Ahead On The Flat author and Racing UK pundit Mark Howard with five horses to follow for the 2019 Flat season.
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William Haggas trained Dancing Rain to win the Oaks at Epsom in 2011 and he produced Sea Of Class to win the Irish version last summer. The Newmarket handler is hoping the unbeaten FRANKELLINA will develop into a high-class middle distance filly this year. A narrow winner of a fillies’ novice stakes over a mile at Yarmouth in the Autumn, she has reportedly done well from two to three and will be trained with the Epsom Oaks very much in mind. A daughter of Frankel, she is bred to stay being out of the stable’s Listed Galtres Stakes winner Our Obsession.
Karl Burke has handled some top-class horses during his career, including five times Group 1 winner Laurens. There is a feeling at Spigot Lodge Stables at Middleham that he may have another potential star on his hands in the once raced KADAR. A son of Scat Daddy, who cost €700,000 at the Arqana Breeze-Up sale last spring, he stayed on strongly to beat previous winner Waldstern over a mile at Haydock in September. Subsequently withdrawn a couple of times at Newmarket on account of quick ground, he reappears in the nine furlongs Feilden Stakes on the Rowley Mile on Tuesday. Then, all being well, the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York could be on his agenda. Significantly, the Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited owned colt was added to the Derby entries earlier this month.
The Sky Bet Ebor at York in August is worth £1 million in 2019 and Ralph Beckett may have a prime contender in the lightly raced ROCK EAGLE. The four year old has won three of his five career starts and is rated 97. Stepping up to twelve furlongs for the first time at Newmarket in October, the Teofilo gelding won the valuable Old Rowley Cup by half a length. Bred to stay further, he is likely to be steered towards the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot before heading to the Knavesmire a couple of months later. There is another big prize in him.
In addition to a strong team of older horses, including recent winners Canvassed and Sharja Bridge, Roger Varian is blessed with an array of three year old talent this season. The head of Carlburg Stables is looking forward to unleashing the unraced UAE JEWEL this spring. Entered in the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York next month, he is a half-brother to Grade 2 winning hurdler Bedrock and was purchased for 400,000gns as a yearling. Held up by sore shins last year, the Dubawi colt is ready to start making up for lost time and is an exciting middle distance prospect.
If WISE COUNSEL stays sound, then the 87 rated son of Invincible Spirit can develop into a high-class sprinter. A half-brother to Group 1 runner-up Noozhoh Canarias, Clive Cox’s colt ran respectably on his first two starts at Newbury before being carried across the track at Haydock (6f : Good/Soft) next time. Beaten a length by subsequent Listed winner San Donato (rated 105) and Hello Youmzain (won a Group 2 since and is rated 114) in September, he returned to the same course and distance three weeks later and won by two and a quarter lengths. He looks tailormade for those decent three year old handicap sprints, including the £100,000 Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint Handicap Stakes at York (15th June).
Ahead On The Flat, which includes exclusive interviews with Andrew Balding, Ralph Beckett, Karl Burke, Roger Charlton, William Haggas, David O’Meara, Roger Varian, Ed Walker and Ian Williams can be purchased for £9.99 (including postage) from www.mhpublications.co.uk
My Stable - Horse Tracking Made Simple
It’s that time of the year when the Flat season takes centre stage. With thousands of horses, hundreds of jockeys and plenty of trainers performing across the UK & Ireland in multiple meetings every single day, it can be tough to keep track of all that catches your eye.
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