Dirty Dozen 2018 - Girdys Gee Gees 12 Flat Horses To Follow 2018

Flat Horses To Follow 2018


Alpha Centauri

A filly I backed a couple of times at two she had to go in my flat horses to follow 2018 and may be the one to give Jessica Harrington a first Classic success in 2018 – I hope so as I am on at 33-1 for the 1000 Guineas. Very impressive on her first two starts at Naas before going down by just a neck over six furlongs to Different League (see above) in the G.3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot al on good/good-firm ground. She could only finish fifth in the soft/soft-heavy on her last start in the seven furlong G.1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in September, but Harrington is keen to aim towards the 1000 Guineas next spring. The trainer said back in November "She will probably end up going to the Guineas first and has an Oaks entry as well. You would imagine she will stay."

Charlie Appleby hopes this Godolphin owned colt can continue his progression through the spring and develop into a candidate for this year's Investec Derby. By Dubawi out of Irish 1000 Guineas winner Nightime (Galileo) he finished of his 2YO campaign with victory in the G.3 Autumn Stakes at HQ over a mile in October. Charlie Appleby was saying in January “Physically he was an imposing two-year-old. He is just doing all the right things and putting on the condition in the right places and he looks well…... I'd like to think we are dealing with a horse we could think of as a Derby candidate.” Half sister Zhukova won the G.1 Man o’ War Stakes and he looks one to follow.   

Another from Godolphin and Charlie Applebly; his trainer has earmarked the French Derby as a potential long-term target for the three-year-old who won the G.2 Solario Stakes over seven. The colt was last seen finishing sixth in the one mile G.1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita in November where he got no sort of run and was nearest at finish. The trainer said: "I think he will get further than a mile this year to be honest. Unfortunately we didn't see the real Masar in America. It was one of those messy races and it didn't pan out for him…………… I feel he is a horse that would get a mile and a quarter no problem so he could be one for the French Derby.” By New Approach the Dam Khawlah won the 1m1 ½f G.3 UAE Oaks and G2 UAE Derby back in 2011.   

Cheveley Park Stud owned she is an interesting three-year-old filly being by Frankel out of Infallible. The Sire needs no introduction and the Dam was a G.3 winner and placed in G.1 company but, perhaps more interestingly, being a mare by Pivotal she is a ‘next generation’ version of the Galileo-Pivotal cross – see Rhododendron and Hydrangea. Frankel has sired six runners out of Pivotal mares; four have been winners including this filly, one of course being Cracksman: Frankel-Rhadegunda (Pivotal). Trained by Sir Michael Stoute this filly broke her maiden at the second time of asking when winning a Fillies Maiden at HQ in October and is one to keep an eye on.   

Key Victory
It is Godolphin and Charlie Appleby again with this one; won his sole start at two, a Novice Stakes at HQ last back end despite finding trouble in running coming home very strongly showing a willing attitude. It was a very eye-catching performance. The colt is by Teofilo out of Patroness who never won herself in a short racetrack career but is a full-sister to 1m Group 1 winner Poet's Voice. This colt is her second foal making him the half-brother of 1m winner Blair House (OR 102).  

Kew Gardens
It seems crazy to be thinking about the St Leger before the season even starts but I honestly think Ballydoyle has a contender in this colt, so much so I have taken the 25-1. Signed of his 2yo campaign winning the Listed Zetland Stakes over 1m2f being by Galileo out of Chelsea Rose on breeding a mile-and-a-half could likely be his minimum trip as he matures. Behind more obvious Guineas and Derby stable hopefuls when running over a mile I expect to see this colt come in to his own later in the year.   

Older Horses  

No great shock here and probably in every flat horses to follow 2018 list but from the moment Prince Khalid bin Abdullah released a statement through his Juddmonte Farms that read "Prince Khalid bin Abdullah is pleased to announce that Enable will stay in training for 2018. Her racing programme will be decided in the New Year, but the defence of the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe will be high in consideration." the filly went on the list for 2018. Let’s hop she can follow-up her stellar 2017 when she won The Oaks, Irish Oaks, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks and ended the season winning the Arc!   

Again no great shock here. The way this colt won the Champion Stakes was one of the highlights of 2017 and he will be back in 2018 as a four-year-old. I wouldn’t be surprised if he and Enable are campaigned away from each other again but surely this time it will all be leading to a potential cracker in the Arc come October. Owner-breeder Anthony Oppenheimer said at the end of the 2017 campaign “We're very keen on the King George, obviously, as we used to sponsor the race, and the Arc is another big target.” Frankie Dettori and John Gosden have decisions to make but must be looking forward to 2018!  

Blue Point
A colt I am a fan of he can be considered unlucky to come up against a sprinter of the class of Harry Angel (owned by Godolphin but trained by Clive Cox) during his three-year-old campaign – got the better of him once. He will be spending the winter in Dubai and we should see him aimed at the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan during the Carnival whilst out there. Charlie Appleby told the Godolphin website last back end “Blue Point will be trained ultimately for next year's King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot." Take note.   

A member of the list as a 3YO she ran well in defeat throughout the campaign in races such as the G.1 Matron Stakes and G.1 Prix de l’Opera before finally gaining a well deserved win (when I was not on) in the G.1 Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf. I can see her picking up plenty of prize-money again in 2018. Charlie Appleby said on the Godolphin website in November "She will have an easy first half of the year, and then we will start working towards Kentucky (Churchill Downs) in the autumn. A Group One race such as the Prix Jean Romanet at Deauville in early August is a suitable race that comes to mind for her in summer."  

This Godolphin colt, another in the care of Charlie Appleby, is on the list again for a third year running. As a 3yo he was my ante-post 2,000 Guineas punt but he missed the Classic and ran only twice that season. At four he ran three times at the Carnival in Dubai but was not seen again after a third place finish in the G.2 Dubai City of Gold over 1m4f. Gelded in July 2017 he returned to Dubai as was second to Benbatl on seasonal reappearance in January. He is going to win a race or two this year I am sure!   

How unlucky was she to be around the same season as Winter and Enable? She was second in the 1000 Guineas and Oaks and any other year would have been hailed as a wonder filly winning both! She did eventually get her G.1 win in the Prix de l’Opera Longines on Arc weekend before coming second again, this time to Wuheida as mentioned above in the G.1 Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf.   

Footnote: I make no apologies for the number of Charlie Appleby and Godolphin horses on here this year, I am convinced the yard will be having a big season!