The bettrends Flat Horses To Follow 2023
#1 INTELLOTTO, Joseph Patrick O'Brien
El Fabiolo and Impaire et Passe ensured that Simon Munir and Isaac Souede enjoyed a successful Cheltenham Festival in March and whilst the leading owners still have plenty to look forward to during the concluding weeks of the National Hunt season, they have a nice prospect for the upcoming Flat campaign, in the shape of Intellotto. Having reportedly misbehaved in the stalls beforehand, the son of Lope de Vega ran creditably behind a subsequent Group 3 winner on debut at the Curragh – where he faded late on, having raced prominently – and appreciated the longer trip, when narrowly denied at Punchestown on his second start, in mid-September. Having again raced up with the pace throughout, he looked to have seen off the challengers, when grabbed late by a fast-finishing debutant, but it was a pleasing effort and he should have little trouble in shedding his maiden tag in the coming weeks. Bred to appreciate middle-distances, he is likely to be stepped up to 1m2f or further before too long and if he were to win on reappearance, it could be that he develops into a contender for a valuable handicap, with the King George V Stakes a possible option at Royal Ascot. Intellotto holds an entry in the Irish Derby and looks to be a promising sort, who should do well for his powerful connections this summer.
#2 REGAL HONOUR, Charlie Appleby
The unbeaten Gimcrack winner Noble Style would appear to be the leading hope for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin when it comes to the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, but Regal Honour also holds an entry, and he looked highly promising in two starts as a juvenile. The Dubawi colt was slowly away and looked very green at Newmarket in September and having initially looked like he might struggle to pick up from the back of the field, he really found his stride on the rise to the line and was beaten just over a length in the end. He returned to same course-and-distance (7 furlongs) and justified favouritism almost a month later, although he again took a while to warm to the task. Drawn on the wide outside for the second time, he again dwelt leaving the stalls and was pushed along with around three furlongs to run, but as he did on debut, began to motor home when meeting the rising ground and got up to win narrowly, with a recent handicap winner back in fourth. A half-brother to dual Group 1 winner Rizeena (won the Moyglare Stud Stakes as a two-year-old and Royal Ascot’s Coronation Stakes at three), Regal Honour ought to appreciate stepping up to a mile and whilst the Guineas would look to be a tall order, he could easily develop into a pattern-class performer as the season unfolds. If he were to take his chance in the opening Classic of the season, he would need to cope better with the downhill part of the course and it could be that he will improve for meeting a more galloping track with a long home straight, such as Newbury or York. Nevertheless, he looks to be a bright prospect and should certainly be capable of adding to his tally during the months ahead.
#3 MISTRAL STAR, Hughie Morrison
Another maiden, this filly shaped with plenty of promise on her sole start as a two-year-old, when runner-up in a mile maiden on the all-weather at Lingfield, in late-November. Although only 2 lengths separated the first six home (so, perhaps, the strength of the form can be questioned), Mistral Star was kept wide from her outside draw, but travelled with purpose and ran a race full of promise under Jason Hart. Another who is bred to relish going up in trip, she is a three-parts sister to Telecaster, who was a smart performer for the same stable. Despite not running as a juvenile, he won at Windsor on his second start at three, before landing the Dante Stakes at York and returned to win a brace of Group races in France as a four-year-old. Telecaster was fully effective between 1m2f and 1m4f, so expect this daughter of Frankel to flourish over a similar distance and although she holds no fancy entries at this stage, it would be no surprise to see her develop into a very nice filly.
#4 HEARTACHE TONIGHT, David Menuisier
It was only 18 months ago that David Menuisier had leading Arc hope Wonderful Tonight aiming high and dreaming of landing Europe’s richest Flat race. Unfortunately, the Royal Ascot and two-time Group 1 winner was sadly retired due to a leg injury and any Arc hopes were grinded to a halt for the French-born trainer. However, just two seasons on, the superstar mare’s half-sister, Heartache Tonight, bids to take on the mantle and carry the torch for the same connections in her upcoming three-year-old season. Out of Acomb Stakes winner, Recorder, she won her only start as a two-year-old over 1m1f at Longchamp on heavy ground. She picked up nicely from the front just over two furlongs out, showing a nice turn of foot to lengthen away from her rivals and still staying on strongly towards the line, winning by two-and-a-half lengths. Based on that performance, she will have no problem staying 1m2f plus and will improve the further she goes, so this exciting young filly has a whole host of options open to her. She is entered to run on Friday 21st April in the Group 3 Prix Cleopatre over 1m2 ½f, a race won by last year’s subsequent Prix de l’Opera winner, Place Du Carrousel. A win here will set her up nicely for a tilt at one of the Classics, and staying in France for the Prix de Diane may be the best option for a horse who will enjoy a little more ease in the ground. Just like her half-sister, her later season targets will likely involve stepping up to 1m4f in races like the Prix Vermeille and the Champions Fillies & Mares’ Stakes at Ascot, and she is a filly with an extremely exciting future if all goes to plan.
#5 CHANGEOFMIND, Declan Carroll
This three-year-old colt is a prodigy of Sioux Nation, the dam is Dusty and the dam’s sire is Paco Boy this has him bred to be rather speedy. This speed was proven in his only run of 2022 where he won gamely breaking the track record at Chester in the Champagne Laurent-Perrier EBF Maiden Stakes. He won this by ¾ of a length and his win was never in doubt in the closing stages. Despite this being a Class 4, this race has produced some nicely rated horses and he has beaten Silencer at the time for trainer Richard Hannon who came second in a Class 2 at Goodwood by only a length showing Changeofmind has plenty of potential. As we’re all aware Sioux Nation’s progeny has been proven as he’s got a 45 percent strike rate with his flat horses, and he also has a particularly strong two-year-olds who seem to progress well from this. Despite only having one run, this chestnut colt has shown plenty of potential here and still needs a handicap mark which will probably be mid -80s depending on the next two runs and the guide from the rest of the field’s rating in the race he won. Based with Northern trainer Declan Carroll who only has a small yard, he’s carefully picking the races out for this promising young horse. He has a nice success rate with younger horses, including having a two-year-old win a Group 3. He’s got a good reputation with juvenile horses so it’s promising for this one. This one run was due to him being a tad young in himself and he’s certainly progressed and become a nice looking three-year-old and has filled into his frame more than last year. His early runs will probably come around a tight course which should help keep him focussed and due to his turn of foot the draw doesn’t particularly matter, but he would run better if he can get headway and sit on the rail.
#6 ARREST, John & Thady Gosden
John Gosden last won the Derby in 2015, when Golden Horn landed the Epsom Classic in emphatic style under Frankie Dettori, but Arrest looks to hold serious claims entering his three-year-old season. The son of Frankel was highly progressive last term, racing in some real hot maiden/novice contests over a mile. He caught the eye on debut when flying home from the rear, and actually ran the final three furlongs quicker than subsequent Group 3 winner Nostrum that day. He then won his next two starts over a mile, beating Convivial Maiden winner Desert Order and Group 2-placed Sea Of Roses. He took the step up in class in his stride when narrowly denied in the Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud on his final start as a two-year-old, and he stayed 1m2f on heavy ground that day, so there are no doubts about the Derby trip. He has a lovely big stride, and is bred to improve from two to three, so the fact he already has Group 1 form on his page is just an added bonus. He will take in the bet365 Classic Trial on reappearance at Sandown, and he could set down a real marker for the Derby with a good performance there. There is so much scope for improvement with Arrest as he steps up in trip and he could be a real top-notch performer for the Gosden team in 2023.
#7 SALT BAY, Ralph Beckett
Salt Bay fetched a hefty price tag at Tattersalls Book 1, setting owners Valmont back 350,000 Guineas for this son of Farhh. He showed real promise in his first two starts last term though, and began to show why his owners splashed the cash. He travelled well through the race on debut over a mile at Haydock, before jumping in the air at the furlong pole. For most horses, this would be the race lost at that point, but Salt Bay recovered extremely well and still ran out a comfortable two-length winner. It shows that trainer Ralph Beckett must think an awful lot of this horse’s ability that he was stepped up straight into Group 1 company for his next and final start of the season. He finished a staying-on third in the Criterium International at Saint-Cloud, behind two Coolmore prospects with much more experience, so it was a fantastic run on only his second start. The top two were better positioned in the contest too, setting a moderate gallop from the front and gaining first run from the rail on the home straight. His pedigree is stacked full of stamina, and he can build on that initial promise now stepped up in trip in his three-year-old season. He is another who will likely take in the bet365 Classic Trial, just like Westover for the same trainer last term, and he currently holds entries in both the Derby and Irish Derby.
#8 INFINITE COSMOS, Sir Michael Stoute
Sir Michael Stoute had an excellent campaign last term, landing the Derby with Desert Crown as well as lowering the colours of the great Baaeed in the QIPCO Champion Stakes with Bay Bridge. Infinite Cosmos ran just once last term, finishing a short-head second in a fillies’ maiden at Doncaster over a mile. The daughter of Sea The Stars was slowly away and lost ground at the start, but caught the eye when finishing extremely strongly in the final three furlongs, just failing to reel in a filly who already had a start under her belt. The winner that day, Sea Of Roses, has since come out this season with a good performance in a Group 3, finishing second in the Prix Penelope at the start of April, so the form has a solid look to it. She is out of a 1m4f Listed winner, who is the half-sister to Listed winner Crystal Star, the dam of Group 1 winners Crystal Ocean and Hillstar. She looks a real bright prospect who will likely take in a fillies’ maiden to begin her campaign, and could be one that plays a leading role in Group company throughout the season over ten furlongs and further. She boasts an entry in the Oaks, a race that has avoided Sir Michael Stoute since Unite’s five-length success back in 1987, with that filly also finishing second on her only start as a two-year-old.
#9 ETERNAL SILENCE, Mrs John Harrington
Although still a maiden, Eternal Silence kept top company last term and held her own in Group contests as a two-year-old in 2022. On just her second start, she finished third in the Group 3 Newtownanner Stud Irish EBF Stakes, a race Jessica Harrington won last year with Irish Oaks winner Magical Lagoon and in 2019 with Irish Oaks second Cayenne Pepper, so she often sends one of her good ones. She was then stepped up to Group 1 company to close the season in the Moyglare Stud Stakes, finishing a good third on ground that was plenty soft enough for her. As is often the case, that contest has turned out to be red-hot with the second, Meditate, landing the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf and the fourth, Never Ending Story, victorious on reappearance when winning the Group 3 Priory Belle in impressive style. She will likely attempt to shed her maiden tag on route to the Irish 1,000 Guineas, a race her trainer won in 2018 with Alpha Centauri, that filly also beaten in the Moyglare on her last start as a two-year-old. There is plenty of stamina on the dam side though, and both her dam and granddam were winners of the Ribblesdale Stakes over 1m4f at Royal Ascot. It could be that she is stepped up in trip following the Irish 1,000 Guineas with the previously mentioned Ribblesdale Stakes a potential option, as well as the Irish Oaks, with Harrington landing both of those prizes in 2022. She will appreciate the quick summer ground, and she couldn’t be in better hands with Harrington one of the best trainers of top fillies in the game.
#10 MEASURED TIME, Charlie Appleby
A big, strapping son of Frankel, Measured Time made a striking impression when winning on his sole start last term at Kempton over a mile. He ran rather keen in the earlier stages and didn’t look to know his job, but when the penny dropped he swept past the field down the centre to win going away by a four lengths. The second, Wonder Legend, has since won a Wolverhampton maiden whilst the third, stablemate Golden Speech, was much more experienced and had run in behind the likes of Nostrum and One Nation previously. The fact he won so impressively on debut despite looking big and immature offers plenty of promise going forward into his three-year-old season. Measured Time has a long stride and looks a true galloper, so he looks set to improve massively at three when stepped up in trip. He is a half-brother to the smart Rebel’s Romance, who landed three Group 1’s over 1m4f last term culminating with a victory in the Breeder’s Cup Turf. Still inexperienced without any fancy entries at this point, he could be one that is brought along slowly, and the likes of the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood and the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York, both over 1m4f, could be potential targets later in the season.
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