IS THERE A FRANKEL RUNNING THIS WEEKEND? A year ago today, Frankel burst on to the scene in a minor maiden at the Newmarket evening meeting, when the runner-up, Nathaniel, was to be a King George winner. Is there a top-notcher running today or tomorrow? Daqman finds 10 possibles.
Create your own stable. Among the best advice I was ever given was to keep a list of the best bred and the best performing horses, following their careers, as if they were my own.
Plot their runs, check out their form, find their level, as though they belong to you. Of course, the great advantage of your ‘ownership’ is that, unlike the real owner, you are buying into, and can get rid of, any animal without cost.
A year ago today, Frankel and Nathaniel were one-two in a maiden at Newmarket and there’s a race tomorrow which has produced the winner of two Classics this year – Blue Bunting – so here’s my list of the top 10 two-year-olds running this weekend which could contain a Frankel, a Nathaniel or a Blue Bunting.
FARHAAN (5.30 Newmarket): John Dunlop Derby hope impressed first time out, runner-up under hands and heels riding, and entered in the Champagne Stakes (September 20), Royal Lodge (September 24), Dewhurst (October 8) and Racing Post Trophy (October 22). Two-year-old winners on both sides of the family.
FIRDAWS (1.30 Newbury): Working so well for Roger Varian, under the watchful tutelage of Michal Jarvis that, though unraced, she has been cut this week for next year’s 1,000 Guineas.
Entered for the Fillies Mile on September 23, Firdaws is the third foal of an Oaks winner. The first two are of little account but this is a mating with top American sire Mr Greeley, who has got Finsceal Beo (Irish 1,000 Guineas) and Reel Buddy (Sussex Stakes), both incidentally winners first time out as juveniles.
HARVARD N YALE (6.35 Newmarket): They’re usually ready first time for the Jeremy Noseda yard. This one was, but he found himself among winners when beaten a length and a half at Newbury.
Roger Varian’s Ektihaam, who was successful that day, is by last year’s champion sire of two-year-olds, Invincible Spirit, out of a Kings Best mare. The third one home was a previous winner, and the fifth and sixth have scored since.
Harvard N Yale, entered for the National Stakes (Curragh September 10), the Royal Lodge and the Racing Post Trophy, today races in the maiden won last year by Frankel from Nathaniel.
INITIATOR (5.30 Newmarket): Already working with older horses at home and with a trainer, Jeremy Noseda, who gets them ready first time out.
Though by a Derby winner from a dam’s side going back to an Oaks winner, Initiator’s relatives include 6f two-year-old winners. Entered in the Royal Lodge Stakes and Racing Post Trophy .
PULVERIZE (2.00 Newbury): A Sir Michael Stoute Derby entry but sire best known for quality two-year-olds which need a sound surface.
ROUGEMONT (Saturday, 2.30 Newbury): Given quotes for the 2012 Guineas and Derby after winning easily at Newmarket a month ago, form which hasn’t amounted to much but, then, he was not expected to win, as a 25-1 outsider, so it could be he was a swan among geese.
That race has thrown up horses like Rio De La Plata, Soul City, Native Khan and Elusive Pimpernel. Rougemont, first foal of a well-related dam and son of Montjeu, is entered in the Champagne Stakes, Royal Lodge, Dewhurst and Racing Post Trophy.
RYTHMIC (Saturday, 2.05 Doncaster): Running in the race – for the same stable – that last year produced the 1,000 Guineas and Irish Oaks winner, Blue Bunting. Second first time out in a big field at Newmarket.
THE NILE (1.30 Newbury): Though entered in the Dewhurst and the Racing Post Trophy, John Gosden’s The Nile is by a sire who has so far thrown up mainly sprinting two-year-olds for modest money but the dam is an interesting crossing, mixing in the top mile blood of her sire, the 2,000 Guineas winner Zafonic, going back to Riverman.
TOP OFFER (2.00 Newbury): Derby entry who will be tested in the Dewhurst and the Racing Post Trophy A Dansili out of a Zafonic mare, from a solid family. Though nothing as yet thrown up of an eye-catching nature, Top Offer is held in very high regard by Roger Charlton.
UNEX MICHELANGELO (2.00 Newbury): This John Gosden Dansili colt is interesting, with the dam – by the prolific champion sire Sadlers Wells – a full sister to Derby winner High Chaparral and the Dante winner, Black Bear Island.
Dansili is the sire of King George winner Harbinger and Arc winner Rail Link. His progeny win at all distances on all types of ground, and Gosden has won a division of this race in both of the last two seasons.
BET 1.6pts win on each PULVERIZE and UNEX MICHELANGELO, plus 2pts win (stakes saver) TOP OFFER (2.00 Newbury)
BET 2.5pts win PRAXITELES and 1.6pts win GALIVANT plus 1.25pts win (stakes saver) GOGEO (3.10 Newbury)
BET 4.8pts win FREE VERSE and 2.7pts win KYANIGHT (3.45 Newbury)
BET 5.7pts win (nap) HOT SPICE (7.40 Newmarket)
BET 2.4pts win GENTLE LORD and 1.2pts win (stakes saver) HEZMAH (6.00 Newmarket)