Three Year Olds to Follow in the 2012 Classics
Ahead of any new Flat season, the attention is always on which three year olds will have trained on over the Winter from their juvenile campaigns in 2011 to being capable of contending the "classics" in 2012. Here's a look at a selection of three year old fillies and colts are being talked about horses with big futures on the flat.
Maybe - Trained by Aidan O’Brien, this daughter of Galileo progressed with every run in her five starts last season, which culminated in a 1¾ length victory in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes over 7 furlongs at the Curragh. She is the current 9/2 favourite to win the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and is a 12/1 shot to win the Oaks and big things are expected of her in 2012.
Discourse - Although yet to be raced at the highest level, this Mahmood Al Zarooni trained filly was very impressive when winning the Grade 3 Sweet Solera Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket last August. However, much of the hype concerning her ability emanates from her gallop performances which become meaningless when faced with true opposition on the racecourse but if they translate on to the racecourse this year she could be one to watch.
She certainly has potential but the jury must remain out until she makes her seasonal reappearance, probably in the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes over seven furlongs in mid-April at Newmarket.
Wading - Despite being considered only the Aidan O’Brien second string for the 1,000 Guineas, this daughter of Montjeu is bred for distance and could bypass the first Classic of the season and go for the Oaks in June, for which the 10/1 more accurately reflects her potential.
Having won her maiden at the second time of asking at Dundalk, she proved her class by taking the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket in September, indicating that she is progressing nicely. She is a likely starter in the Cheshire Oaks in May as her trial run for Oaks itself, a race that O’Brien has won twice recently.
Lyric Of Light - Lyric Of Light is another Godolphin inmate, winner of both the Group 2 May Hill and the Group 1 Shadwell Stakes in September, to end her season unbeaten after three starts. She is currently 12/1 to win the Oaks two points behind Wading but like Blue Bunting last season, she will probably run in the 1,000 Guineas before heading to Epsom for the Oaks and if she has trained on, could be s star performer throughout the year.
Camelot - Having won his maiden in July, Camelot confirmed the esteem with which he is held by readily winning the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy over a mile at Doncaster, before being put back under wraps for the winter. The Doncaster win marked him down as a highly exciting prospect and one that can go on to much bigger and better things. The son of Montjeu is sure to travel both the mile early on in the year before progressing to the mile and a half. He's certainly got a huge reputation and many are tipping him to be as good as Sea The Stars, a suggestion that remains to be seen but until he's seen on a racecourse he remains highly thought of and this is reflected in his position as the 3/1 favourite in the Epsom Derby betting.
Dabirsim - Many hope that the new flat season will bring about a great rivalry between Camelot and the unbeaten French colt, Dabirsim. With five runs from five runs last season, including the Group 1s Prix Morny over 6 furlongs and the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp, Dabirsim is believed by many French racing pundits to be the best colt that the country has produced for some time.
He is not guaranteed on pedigree to get the Derby trip but he certainly will get the mile and he will be a huge danger in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on 5th May to take on Camelot and the best of the British have to offer. His trainer, Christophe Ferland, has the option of running his charge in the French 2000 Guineas two weeks later but any decision on that will be made after both of the major protagonists have had a trial run but as it stands, Dabirism is an exciting prospect and one to look out for in 2012.
Harbour Watch - Richard Hannon’s Harbour Watch is another Colt unbeaten after three starts as a juvenile. The best of those wins came in his final race last season when he won the Group 2 Richmond Stakes over six furlongs at Glorious Goodwood, despite hanging badly to the right. He has plenty of speed but has yet to show what he can do beyond six furlongs but with age and further training it is believed that he will be tried at a mile in the early Spring with a view to running him in the Guineas.