Racing: Frank Brownlow picks out his ten of the best
Horses to follow this season.
1. FRANKEL (Henry Cecil)
No list of horses to follow for this Flat season would be worth the paper it’s written on without this would-be wonder horse. His trainer is legendary for his guarded praise of his horses early in their careers, but the word was out from all and sundry about this individual very early in the piece.
2. WORLD DOMINATION (Henry Cecil)
Although unraced, various 'informed' sources insist this horse is very useful and while his 25-1 price for the Derby is based on those rumours, he has the pedigree — by top American colt Empire Maker out of Cecil's brilliant filly Ream Of Verse — to be very good.
3. DUBAI PRINCE (Mahmood Al Zarooni)
Frankel apart, this might be the most exciting animal in Newmarket. Formerly trained by the master Dermot Weld in Ireland, the son of Shamardal is unbeaten in two starts. The last of those was in the Killavullan Stakes where he oozed class in dismissing dual winner Warning Flag with ridiculous ease.
4. RITE OF PASSAGE (Dermot Weld)
Yeats did so much to revive the Ascot Gold Cup in recent years, restoring the great race to former glories. With Aidan O'Brien's superstar enjoying life as a stallion, the way is clear for a new king of the stayers. Step forward Rite Of Passage, who showed class and stamina in holding Age Of Aquarius in the Royal showpiece last season.
5. OUR JOE MAC (Richard Fahey)
Winner of a valuable soft-ground handicap at Haydock in August, this unexposed four-year-old is said to have strengthened immeasurably over the winter months.
He is considered one of the leading lights in his upwardly mobile North Yorkshire stable, one that includes Classic hope Wootton Bassett.
6. HAVANT (Sir Michael Stoute)
Justified strong market support when making a winning debut at Newmarket in August and returned to Headquarters to land the Oh So Sharp Stakes. A dark horse for the 1000 Guineas.
7. LADY OF THE DESERT (Brian Meehan)
Trained with the Classics in mind at the start of 2010, it soon became evident she did not the stay the mile. But once dropped back to sprinting distances, she showed a high level of form, notably finishing second in the Prix de l'Abbaye.
8. WORKFORCE (Sir Michael Stoute)
The sky is the limit this season for the Khalid Abdullah-owned colt on the back of his sensational three-year-old campaign, although it will be interesting to see how he takes his racing.
Brilliant at Epsom, he was a huge disappointment in the King George before returning from a break to end Stoute's hoodoo in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
9. RECITAL (Aidan O'Brien)
If there was one horse to take from Ballydoyle with hopes of a big Classic year, it is this son of Montjeu.
Just like Fame And Glory, he was sent to Group One company in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud, where he was five lengths too good for the rest.
The Irish Derby will be his race.
10. CANFORD CLIFFS (Richard Hannon)
Hopefully Hannon's pride and joy will have some titanic battles with Goldikova this season, perhaps doing what stablemate Paco Boy failed to do last year. All the top mile events will be on the agenda.