I’VE been going Flat out to find a stack of winners for this summer.
From Classic contenders to lightning-fast sprinters I reckon there’s plenty of dazzlers to delight us in my terrific ten to follow.
Keep your eyes peeled for their entries in the coming months and hopefully we’ll be counting the cash.
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Aljezeera – Luca Cumani
FRANKEL’S kids seem to be taking over the world. The 10-time Group 1 scorer made a stunning start to his stud career last year and the early signs of this season are equally impressive.
Nearly half of Frankel’s 39 sons and daughters to see the track last term were successful. One of them was Aljezeera.
She went off a shade of odds-on for her debut at Doncaster in August and she didn’t disappoint. This Al Shaqab filly got the job done with the minimum of fuss and looks classy. She’s likely to be suited by stepping up to 1m2f at least and should win decent races.
Blue Point – Charlie Appleby
I’LL get to the Point. I think this Godolphin speedster will be the star three-year-old sprinter this season.
His form as a juvenile last season was rock-solid. After easily winning his first two races he was unlucky to go down by a neck to smart Mehmas in Goodwood’s Richmond Stakes.
His three-length Gimcrack success at York was most impressive and he didn’t get the clearest of runs when runner-up to The Last Lion in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes.
He’s got everything it takes to be a top sprinter and he looks a big contender for Royal Ascot’s Commonwealth Cup.
Cracksman – John Gosden
ENJOY the Crack. Some people were disappointed with Cracksman’s victory in Epsom’s Classic Trial on Wednesday – but not me.
Okay, so the bare form leaves him well short of what’s required to win the Derby. But there’s no doubt he will improve a stack for the run. And he’s going to keep on improving.
Trainer John Gosden was keen to get more experience into this big son on Frankel and he’s likely to head to another trial next month.
Despite scoring around the twists and turns on Wednesday it’s hard to imagine Epsom is his ideal track. Whatever happens in the Derby I’m sure he will win top races in the colours of Golden Horn’s owner Anthony Oppenheimer.
Limato – Henry Candy
HIS owner Paul Jacobs might not agree but it’s great that Limato lost his conkers before he set hoof on a racecourse. It means there’s no stud duties waiting for him and race fans will hopefully get to see him for many years.
With Flat racing’s brightest stars rarely sticking around for long Limato has the opportunity to become a legend of the turf. I think he’s that good.
He bolted up in the July Cup last season before adding another Group 1 over seven furlongs in France.
The dry spring means he should get his favoured fast ground early in the season and I reckon another go at a mile is worth chancing.
But he’s already proved he’s star sprinter so he won’t be short of options.
Queen’s Trust – Sir Michael Stoute
IF there’s one thing you can Trust in racing its Sir Michael Stoute’s touch with four-year-old fillies.
The canny trainer is peerless with horses like Queen’s Trust. She had top-class form last season when placed in the Nassau Stakes, Yorkshire Oaks and Ascot’s Champion Fillies and Mares race.
But her best performance came when swooping late to land the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf in America. That won’t be the last top-class contest she’ll win – that’s for sure.
Ribchester – Richard Fahey
I’M sure this Rib tickler will have us laughing all the way to the bank.
After a good third in the 2000 Guineas he developed into a top miler last season. His victory in Deauville’s Jacques Le Marois was sandwiched by placed efforts in the Sussex Stakes and the QEII on Champions’ Day.
There was a lot to like about his close third to Japanese ace Vivlos in a Group 1 over 1m1f at Meydan on Dubai World Cup night and he looks sure to be a force in top-class mile contests this summer.
Shutter Speed – John Gosden
RACING’S photographers are sure to be focusing their lenses on Shutter Speed a few times this summer.
The snappers have already got more than glimpse of John Gosden’s filly after she destroyed a decent field at Newbury last week.
The extra two furlongs of the Oaks might be a problem but if she does stay the distance she will be a big player in the Epsom Classic. If it does stretch her stamina she should be able to win big races over 1m2f and – after just two runs – she is proven on soft and fast ground.
Stamp Hill – Richard Fahey
THERE’S few trainers as good as delivering punters big handicap wins than Richard Fahey.
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Top Tipster Steve Mullen’s best racing selections for Wednesday, April 26 including the Punchestown Festival
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All the rest of the action from a cracking day at Chantilly including a welcome winner for Criquette Head-Maarek
And he looks to have another reliable performer on his hands for plenty of the big pots in Stamp Hill.
He was progressive last season and he had obvious excuses for his rare below-par efforts. A high draw did for him in the Ayr Silver Cup and it’s not hard to imagine he might be back in Scotland in September going for Gold.
He’s at his best on soft ground so might be at his best later in the year and he’s proven over six and seven furlongs. I’m confident he will win a decent handicap or two.
To Be Wild – Hugo Palmer
IT will soon be time to go Wild.
On the face of it To Be Wild was a little disappointing on his return to action on Newcastle’s all-weather two weeks ago. But that was a good race and he just found himself too far back in a race dominated by prominent racers.
His turf form last season was very good. After landing a Ffos Las maiden he bolted up at Doncaster on his handicap debut. Both those races were over 1m4f but he looks likely to be even better when stepped up in trip.
The Ebor at York looks an obvious target – unless he’s already progressed to Group races by then – because that’s where he’s heading.
What’s The Story – Keith Dalgleish
THIS Story should have a happy ending. It’s certainly been a riveting beginning.
He finished runner-up in his first three starts – all over Hamilton’s straight six furlongs and all last season. Longer distances were always going to suit him better and so it proved when he struck over seven furlongs at Musselburgh two weeks ago.
A step up to a mile should help him improve again and I’m sure there’s more races to be won with this three-year-old. And Keith Dalgleish is a trainer to keep a close eye on.