Racing UK

Racing UK presenters give you their Flat horses to follow over months ahead

Friday 31 March 2017

By staff

Among the 15 individual winners pinpointed by our team of experts in 2016 were four-time winners Baydar, Vazirabad and Cartwright, alongside dual winners Robinnielly and Don’t Touch.

That is why you simply must make an indelible note of the team’s choices for 2017.

The Racing UK pundits have been pouring over the form and below have come up with their key horse for the 2017 season.

Tony Calvin - Intelligence Cross (Aidan O’Brien) 3yo c:

With seven runs under his belt and only a Group Three win to his name, he was in the second tier of Aidan O’Brien juveniles last season. But his Middle Park fourth suggests he could make up into a leading miler this year, and he never got into the race when held up from a midfield draw in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf on his final start. Ignore that run.

Graham Cunningham - Swiss Storm (David Elsworth) 3yo c:

He's by the mighty Frankel, built like Anthony Joshua and he's destined to win a good handicap before moving up in class in 2017. Swiss Storm was too green to justify a reputation on his Haydock debut but made no mistake at Newbury in September, travelling powerfully to land a fair maiden emphatically. James Willoughby's instant reaction was: "I don't say this often but this is a very good horse." I hope you're right, Willo and the wily David Elsworth can be relied on to maximise his potential.

Chris Dixon - Mustaaqeem (Richard Fahey) 5yo g:

Knocked down to Robin O’Ryan and Richard Fahey for 48,000gns at the Autumn Sales, Mustaaqeem boasts some strong form behind some in-form and improving horses from last season. Already appealing as well handicapped on bare form, I expect this well-bred son of Dynaformer to improve this year (as his half-brother Qaffaal did during his 5yo season) and he could be the type to win a nice handicap – probably at York!

Martin Dixon - Tukhoom (Michael Herrington) 4yo g:

A horse who impressed me when winning his maiden at Goodwood last summer, I expected this well-bred son of Acclamation to progress from that success but he failed to figure in four subsequent handicap starts. However, I think he had excuses on a few occasions and having been picked up by shrewd northern trainer Michael Herrington at the October sales, he looks the type who should belatedly build on his early promise.

Eddie Fremantle - Enable (John Gosden) 3yo f:

This beautiful-looking daughter of Nathaniel made a deep impression on her debut over a mile at Newcastle. Outclassing her rivals in the paddock and when going to post, she quickened impressively to win a maiden that has worked out particularly well. She has both speed and stamina in her pedigree and is an exciting prospect. 

Niall Hannity - What's The Story (Keith Dalgleish) 3yo c:

The story is simple: horse and trainer have a similar profile. Both are young, improving and will be winning together shortly. Running in the well-known Weldspec Glasgow Ltd colours, this strapping son of Harbour Watch was runner-up in all three starts behind some smart winners last term, and strikes as the type to improve physically this season. Rated 82, his shrewd trainer will have little trouble placing him to shed his maiden tag, before making his mark in handicaps.

Richard Hoiles - Beyond Recall (Luca Cumani) 3yo f:

A couple of runs in December look to have laid the foundations for Beyond Recall. She very much caught the eye on the last of those two outings and, once she has had her third run after the break, looks the type to improve considerably when she goes handicapping.

Mark Johnson - Akihiro (Andre Fabre) 3yo c:

He was a perfect two out of two as a juvenile (albeit he needed the help of the stewards to award him his debut victory) but he required no such assistance when cosily taking the Prix des Chenes (Gr3) over a mile at Chantilly in August with subsequent Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Gr1) winner National Defense three lengths behind him in third. Given the Fabre stable was under a cloud for much of last year, what he has already achieved is meritorious but he looks the type to do so much more as a three-year-old, and the turn of foot he showed at Chantilly looked deadly!

Nicholas Lightfoot - Dreamfield (John Gosden) 3yo c:

The Godolphin-owned three-year-old is two out of two and left a striking impression when making all the running in a six-furlong maiden on debut at Nottingham before following up over an extra furlong on softer ground at Newmarket two weeks later. 

Connections have made no secret of the fact that he is a sprinter and have mapped out the Pavillion Stakes at Ascot and then the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, a race for which he is a best-priced 20-1.

Mark Milligan - Lapilli (William Haggas) 4yo g

A winner of three of his four career starts – the most recent in smooth fashion at Bath in August – Lapilli will start this season on a lenient-looking mark of 87, but has the potential to rate much higher. A strong-travelling sort, he could well make his mark in some of the top sprint handicaps throughout 2017 if continuing his progression.

Paul Morrison - Dirty Randy (Keith Dalgleish) 3yo g:

A Notnowcato gelding out of Regal Fairy, the interestingly-named Dirty Randy is a full brother to the talented stayer Regal Monarch. He has got a mark of 60 following his three runs and will now step up markedly in trip. If he has an ounce of his brother’s ability he will win races.

Peter Naughton - The Feathered Nest (Richard Fahey) 3yo f:

He disappointed at Southwell on his third and final start at two but remains very exciting for handicaps this term.  He had been good value for a narrow success in a six-furlong maiden at Chelmsford, having been well-fancied at York on debut three weeks earlier, when he made late progress from the rear to take third. The son of Dragon Pulse is open to any amount of improvement on turf. 

Dave Nevison - War Chief (Alan King) 3yo c:

He raced just twice last season and was the classic fast-finishing notebook horse on his debut at Wolverhampton over a mile. He stayed on extremely powerfully under very tender handling to finish third and would have won in a matter of strides. He dropped down a furlong on turf for his second start when again slowly away, but relished the good to soft conditions and hacked up by five lengths. This was only an auction race but this is a good horse and should reward followers this season. 

John O’Connell - Dance The Dream (Marcus Tregoning) 4yo f:

Well backed when winning at Leicester in a race, in which the placed horses have franked the form since, she is a lightly-raced filly who could land a decent handicap over 12 furlongs-plus and it wouldn't surprise to see her develop into a Listed filly.

Tom Stanley - Paradise Lake (Sir Michael Stoute) 3yo c:

A typical Stoute improver, he shaped with promise on his two starts at seven furlongs as a two-year-old. He has been handled similarly to the yard's Poet's Word, who won a hot Goodwood handicap last year. This 320,000gns son of Siyouni, whose dam is a half-sister to 10 and 12-furlong Group One winner Kalanisi, should have plenty more to offer when upped in trip this year.

James Willoughby - Medahim 3yo c

Those of us in the sectional times community do not get out much. And when we do, it is often to Kempton. So, thank goodness for horses like Medahim who make it all worthwhile and give us something to talk about. His debut data at the London track was sensational. I won't bore you with the details but he has to be a very good horse in the making.

And one for America

Rachel Candelora - Unique Bella (Jerry Hollendorfer) 3yo f:

In an era of great fillies to come out of Southern California she could be the next superstar off the conveyor belt. At time of writing she has won two of her three starts and could not have been more impressive than when blowing the field away by seven and a half lengths in the seven-furlong Santa Ynez Stakes (Grade Two) at Santa Anita in January - after which her "Hall of Fame" rider Mike Smith declared "You can compare her to Songbird". Thus Grade One success should await this daughter of Breeders' Cup Distaff winning mare Unrivaled Belle.


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