With the recent return of racing action and with the first Group One of the British racing season set to take place tomorrow (6 June) at Newmarket – much to the delight of sporting fans – H&H picks out a handful of horses worth keeping an eye on during this Flat season...
Racing fans were delighted when the news was announced that supermare Enable (pictured, below) would remain in training for 2020, and her visit to the breeding shed would be put on hold.
The dual Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner is set to return to the racecourse in the Group One Coral-Eclipse Stakes at Sandown Park on 5 July, bypassing Royal Ascot (16-20 June).
The 13-time victor, who is trained by John Gosden and partnered by Frankie Dettori, attempted a record-breaking third win in the Arc last October, but finished second to Waldgeist.
Before this race in Paris – only her second career defeat – Enable beat Magical in the 2019 Coral-Eclipse, then went on to land the King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot and the Yorkshire Oaks at York.
The six-year-old has been kept in training specifically to have another shot at the French highlight in October.
Described as last season’s “juvenile sensation”, the unbeaten three-year-old son of Shamardal is set to begin his highly-anticipated Classic campaign with the 2,000 Guineas on Saturday, 6 June. His trainer Charlie Appleby feels the Godolphin-owned colt is “bigger and stronger” this year.
Pinatubo’s brilliant two-year-old campaign saw him win all six of his races, earning him a rating higher than Frankel at that stage of his career.
In 2019, the Charlie Hills-trained six-year-old won the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes at York, plus Group Two races – the King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood and the Temple Stake sat Haydock Park, under regular jockey Jim Crowley. As a two-year-old, the son of Dark Angel was described as “having bags of energy and rather boisterous.”
Owned by Hamdan Al Maktoum, Battaash (pictured, below) was gelded as a young horse to allow him to settle more at the racecourse and in his races.
“We knew that he had the ability, but he was getting very distracted on the racecourse,” said Charlie. “He’s gained experience the more he’s raced and is much better behaved now. He’s a brilliant horse to have in the yard and my kids love going out to see him in his stable.
“We’ll prepare him as always and hope to start his season at Royal Ascot in June. Then we’ll take the same route with him as previous seasons – Goodwood followed by York in August.”
Running in the famous silks carried by 2015 Derby winner Golden Horn, the John Gosden-trained four-year-old filly won all but one of her six starts in 2019, including three Group Ones.
The daughter of Sea The Stars is owned by Anthony Oppenheimer and was bred at his Hascombe and Valiant Stud.
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And not forgetting the two-year-olds…
Chief Little Hawk
The Aidan O’Brien-trained son of Air Force Blue is set to make his debut on a racecourse this season, and may head to Royal Ascot for one of the two-year-old races.
Described as “sharp” by his trainer, the colt has shown he has plenty of speed at home and looks to be an exciting prospect for 2020.
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