Our sub-editor Jamie Lindsey has five horses worth following throughout, the upcoming flat racing campaign.
Contingent – Trainer: Dermot Weld
A stylish winner when breaking her maiden on the first attempt at Leopardstown. A well-bred daughter of Frankel out of Group 1 winner Proportional, the vibe was positive ahead of her debut. And it has continued through the winter at Dermot’s yard. I expect to see her make her seasonal bow in the 1000 Guineas trial at Naas. Very inexperienced so might need a couple of runs to find her feet at the top level.
Headway – Trainer: William Haggas
This son of young sire Havana Gold was a very solid 2yo last year, finishing a close second in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. And a good third in the Gimcrack up at York. He was set the task of winning the Spring Cup at Lingfield on his 3yo reappearance. And he duly obliged in great fashion, showing a serious turn of foot to get up and win the listed contest. Good ground will be key for him to show off that tremendous turn of foot, he could be a big player in the leading mile races this season.
Kew Gardens – Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
The strength and depth of the 3yo’s at Ballydoyle is amazing. And I really like this son of Galileo. Kew Garden made a favourable impression when running away with a Killarney maiden last July. Good runs behind Nelson and Saxon Warrior was followed by a good performance in the Zetland Stakes over 10F at Newmarket. The manner of the victory suggested that he would require a 10 – 12f trip to see him at his best. We’ll see him in a Derby trial somewhere I’d imagine. And then if all goes well it will be onto the Epsom or French Derby for Kew Gardens.
Roaring Lion – Trainer: John Gosden
This son of Kitten’s Joy racked up three successive wins before finding Guineas & Derby favourite Saxon Warrior just too strong in the Racing Post Trophy. His Royal Lodge win when beating Nelson is solid form. And for a while in the Racing Post trophy it looked like he had Saxon Warrior beat, before he came charging past him again close to the line. I think there is a lot more improvement to come from him, and connections will be hoping he can make up into a Derby horse. Which his pedigree suggests he will be. One to watch out for.
September – Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
This beautifully bred daughter of Deep Impact was a busy 2yo last season. Taking in six races and winning two of them, including the Chesham at Royal Ascot. Although she was unlucky in the Fillies Mile and at the Breeders Cup, where she broke slowly and couldn’t make up the ground fast enough. Deep Impact’s tend to thrive from two to three and with her pedigree I believe she will be an ideal Oaks filly, although she probably will run in a Guineas somewhere beforehand.