Last updated Jan 1, 9:43pm     The Executioner on Horse Racing    2 Comments    4026 Views

It doesn't seem that long ago that we said goodbye to the 2016 turf season on the level, but in the eight weeks or so since the curtain came down on the action I have been studying the form book, along with reviewing plenty of races in visual form in the hope of finding plenty of winners for the year that stretches ahead of us. Amongst the list there are a number of maidens with plenty of untapped potential, some likely pattern class performers who could hopefully make the headlines, and also plenty of handicap prospect that will hopefully find their way to the winners enclosure at sometime during the season. Lots to look forward to and don't forget the 2017 turf season will be upon us in around ten weeks or so............. Enjoy the read and fingers crossed for much success ! 1. Across Dubai ( C ) William Haggas Winner of his only start at two when taking a seven furlongs maiden at Lingfield towards the end of October. There was enough to like about the performance to suggest that he should pay his way in his second season. Held up in touch his jockey Pat Cosgrave made his move with around two furlongs to run, staying on well inside the final furlong to get the better of the long odds on favourite Dubai Horizon by a length with a three lengths gap back to the William Knight trained Hajjam in third. It's difficult to know for sure at this stage what to make of the form but Across Dubai a son of Cape Cross should be able to progress with a winter behind him. I'd imagine he may start off over a mile and he has every chance of staying ten furlongs, it will be disappointing if he can't add to his tally during 2017.
2. Aljezeera ( F ) Luca Cumani Aljezeera is a nicely bred daughter of the great Frankel. Racegoers only got to see her the once last season, at Doncaster in mid August over a mile. Despite looking in need of the run she created a favourable impression when coming home in front two and a half lengths ahead of the Tom Dascombe trained Conqueress. The runner up went on to lose her maiden tag eleven days later when winning over seven furlongs at Lingfield. Aljezeera's dam Dynaforce was a smart filly when trained by Andre Fabre, winning in Listed company, but improved further when transferred to the care of William Mott in the U.S where she was successful twice against Grade One performers. Aljezeera herself has the makings of a nice filly at three, she stays a mile well and should have no difficulty in staying an extra couple of furlongs.
3. Alouja ( F ) Hugo Palmer Failed to threaten the judges in two maidens over seven furlongs last season, firstly at Newmarket where she was fourth of ten beaten a total of three and three quarter lengths behind Astronomy's Choice and then on her second start when she finished eighth in a field of fourteen at Kempton behind another Gosden trained filly in the shape of Daban. It's interesting to note that Alouja started favourite on both occasions, most likely on the back of some favourable reports from home. She looks the type not to remain a maiden during 2017 and I'm sure she will be placed to the best of her ability by her highly talented trainer. Alouja may need a minimum of a mile in her second season and should stay a mile and a quarter without any difficulty. Success in maiden company should be forthcoming before hopefully progressing to something better.
4. Alwaysandforever ( F ) Luca Cumani Comfortably held by the John Gosden trained Coronet when a half length runner up in an extended mile maiden at Leicester in the first week of September. That was her only start of the year but it looks a fair effort in hindsight with the winning going on to success in listed company when winning the Zetland Stakes at Newmarket in October, with the third placed home shedding her maiden tag two starts later. Alwaysandforever is by Teofilo out of the Pivotal mare Deep Winter so should be suited to middle distances during the coming season. Her trainer looks to have a few promising types from last season and hopefully Alwaysandforever will progress as she gains experience and reward her connections and followers with a visit or two to the winners enclosure.
5. Astronomy's Choice ( F ) John Gosden Looks a promising filly and won with more in hand than the official half length margin suggested when collecting a valuable maiden at Newmarket on her only outing last term. Held up towards the rear of the field of ten by her jockey Frankie Dettori, she travelled well and made her move inside the final quarter of a mile of the seven furlongs contest, despite running green she had enough in reserve to be able to be eased down towards the finish. I will be surprised if Astronomy's choice can't go on to better things as the season goes on, in fact she may even be aimed at one of the classic trials in the spring. She doesn't hold any entries in our Guineas or Oaks but does hold an early entry in the irish Oaks and while it's too early to suggest she will reach that sort of level, I can visualise her contesting pattern class contests as she develops. Her sire Redoute's Choice is a multiple Group One winner in Australia at trips up to a mile, while her dam the Galileo mare Astronomy Domine showed little in just one start over a mile back in 2011 , so there is no guarantee that she will stay a mile and a half on pedigree. Likely to start the season off over trips in the region of a mile and will hopefully pick up a nice prize along the way.
OLBG Park Stakes, Doncaster 2012 6. Atty Persse ( C ) Roger Charlton Atty Persse a son of Frankel went in to many notebooks for 2017 when collecting a mile maiden at Sandown in mid September. He readily got the better of Hamada by a length and three quarters with a further four lengths back to the third placed horse Keepup Kevin, suggesting already that he was an above average performer. Hamada won a Pontefract maiden by six lengths next time out, and the fourth home Camerone took a mile maiden at Brighton on her only other run last season. Frankel's achievements on track have been well documented and he appears to be passing on his talents to many of his offspring , his first season as a sire has produced many promising types including Atty Persse. Dorcas Lane , the dam of Atty Persse won the Pretty Polly Stakes ( Listed ) over ten furlongs for Lucy Wadham in 2011 and that sort of trip should be well within the compass of Roger Charlton's charge, I'm sure too that Charlton will be tempted to try him at a mile and a half for which I'd give him a sporting chance of staying. A very likeable colt for the season ahead.
7. Bedouin ( G ) Luca Cumani Bedouin will start the campaign from a mark of 73 which seems reasonable following three unsuccessful efforts as a juvenile. There was steady if somewhat unspectacular improvement in those three runs culminating in a fifth of thirteen at Chelmsford in November over seven furlongs beaten a total of four and a quarter lengths behind Richard Hannon's Mamdood. Bedouin's pedigree is one of a mixture of speed and stamina, his sire is High Chaparral winner of the English & Irish Derby and Breeders Cup Turf of 2002 , while his dam Jewel In The Sand won the 2004 Group 2 Cherry Hinton Stakes over six furlongs. Bedouin should benefit from a return to at least a mile and may well stay a little further, however I would have some reservations about him staying a mile and a half. Whether he takes in another maiden or is sent straight in to handicap company will be interesting to see. He should hopefully repay his followers with a win or two, hopefully at rewarding odds.
8. Calibration ( C ) Martyn Meade Earned a rating of 82 after three solid enough looking efforts in maiden company over six and seven furlongs at Ascot, Sandown and Yarmouth, resulting in a third place and two runner up spots. Stepped up to a mile and half a furlong for his debut in handicap company he once again finished second, this time beaten just half a length by the Richard Hannon trained Geneva Convention. It looked an improved effort and it didn't go unnoticed by the official assessor who raised him five pounds after that run. So a mark of 87 is where this son of Excelebration will start his campaign from. Hopefully it is one that will bear some fruit over distances of around ten furlongs, his sire was a three times winner in Group 1 company over a mile, while his dam was a nicely bred but modest maiden over a mile and a half. He's in very capable hands and will hopefully prove worthy of his inclusion in the list.
9. Coronet ( F ) John Gosden A nicely bred daughter of Dubawi out of a Darshaan mare that won in listed company over ten furlongs for Sir Mark Prescott back in 2003. Coronet won both her starts in 2016 , the second of which came when defeating the talented Cunco by a neck in the Zetland Stakes at Newmarket in October. She looks sure to be tackling pattern class races during 2017 , while a trip of a mile maybe on the sharp side for her which would rule out a crack at the 1000 Guineas I can certainly see her taking in an Oaks trial to determine whether she is both good enough or has the stamina required to be aimed at Epsom. Whatever the plans or targets for Coronet she looks a very likeable and talented filly who will hopefully make a smashing broodmare when her racing days are over.
10. Cracksman ( C ) John Gosden Cracksman is a son of Frankel out of a Pivotal mare that won over a mile in listed class in France in 2008 , he has a very nice distaff line that has been in he owners family for a number of generations and dates back to the 1982 1000 Guineas winner On The House. Cracksman has seen the racecourse just the once when taking a late season Newmarket maiden over a mile, beating the Charlie Appleby trained Wild Tempest by a length and a quarter. There looked to be more to come that day and I'm sure he has the ability to move on to better things, in fact I think time should tell us that it was a fair maiden that he took. At this stage he'd only be a possible for the Guineas for which he has a general quote of 33/1 at the time of writing, I'm sure his trainer will consider one of the recognised trials for Newmarket if he thinks that his charge is ready for a crack at the classic. Potentially a smart colt.
Linranno winner of OLBG Park Stakes, Kieren Fallon 11. Crystal Ocean ( C ) Sir Michael Stoute Was put away for the season after just the one outing, when a running on second over seven furlongs in a Newbury maiden in mid September, beaten only a neck by the Richard Hannon trained Warrior's Spirit. Crystal Ocean is a son of the six times Group 1 winning wonder horse Sea The Stars out of a two times winning mare at seven furlongs, including a success in listed class. That one run last season wasn't a bad effort as he looked as if he would improve with time and hopefully he will come on in leaps and bounds during 2017. The bare form of the Newbury race leaves him some way off what is required to mix it with the best, but he strikes me as a possible big improver as he gains experience, and a winter behind him can do no harm at all, A step up to a mile would be on the cards initially I'd imagine and he has a fair chance of staying an extra couple of furlongs. Would be very surprised if he fails to win on more than one occasion.
12. Dariga ( F ) Roger Varian Dariga will hardly be a name on everyone's lips from last season and will be an unlikely headline maker for the season that lies ahead of us. However I did see enough in her two outings to date to suggest that there are races to be won with the filly. Her sire Medicean is a Group 1 winner at both a mile and ten furlongs ( 2001 Lockinge Stakes & Eclipse Stakes ) , and her dam won a Group 3 contest at Naas over a mile and a half. Dariga's two starts last season were over an inadequate looking seven furlongs at Leicester and Newmarket in the space of fifteen days in October. On her debut she ran fifth of ten beaten a total of seven and a half lengths behind Subatomic, her second run brought only slight improvement finishing fourth of ten beaten a shade over five lengths behind White Chocolate. Given a sterner test of stamina of at least ten furlongs I can see a fair amount of improvement in Dariga given her pedigree. What level she will reach is hard to predict at this stage but one thing that is certain is she will be placed to the best of her ability by her handler.
13. Dhajeej ( C ) Roger Varian Dhajeej put up a promising effort on his debut when second of nine behind Wolf Country at Yarmouth over a mile beaten three and a half lengths. He filled the same spot on his only other outing when just touched off by half a length by the promising Tartini at Nottingham ( 8.5f ). Those two run will have given him good experience for what lies ahead and he shouldn't remain a maiden for long. Given just normal development over the winter I can visualise a season of improvement during 2017. Dhajeej is by Cape Cross out of an unraced mare by the multiple Stateside Grade 1 winner Lemon Drop Kid, he'll stay a mile and a quarter without any difficulty and is worth a try at twelve furlongs at sometime during the summer. I'll be astonished if he can't visit the winners enclosure and hopefully that will be on more than one occasion.
14. Dommyah ( F ) Roger Varian Signs of ability on her only start in 2016 when sixth of eleven over six furlongs at Kempton towards the end of September, she was beaten only two and a quarter lengths in total in a maiden contest won by the James Fanshawe trained Magical Dreamer, the third and seventh placed runners later went on to shed their maiden tags and hopefully it won't prove long before Dommyah herself does just that. By Exceed And Excel out of a Shamardal mare who won in listed company over ten furlongs Dommyah should stay at least a mile. It wasn't a bad effort on the artificial surface at Kempton and there is no reason to think that she won't be equally effective on turf.
15. Ebbesbourne ( F ) Sir Michael Stoute Caused a minor surprise @14/1 when running on well to narrowly take a Chelmsford maiden over seven furlongs by a neck from Hyper Dream on her only start last term. That was a pleasing effort as the market indicated that not much was expected of this daughter of Teofilo. The form of the race doesn't look anything to write home about but there was enough to suggest by her performance that she is capable of better at three. She wasn't stopping at Chelmsford so is worth trying at a mile but her immediate pedigree suggests that seven furlongs may prove to be her optimum trip. Will hopefully pay her way for her connections and followers alike.
OLBG Park Stakes, OLBG Branding 16. Ejaaby ( C ) Roger Varian Looked much in need of his debut run late in October when fourth of nine in a Newmarket maiden over seven furlongs behind Mark Johnston's Makkaar, beaten a shade under four lengths in total. His homework must have been reasonable as he was brought out again just thirteen days later at Chelmsford, again over seven furlongs, this time he was narrowly touched off by the Godolphin owned High Waves, showing enough however that he shouldn't remain a maiden for too long. He races as if he will stay a mile, but I wouldn't be too confident of him staying much further. Will hopefully develop in to a nice handicapper.
17. Eminent ( C ) Martyn Meade Another son of Frankel to make the fifty, Eminent left a good impression when readily collecting a Newmarket maiden in September by two and three quarter lengths from Vantage Point. That race was over a mile and he travelled well midway down in a field of eleven before quickening as they approached the final furlong, he quickly asserted and never looked under any threat. There were some nicely bred youngsters that finished behind him that day, however only the fourth home ( Azam ) and the seventh placed ( Taj Mahal ) went on to shed their maiden tags last season so the overall form lacks some depth to it. That said you could not be failed to be impressed by Eminent's superiority and I'm confident that he could go on to better things. Worth a try at a mile and a quarter at some stage of the season.
18. Envoy ( G ) James Eustace Hinted at some ability in two late season maidens at Yarmouth and Nottingham. Looking in need of the outing on his debut at Yarmouth and starting at the dismissive quote of 66/1 he beat only two home in a field of nine, beaten a shade over five lengths in total, he did though appear to travel well enough during the race before weakening out of contention in the final quarter of a mile. At Nottingham on his second start he made much of the running until inside the final two furlongs, when he was ridden and gradually weakened out of the frame, finishing fifth around four and three quarter lengths behind the winner Youmkin. I think there will be a few winners coming out of the Nottingham race and hopefully Envoy will be one of them. Both runs were over trips in the region of a mile and he may well stay a little further, should be up to collecting an ordinary maiden before moving on to handicaps.
19. Face The Facts ( C ) John Gosden Second of eleven beaten a length and a half by Youmkin in the same Nottingham maiden as Envoy ran in. He should benefit from the experience and looks a winner waiting to happen early in 2017. By Nathaniel out of a Nashwan mare, Face The Facts should stay a mile and a quarter well. He does hold an entry in the Epsom Derby and while that long range target may appear a little optimistic at present I have no doubt he will be placed to the best of his ability. Potentially much better than what is in the book to date and his return should be watched with great interest.
20. Frontispiece ( C ) Sir Michael Stoute Her Majesty The Queen looks to have a potentially nice colt in the shape of Frontispiece. On his sole start of 2016 he took an Ascot maiden over seven furlongs, looking in need of the run he appeared to take a while to get going and looked a little outpaced with a couple of furlongs to run. However under a typical Ryan Moore ride Frontispiece stayed on well inside the final furlong to get up right on the line to win by the minimum margin from Make Time, with a head further back to Muhaajal in third. The runner up trained by David Menuisier took a Salisbury maiden by five lengths on his only other start, and the fifth placed home Century Dream shed his maiden tag a few weeks later. Frontispiece will stay a mile without any doubt and raced as though that there should be improvement if stepped up to ten furlongs. Looks sure to win again over the course of the season.
Doncaster 2012, St Leger, Encke, Camelot 21. Gallifrey ( F ) Lucy Wadham Made her racecourse debut in the last week of November when a staying on second at Newcastle over a mile, beaten three and three quarter lengths by the John Gosden trained filly Enable. By Sir Percy out of a Galileo mare one would expect she would be suited by further in time, so hopefully there will be improvement to come. She's unlikely to prove anything special but should find success coming her way in maiden company before stepping in to handicaps. Gallifrey appeared to act well on the all weather surface at Newcastle and I see no reason as to why she won't act equally as well on turf. Will hopefully prove worthy of inclusion in the fifty.
**Shed her maiden tag over a mile after list was completed ( Kempton 20th December )
22. Harry Angel ( C ) Clive Cox Just the two starts last season for this son of Dark Angel, firstly when beaten by just a nose in a fair looking Ascot maiden in early May by the Saeed Bin Suroor trained Reach High. The second outing came almost four and a half months later when Harry Angel was made a well backed 2/1 favourite for the Group 2 Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury, he didn't give his supporters much to worry about and came clear inside the final furlong to finish two and a half lengths in front of Perfect Angel ( a daughter of Dark Angel ) by the winning line. It may not have been the strongest renewal of the Mill Reef but it was clear for all to see that Harry Angel was a horse on the up. His sire was a Group 1 winner as a juvenile over six furlongs while his dam was an ordinary looking maiden over a similar trip, therefore you would expect Clive Cox's charge to be a sprinter. Has the potential to be one of the more quicker of the three year old colts during 2017.
23. Hathiq ( C) Owen Burrows 2016 Rookie trainer Owen Burrows managed to chalk up sixteen winners at the time of writing from one hundred and ten runners ( 14.54% ) , of those sixteen �" nine of them were three year olds ( from sixty runners ) , he also managed fifteen seconds and eight third places from his three year olds, making it 53.33% of his three year olds only to finish in the first three places. Hathiq will start the season from a mark of 83 after taking a Kempton maiden over six furlongs in November, that win came almost four months after his previous outing when second at Newbury over the same trip, and almost five months after his racecourse debut when again second at Newmarket also over six furlongs. Three year old handicaps over that sort of trip seem to be the logical starting point and I'd be hopeful that he's up to collecting a race or two for his followers.
24. Icespire ( F ) John Gosden Icespire caught the eye when collecting a Salisbury maiden over seven furlongs in October on her only outing of 2016 , she was slowly away but made smooth headway after halfway and only needed to ridden out to comfortably score by four lengths from the Richard Hannon trained Mouille Point. It didn't look the strongest of races but you couldn't fail to be impressed by the manner in which the filly won. She has a lovely Juddmonte Farms pedigree dating back a number of generations, being by the all conquering Frankel out of an unraced mare by the stud's champion miler Distant View. She may not have beaten much at Salisbury but I would be disappointed if she can't progress during her second season, and maybe one day she will find herself back at her owner's breeding paddocks. I'd imagine Icepire will start her campaign off over a mile but could be worth a try over a couple of furlongs further when she has a bit more experience under her belt.
25. Kohinoor Diamond ( F ) Sir Mark Prescott Three runs over an inadequate looking six furlongs has earned Kohinoor Diamond an official rating of just fifty five for the start of the 2017 season. On the face of it they were pretty modest efforts, she could just be a pretty modest filly, however I feel that when she is stepped up in trip to a mile or ten furlongs then we may just see some improvement in her. She's certainly in the right hands to progress from two to three. A handicapper is what she will be and hopefully a winning one at that for her connections and followers alike.

Comments (2)


 Jan 1st, 2017 at 21:50

Amazing that it is only ten weeks, and we have Cheltenham to deal with in the meantime!

The Executioner

 Jan 2nd, 2017 at 10:53

It is Gareth , time flies and the flat season will be back before we know it.

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