Looking For Next Year's Super Stars
Racing Ahead|November 2020
Ian Heitman has been kept busy covering all the autumn action
Ian Heitman

Due to the late start of the turf season, there are going to be plenty of two-year-old races between now and the end of the year and there is every chance a future star will make their first racecourse appearance.

Since the last issue there has been some high-class two-year-old racing across Europe with plenty of Group 1 races to look back on.

Newmarket Cambridgeshire Meeting

The first juvenile winner of the meeting was Royal Champion who made a winning racecourse debut for Roger Varian in the one-mile maiden. He was too strong for favourite Toromana inside the final furlong winning by a length and quarter. He has an excellent pedigree and should be running in Group races over a mile and quarter next year.

Lost In Space might have taken four starts to win his first race, but he hasn’t stopped improving since winning at Lingfield in mid-August. He followed up with a win at Newmarket’s July course and he comfortably won the one-mile nursery by four lengths off a mark of 90. He was raised 10lb for that win and is likely to have his next start for a new trainer as connections have decided to sell him at the Horses-In-Training Sale at Newmarket at the end of October.

The feature race on the opening day of the three-day meeting was the Group 3 Tattersalls Stakes over 7f which saw La Barrosa go off a strong favourite following an impressive debut win at Ascot which has seen plenty of next time out winners. He picked up well inside the last 100 yards having been trapped against the running rail, leading with 50 yards to go, beating Dark Lion by a length to retain his unbeaten record. He is one of the leading juveniles in the Charlie Appleby yard and he should progress into leading three-year-old in 2021.

The opening race on the second day of the meeting went to Rainbow Fire who improved on his debut eighth at Newbury to win for John Gosden and Robert Havlin, beating Roscioli by a length, the pair three and a half lengths clear of the third, Crossford. There was plenty of promise from the well supported favourite, Quintillus who raced close to the pace and had every chance but tired inside the last furlong. Both he and Roscioli should have little trouble winning next time. Rainbow Fire could progress into a Royal Ascot horse next year, depending on how much progress he makes, the Jersey Stakes or Britannia Handicap could be the races for him.

Isabella Giles took her record to four wins from five starts in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes over 7f which only attracted five runners. She led all the way under Adam Kirby and continued the good run of Clive Cox trained two-years-olds in Group races, this the fourth win of 2020. She was too strong for Nazuna, who was making the jump from nursery company into pattern company, winning by two lengths.

Five of the seven races on the final day were for two-year-olds, Saffron Beach winning the first, a 7f maiden fillies race. Well supported from 28/1 to 12/1, she was way too good for her 14 rivals winning by four and a half lengths, providing Jane Chapple-Hyam with a third winning newcomer of 2020 from just seven runners.

The first of three Group races, the Group 2 Royal Lodge Stakes over a mile was up next and like the Rockfel Stakes the previous day, this too attracted a field of five, however this was a much stronger race with four of the five rated 105 or higher.

New Mandate stayed on well under Frankie Dettori having taken the lead a furlong and a half from the finish, beating Ontario by three quarters of a length with pace-setting Cobh in third and the previously unbeaten pair, Gear Up and Pleasant Man fourth and fifth respectively. New Mandate could be heading for the Breeders’ Cup at Keenland in November, where he will bid to provide his trainer, Ralph Beckett, with a first Group 1 two-year-old winner.

Two Group 1 races over 6f were the next two races, the Cheveley Park Stakes for fillies and the Middle Park Stakes for colts. Eight fillies lined up for the Cheveley Park with Lowther Stakes winner, Miss Amulet the 5/2 favourite with Ryan Moore onboard for the first time. Alcohol Free, winner of the Dick Poole Stakes at Salisbury, attracted plenty of support, in from an opening price of 6/1 to 7/2 second favourite. Given Dandalla was unbeaten having won at Royal Ascot and the Group 2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at the July Festival, it was a surprise to see her as big as 5/1.

The market got it pretty much spot on with the well-supported Alcohol Free, who took the lead at halfway, holding off the challenges of Miss Amulet and Umm Kulthum inside the last furlong to win by half a length. Happy Romance finished fourth, whilst Dandalla never managed to land a blow and was fifth. Alcohol Free’s trainer, Andrew Balding has had an excellent season, a first 2000 Guineas winner courtesy of Kameko, and this was his first winner in the Cheveley Park Stakes. A mile next year will be Alcohol Free’s limit based on her pedigree, she is a best-priced 33/1 for next year’s 1000 Guineas. Miss Amulet is all about speed and she should pick up some good sprint races in 2021 as too should Umm Kulthum who has progressed very well since her debut win at Thirsk.

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