Dirty Dozen 2017

 Three-Year-Olds

Churchill

My ante-post 2,000 Guineas punt. As mentioned on the ‘Classics’ page by Galileo out of Meow (Storm Cat) he is bred to be good and so far looks the part. As a big strapping colt he looks to me to be the type that does what is required and I feel there is plenty more to come from him when asked the big question. Pedigree and his build suggest he will be even better in his Classic year.  Talking after his G.1 Dewhurst win O’Brien said "He's a very relaxed horse and doesn't do a lot in front. He has a super mind on him and has plenty of pace, so we'll look forward to next year with him. We'll have a chat to lads but he'll be a nice horse to bring back here next May."

Rhododendron

My ante-post 1,000 Guineas punt. Another by Galileo she is out of Halfway To Heaven (Pivotal) and as far as thoroughbred breeding goes her family tree is simply one of the very best. On breeding a mile would seem likely to be her ideal trip and I think this one could be very very good – her win in the G.1 Fillies Mile at HQ last back end looked pretty comfortable to me.

National Defense

The colt looked to be on cruise control and then simply drew well clear when asked for an impressive win in the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Grand Criterium) in October before being put away from the winter. I would expect him to be a player in the French Guineas and Derby next season on this form. Chantilly-based trainer Criquette Head-Maarek said at the time ‘There will be plenty of races for him at around a mile. We'll look at the English and French 2,000 Guineas (d'Essai des Poulains)."

 

Atty Persse

As a son of Frankel out of Dorcas Lane, a Pattern class filly who won over ten furlongs at Listed level, with grandsire on the mare side being Norse Dancer a top class performer at around 7f-9f there is every chance this colts best distance will fall between the Classics at about a mile-and-a-quarter. He was only seen once at two when he won his maiden at Sandown over a mile like a decent sort and is one to keep on side. Now owned by Godolphin but still trained by Roger Charlton the trainer said of him in January “Atty Persse has done well, but there are no obvious plans. He probably wants a mile and a quarter to begin with." 

Wuheida

Two from two at two she was a winner on debut at HQ before going on the win the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac in October when really catching my eye and Charlie Appleby clearly likes her. Generally she is around 14's for the Investec Oaks and I think the mile-and-a-half should suit. By Dubawi out of Hibaayeb (Singspiel) her Dam won a G.1 at two over a mile before going on at three to win the G.2 Ribblesdale over 1m4f as well as a Grade 2 at Belmont Park over 1m3f and a Grade One Fillies & Mares event at Hollywood Park over 1m2f.

Appleby said after the race in France: "We did not expect her to win like that, but we knew stepping up to a mile was the way forward. She saw out that trip well, and I've always thought of her as an Oaks filly. The further she goes, the better she'll be………. It's Dubawi's first Group One winner as a two-year-old, so that's such a nice feather in the cap. It was a fantastic ride by William.”

He backed that up in March talking in the Guradian when he said “Yes, the Guineas is obviously a big prize but the Oaks is where we're going to see her at her best so we are working back from that. She might not be sharp enough to go and win a Guineas, we don't know, but we're going to get a better assessment of her if we can see her with a true end to-end gallop going forward to the Oaks." 

 

Older Horses 

Almanzor

One of only two colts in my older horses – no jokes about me liking old mares please - the Jean-Claude Rouget stable star will be back at four having won the G.1 Prix Du Jockey Club, G.1 Irish Champion Stakes and G.1 British Champions Stakes in an impressive 3yo campaign. There is every chance he is still improving and will be a major player in Europe’s major races.

 

Emotionless

The other colt on my older horses list it is fair to say things did not go to plan last year. As a 3yo he was my ante-post 2,000 Guineas punt but he missed the Classic and ran only twice - failing to land a blow in either the G.1 St James's Palace Stakes or the G.3 Thoroughbred Stakes. To my eye he did not go on the track in the Group 2 Al Maktoum Challenge over a mile on the dirt at Meydan (5th January) and I haven’t given up on him yet – he should win some nice races during the summer back on Turf.

Qemah

Jean-Claude Rouget has a decent four-year-old filly to look forward to as well in the shape of this Danehill Dancer daughter. She was put away after disappointing a little in the G.1 Matron Stakes and you can expect to se her aimed at major mile races. 

Minding

O’Brien confirmed in October that she’d be back saying "I think that's the plan (stay in training), I think that's what the lads are thinking of at the moment. Nothing is written in stone, but she would be one to look forward to." She certainly is!

Easton Angel

Michael Dods put a line through her Nunthorpe run last back end and feels she will not be seen at her best until this season. He said at the time “It's tough for three-year-old fillies to keep taking on the older colts, but I'm sure next year she'll be up to it. All season I've sort of had one eye on next year with her." Take note.

Pirquet

I put this one up as a 3YO last year and she never run! As I touched upon at the time Godolphin don’t have that many horses by Sea The Stars which makes this unraced filly all the more interesting. Trained by Michael Halford in Co. Kildare her dam Pleasantry is an unraced half-sister to top-class G.1 winner at 7f-1m Kingman and 1m2f Group 3 winner Remote being out of the French 1,000 Guineas winner Zenda who is a half-sister to Middle Park/July Cup/Nunthorpe winner Oasis Dream. She is bred to be very good if she gets to the track. 

Endless Time

I put the Godolphin filly up last year as a 4yo and she won G.2 Lancashire Oaks on reappearance in July 2016 and, while well held in the G.1 Yorkshire Oaks, went close when 2nd in the G. 1 Prix Vermeille at Chantilly in September and was 2nd again back in France at Saint Cloud in the G.1 Prix Royal-Oak stepping up to 1m7f in October. She goes on good and soft ground as well as Polytrack and is one to keep on side.