Friday 18 June 2021

DC’s Dark Horses: Ten To Follow For The 2021 Flat Season

1. Broadhaven
… 3yo F ( Cable Bay x Shy Appeal ) 

Trainer, Jonathan Portman.

A cheap buy as a yearling at just 10,000gns , and a half sister to three winners. Best of three runs came on her final start of 2020 when keeping on inside the final furlong without threatening the principals, to be beaten a total of four lengths behind Russian Camilla. Starts the year on a mark of 61 and can be found a small race now that she is likely to step into handicap company. 

2. Brunnera …. 3yo F ( Dubawi x Romantica ) 

Trainer, Hugo Palmer. 

A beautifully bred filly from a top Juddmonte Farms distaff line. She didn’t live up to that pedigree in three starts as a juvenile, but has shown signs of some ability – enough to suggest that she can win in the right grade. That will hopefully come over in handicaps over middle distances. It will be interesting to see her on better ground as a three year old also, as I am not convinced that the soft surface on her two starts to date proved ideal. 

3. Camelot Tales … 3yo C ( Camelot x Temptress ) 

Trainer, Simon & Ed Crisford. 

Only saw a racecourse for the first time at the start of December, but showed enough when finishing fourth of ten behind Oz Legend at Newcastle over a mile to suggest that winning opportunities can be found. Camelot Tales should stay at least ten furlongs, and should benefit from a winter behind him. I will be disappointed if he doesn’t progress as he gains experience. 

4. John Leeper … 3yo C ( Frankel x Snow Fairy ) 

Trainer, Ed Dunlop. 

Fourth of ten in a Doncaster Maiden over seven furlongs, beaten a shade over three lengths behind Tawaareq on his only start last season. John Leeper is by the great Frankel, out of the 2010 Epsom Oaks and multiple Group winner Snow Fairy, so has much to live up to. It would be unfair and unrealistic to think that he will ever be remotely as good as either of his parents, but he should prove up to winning in Maiden / Novice company over a trip in the region of ten furlongs ( he may even stay a little further ) before hopefully moving on to something better. 

5. King Of Clubs … 3yo C ( Intello x Queen Arabella ) 

Trainer, Hughie Morrison. 

Went into my notebook as a potential improver with a few more races under his belt. Fifth on his only start last year over a mile, and filled the same position when beaten four and a half lengths by Tamborrada at Newcastle over a mile and a quarter in the first week of the new year. Promises to stay 1m 4f and should be placed to the best of his ability. King Of Clubs is the third foal of a daughter of Medicean, whose first two offspring have won four races between them to date. 

6. Moment Critique … 3yo F ( Bated Breath x Tarqua ) 

Trainer, Clive Cox. 

Looked in need of the experience, and a little ill at ease on the soft going at Salisbury on her debut when beating only two horses home in a field of thirteen, around fourteen and a half lengths behind the winner Champagne Piaff. That was over seven furlongs, and Moment Critique was dropped back a furlong for her only other start of the year some nineteen days later, and put up a better effort to finish sixth of eleven behind Popmaster at Kempton beaten less than four lengths. Clearly no world beater but will hopefully be placed to win a race or two over the course of the season. 

7. Nevile Chamberlain … 3yo C ( Shalaa x Black Rodded ) 

Trainer, Martyn Meade. 

A well beaten ninth of twelve over six furlongs at Wolverhampton In the third week of December on his only outing to date. He may well have finished a little closer but for being hampered when staying on with around a furlong to run, and eventually was beaten around ten and a half lengths behind the winner Water Of Leith. It looked a fairly ordinary contest, but Nevile Chamberlain, a half brother to the Richard Spencer trained Louis Treize could be capable of better – and up to shedding his maiden tag. He is also worth a try at slightly further, and like many of last season’s juveniles will benefit from a winter behind him. 

8. Poet’s King … 3yo G ( Paco Boy x Danega ) 

Trainer, Kevin Ryan. 

Looked in need of the experience when fourth of ten over seven furlongs at Chelmsford on his only start last season. It wasn’t a run without any promise, finishing a shade under six lengths behind the winner Inveigle. Poet’s King was gelded a few weeks later, and will have time to recover from the unkindest cut over the winter. I’d imagine that he will take in a Maiden or a Novice event on his return this year, and will stay at least a mile. He should be up to winning an ordinary handicap in the North in time. 

9. Santiki … 3yo F ( Nathaniel x Behkara ) 

Trainer, Michael Bell. 

Never competitive and well beaten, when eighth of twelve behind One Journey over a mile at Newbury on her only run of 2020. I’m fairly confident that can be safely ignored, and put down to inexperience and the difficulty to cope with testing conditions on her first outing. I’ll be disappointed if Santiki cannot put that effort well and truly behind her. She comes from a nice family of the Aga Khan’s band of broodmares, and is a half sister to the Group 1 Grand Prix De Paris winner of 2010 – namely Behkabad. Santiki will stay 1m 4f and should be found winning opportunities over the course of the season. 

10. Torrkee … 3yo C ( Myboycharlie x Fontaine Margot ) 

Trainer, Simon & Ed Crisford. 

A 50k euro purchase at the Arqana yearling sales of 2019, Torrkee looked clearly in need of the experience when third behind Potapova & Natural Value over seven furlongs at Chelmsford in the final week of November. Torrkee dwelt as the stalls opened but was soon in touch chasing the leaders, but was being asked to quicken before they turned for home. The winner quickened away smartly, while Torrkee was outpaced – but to his credit stayed battling for the place all the way to the line. Victory in Maiden company should prove a formality, before hopefully something better, and Torrkee should have no trouble staying at least a mile.

Author: Doug Campbell

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