Twelve Horses To Follow For The 2024 Turf Season
Flat Horses To Follow 2024 - Girdys Gee Gees Dirty Dozen
Treasure Time I simply have to put this one in as I hold a handful of shares in the gelding with Raceshare. He won’t be going after the Classics but having been all over the show on debut at Newbury last summer, hence the gelding operation, he ran a cracker to be second on his next start at Kempton Park on the Polytrack in the autumn and will surely be winning races at three. William Haggas often aims his three-year-old handicappers that might get a mile at the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot and that’s the dream. Whether Treasure Time runs at Ascot or not I am convinced he will be winning races in 2024 and expect to see him out early around March time if all goes to plan, possibly on the All-Weather, which will be his third start so he can then be allocated a handicap mark. All his siblings have got better with age and won at three, with a couple making it into the 100’s on OR’s, so hopefully the team at Somerville Lodge will have something to work with.
Ancient Wisdom was one I talked of and tipped several times at two and the colt finished his juvenile campaign with a determined victory on heavy ground in the G.1 Futurity Trophy at Doncaster. Following that win Charlie Appleby said “We feel that Ancient Wisdom is going to improve from two to three and we will see what we have in the spring in terms of where we start him off. The 2,000 Guineas will be spoken about, but he is a horse who looks as though middle distances will take him to another level.” William Buick said “He is a beautiful horse to look at and has done nothing but strengthen all year. A winter on his back will do him even better and we have plenty to look forward to next year.” I think Appleby has a point and this one might be more a Derby contender than Guineas but either way will surely win races in 2024 and be worth following.
Ocean Of Dreams may not be at the top of the pecking order over at Ballydoyle at the moment but I wonder if this one may turn out to be pretty good. By Fastnet Rock, the Australian champion sprinter and subsequently champion sire down under he is out of All For Glory an unraced Giants Causeway mare. All For Glory is out of All To Beautiful, a daughter in turn of blue hen Urban Sea, so there is a lot to like in this one pedigree. He won his maiden at Leopardstown over a mile in October by six-lengths on heavy ground and I think could be a Derby horse with the stamina in the pedigree and his sire has produced decent middle-distance offspring; the stables Oaks winner Qualify amongst others.
Grosvenor Square might be a St Leger horse in my opinion. By Galileo out of Wadyhatta he is a half-brother to Queens Vase and Irish Derby winner Santiago and there is plenty of stamina in the pedigree. Signed off his two-year-old campaign winning the 1m1f G.3 Eyrefield Stakes at Leopardstown on heavy ground already looking a stayer. Seamie Heffernan said after the race "Aidan said that he wouldn't cringe under pressure and not to be afraid to make it. His attitude is a huge plus. It's good that he had to go and do it on this ground. The soft ones will fold and the good ones will put their heads down. He's still very weak and he has a big future. If his attitude gets any better, it will take a fair one to get past him."
Vandeek went into winter quarters unbeaten after four starts at two his season culminating with victories in the G.1 Prix Morny and then the Middle Park Stakes. Owner Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa and trainer Simon Crisford have been quite open about the fact the G.1 Commonwealth Cup is his first target as a three-year-old and we may see him in the G.2 Sandy Lane Stakes as a prep.See The Fire didn’t make her debut at two until August when she won over 7f at HQ. She finished second in the mile G.2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster on her next start when still noticeably green and then third in the G.1 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket behind the more seasoned Ylang Ylang and Shuwari. By Sea The Stars and out of Arabian Queen, she is bred to be good and to get at least ten furlongs. Reportedly Andrew Balding is aiming her at the 1,000 Guineas early in the campaign but don’t be surprised if she is running over further by the summer.
Popcorn Magic the four-year-old didn’t make his debut until November last year as a three-year-old at Lingfield winning over the 1m2f there despite doing plenty wrong. The chestnut colt was slow away, keen in the early stages and then pretty green when first put under pressure. All that said he won, quickening clear of the field under David Probert in the style of a horse with plenty more under the bonnet when he gets the hang of things.
He might be one to keep an eye on this winter on the All-Weather and hopefully through summer.
Arabian Storm has had just the four starts to date and was not seen again on the track last season after finishing third in the Listed King Charles II Stakes at Newmarket in May. He is due to return to training at Park House Stables with Andrew Balding soon and I noted him saying this colt is a potentially exciting prospect as a four year old if his niggles are behind him.
Goldspur ran in the Listed 1m4f Wild Flower Stakes in December with trainer Charlie Appleby being quite open about the fact it was a bit of a tester, the four-year-old having been off the track for 600 days. He was on pacemaker duty for Rebels Romance truth be told and it was a fair effort under no more than gentle encouragement from James Doyle after such a long absence. At three his only run was when third in the 1m2f G.3 Sandown Classic Trial behind Westover, was gelded after that, and it is interesting Godolphin have kept him in training; they clearly think he can win races. He’ll be five in 2024 but with just five runs to his name could improve yet and should be worth following over the coming months especially in Dubai at the Carnival which appears to be his aim.
Silver Knott was on the list as a three-year-old last season and as it turned out spent more time in America than he did here in the UK. I suggested last year he may be one that makes a few trips across the pond to America from Moulton Paddocks and after he ran in the 2,000 Guineas at HQ all five of his subsequent races were over in the USA. Having been gelded in August 2023 I expect to see this one campaigned internationally again in 2024 and he is certainly due a win or two after several good runs in defeat.
Naval Power was my ante-post Derby bet in 2023 and having won the Listed Jumeirah Classic Presented by Longines at Meydan in January last season he wasn’t seen again; was being aimed at the Craven Stakes as his Classic trial. His sole defeat on track in six starts to date came in the G.1 Dewhurst Stakes as a two-year-old but he was reported to have bled during the race and produced an unsatisfactory scope afterwards so can be forgiven that. Gelded in May it’s all about winning races for him now and all being well he should win plenty over the coming months.
Measured Time won out in Dubai in December to make it four wins in five runs as a three-year-old, didn’t run at two, and could have more to give in 2024. That victory came in the 1m2f G.2 Al Rashidiya and we’re likely to see a bit of him in Dubai through the Carnival before he returns to the UK. Something like the G.2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot could be an aim.