill stable to run in hurdle races. I’m sure Aidan O’Brien can find a nice race for her this season.

No 5 – Candescence

3yo Chestnut Filly (Power x Bright Flash) (Dutch Art)

Trainer – Mark Walford

Owner – Ursa Major Racing, Lady Legard, J Craggs

Breeder – Lady Legard

I featured Ursa Major Racing for a ‘Syndicate Spotlight’ article and Craig Talbot, their racing manager, described Candescence as their “star”. A daughter of Irish 2000 Guineas winner Power, she is out of Bright Flash, who won three times in the North of England and is half-sister to a group one winner in New Zealand. Candesence made her debut at Pontefract last June, winning at massive odds of 25/1, beating Kraken Power, who went on to win and follow home Method, Battleground and Happy Romance. She was beaten three lengths at Musselburgh next time and probably would’ve won at Wolverhampton last time, had she not been stopped in her tracks at two furlongs out. I hope she gives her passionate owners a great season.

Craig Talbot says – “We have high hopes for her as a 3-year-old, we would love to give her a chance to run in a Listed Race and achieve Black Type, possibly in a race in Europe this Spring/Summer.”

Syndicate Spotlight: Ursa Major Racing – Syndicate Spotlight – URSA Major Racing – REIN IT IN (wordpress.com)

No 6 – Bolshoi Ballet

3yo Bay Colt (Galileo x Alta Anna) (Anabaa)

Trainer – Aidan O’Brien

Owner – Mrs John Magnier & Michael Tabor & Derrick Smith

Breeder – Lynch-Bages & Rhinestone Bloodstock

Bolshoi Ballet made his debut at Newmarket in early October on soft ground and he was quite green, finishing third. He must’ve learned an awful lot from that as he made all next time to win easily over a mile. Stepped up one mile two, he was fifth in a French group one, beaten two and a quarter lengths. I pinpointed him for the St Leger at the start of the season as many factors signify that he will handle a step up in trip. He is out of an unraced mare, Alta Anna, and by Galileo, which makes him a half brother to Southern France and Palm Beach. Southern France was third in the 2018 St Leger and got to within three quarters of a length of Stradivarius before being sent to Australia, where he won a group two. Palm Beach ran in three hurdle races around the turn of the year and was second each time. Bolshoi Ballet ran once so far in 2021 and Ryan Moore was allowed to dictate the race, winning by two and three quarter lengths. He’s a stunning looking individual and has a massive future.

No 7 – Gold Maze

4yo Bay Colt (Golden Horn x Astonishing) (Galileo)

Trainer – Jessica Harrington

Owner – Long Wait Partnership

Breeder – Apple Tree Stud

Gold Maze is a horse that I really liked last season. He was unsuccessful as a two-year-old and returned at three with a decent second behind Crossfirehurricane, who has the same owners. He finished sixth when very keen in the Irish Derby, beaten eleven lengths, and he was defeated by the same margin when he was ninth in the Epsom Derby. Pyledriver, Mohican Heights and Emissary were behind him that day and have all won since. Gold Maze finally won for the first time in a maiden at the Curragh in August but couldn’t cope with subsequent St Leger winner Galileo Chrome at Navan next time. Last time, he was beaten by Bowerman, who won a group two in Doha in February, and he might not have suited the all weather surface at Dundalk. His dam Astonishing won at Kempton in July 2013 before winning a listed race over one mile and a half by seven lengths. He is by Golden Horn, the Derby winner, and his progeny tend to stay trips over one mile four quite well so a step up in trip could been seen this season for Gold Maze.

No 8 – Wise Words

5yo Bay Mare (Sepoy x Akhmatova) (Cape Cross)

Trainer – James Tate

Owner – Sheikh Rashid Dalmook Al Maktoum

Breeder – Ropesley Bloodstock Llp

I was really impressed with Wise Word’s return to action in the middle of April. She was midfield and ran on smartly to only be beaten a head by a tough individual in a competitive listed race at Bath. Last season, I put her into my tracker after she was only beaten one and three quarter lengths at in the Scarborough Stakes, when she was unlucky to finish only fourth.  She finished last on her only other start last term but was mightily consistent as a three-year-old. She is one of the top twenty progeny of her sire Sepoy, who won four group ones over sprint trips and she is out of Akhmatova, who won four times over trips further than a mile. Wise Words seems like a very fast mare and I think she has a nice race in her this season.

No 9 – Atalanta’s Boy

6yo Chestnut Gelding (Paco Boy x Affirmatively) (Diktat)

Trainer – David Menuisier

Owner – Mrs Monica Josefina Borton & Partner

Breeder – Monica Martinez-Trumm

Atalanta’s Boy ran in six races last season. He won his first outing and I was really keen on him for the Stewards Cup two starts later. Unfortunately, he lost many lengths at the start and had no chance at all of winning. He returned to Goodwood next time and managed to win really well under Thomas Greatrex. At Ayr for the Silver Cup, everything went wrong yet again – he missed the break and was hampered multiple times. He was fourth at Kempton on the all weather last time but he might not have suited the track and is better on turf. He has won on every type of ground, even though he has only raced fifteen times. He’s by dual group one winner Paco Boy and his dam Affirmatively was one from thirty-five starts in her career. I think Atalanta’s Boy should win a nice handicap at some stage this season.


No 10 – Spoof

6yo Bay Gelding (Poet’s Voice x Filona) (Motivator)

Trainer – Charlie Hills

Owners – Gary and Linnet Woodward

Breeders – Scuderia Blueberry SRL

Spoof is the most exposed of all the horses on my list but I still think he is capable of winning more races. He’s by the versatile stallion Poet’s Voice, who’s best progeny is Poet’s Word, and out of Filona. He has won six of his thirty-six starts and three of them came last season when he won at Windsor twice and Sandown in really brilliant style. After a 102 day break, he raced at Wolverhampton in December and finished last, but the jockey reported that he stopped quickly. It was in really competitive company and that wasn’t his true running.

On 20th April, the day I posted this, Spoof ran earlier in the day at Epsom. He struggled to feature over the sharp five furlong track against extremely quick horses. He will come on for the run and remains a good hope for the season. We should see him to good effect at tracks like Windsor.

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