The 2018 Turf Flat Season overall proved somewhat of a disappointment to Course Specialist.
The Classic generation produced one or two outstanding performers, but none of the five English Classic winners triumphed again on the racecourse.
The two year old picture, in many ways, was a high point, with some thrilling performances and some exciting prospects going into 2019.
Top of the pile has to be Too Darn Hot, who impressed on every occasion he raced, culminating in his dominant victory in the Group One Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
Refreshingly, the John Gosden trained son of Dubawi is not owned by the usual suspects at Coolmore or Godolphin, rather he is the red hot property of Lady and Lord Lloyd-Webber, who owned the brilliant dam Dar Re Mi.
She had already thrown the smart So Mi Dar and this year’s St Leger runner up Lah Ti Dar – both of whom were fancied runners for their respective Oaks, but missed the race due to setbacks.
Already Too Darn Hot has won as many races as that celebrated pair of fillies and he has shown more natural speed in the process.
It is to be hoped that fortune favours him and he gets to the Classics next year.
There are other horses one could make a case for as horse of the year in this category, but we felt Too Darn Hot built on each run and his overall form and the manner of his victories gave him the edge based on this year.
Too Darn Hot started out at Sandown Park, slamming Rowland Ward by seven lengths in his first and only race over a mile.
It was an exciting debut for a colt who, because of his breeding, had already attracted plenty of interest. In the aftermath of that race, there were already ludicrous quotes for the Derby.
At the beginning of September, Too Darn Hot returned to the Esher venue for the Group Three Solario Stakes, a race another former Clarehaven inmate, Kingman, had first demonstrated his true ability in.
Too Darn Hot was just as impressive, as he readily disposed of Chesham Stakes winner Arthur Kitt, by four lengths, with horses like Confiding, Victory Command and Dunkerron all strung out in behind.
He came out of the race bouncing and Gosden was keen to continue the colt’s education, as he stepped up in class once again, for the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, just a fortnight later.
As Bye Bye Hong Kong and Cardini set a blistering pace, Too Darn Hot found himself several lengths down at halfway.
But he picked up in taking fashion and was in front at the furlong pole, convincingly seeing off Phoenix Of Spain by 1 ¾ lengths. The second franked the form later in the season when just touched off by Magna Grecia, in the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy.
Van Beethoven was nearly six lengths back and Dark Vision, an impressive winner at Goodwood, failed to ever get involved.
Too Darn Hot was just about the leading juvenile of the year by this point, but needed to confirm it in a defining Group One contest.
A month later he got his chance in what looked an exciting Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
Only seven horses went to post for the seven furlong contest, but it had a strong look, with the unbeaten Sangarius, Group One winner Advertise and highly-regarded Anthony Van Dyck among the competitors.
Too Darn Hot was held up, as Aidan O’Brien runners Christmas and Anthony Van Dyck set the tempo.
The latter was still very much in the mix approaching the Dip, where Advertise came to join issue. In behind, Too Darn Hot was momentarily in trouble and he looked unbalanced as he saw daylight. Further back, Sangarius could not go with the pace.
But once on an even keel, Too Darn Hot simply blitzed past his rivals with a different gear, pulling clear in impressive style.
At the line, Frankie Dettori had time to gesticulate to the crowd, winning by 2 ¾ lengths from Advertise, with a further 1 ¼ lengths back to Anthony Van Dyck in third and 4 ½ lengths to Sangarius.
It was an effervescent performance and afterwards, Too Darn Hot was barely blowing in the winners’ enclosure.
The key formline here – and the one which defines him as our champion, is the proximity of Anthony Van Dyck, who had looked top class and finished a much closer second when behind Quorto, in the National Stakes at the Curragh.
Given his natural speed, the 2,000 Guineas looks an obvious target for Too Darn Hot, although it should be remembered that his trainer’s record in the first colt’s Classic is not great.
He is bred to get the Derby trip, but he needs to convince that he will stay and also there is a slight concern about his balance, given his run at Newmarket.
2018 was a great year for Godolphin and Darley, with Dubawi in particular, standing out (although New Approach also sired Derby winner Masar).
Too Darn Hot underlined Dubawi’s talents as a stallion, but so too did Quorto, who fascinatingly undertook a similar juvenile campaign to his sire.
Quorto was without doubt one of the year’s outstanding juveniles and was a horse with a real presence.
The Charlie Appleby trained colt made a big impression when beating Handmaiden and Alnasherat by 2 ¾ lengths, in a Newmarket maiden, in late June.
The following month, Quorto returned to the July Course for the Group Two Superlative Stakes, a race Dubawi had won in 2004.
He ran out an authoritative winner, beating the Aidan O’Brien colt Cape Of Good Hope, by 3 ¾ lengths, with Neverland Rock further back in third.
Appleby immediately nominated the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh, as Quorto’s next target – once again, a race Dubawi had won at two.
Whilst other juveniles emerged in the two months between his races, hopes were high that Quorto could end the Irish stranglehold on the National Stakes, on Irish Champions Weekend.
As usual, there was a formidable opposition from Aidan O’Brien, who fielded his exciting Anthony Van Dyck, future Royal Lodge Stakes winner Mohawk, Christmas and Land Force.
Christmas blazed a trail, but was readily picked up by stable mate Anthony Van Dyck, who hit the front with two furlongs to race.
However, Quorto travelled well and went on at the furlong pole, drawing clear of his big rival and winning by a smooth 1 ¼ lengths, with Christmas taking third, ahead of Mohawk.
Quorto did veer to his right a little on the run-in and we are mindful of Dubawi’s inclination to drift across the Rowley Mile both in the 2,000 Guineas and QEII Stakes.
Quorto looks a smart horse, one with plenty of scope. He is clearly a leading player from a Godolphin team with juvenile strength in depth this year.
Our only concern is that drift – something we also saw from Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst. If returning to action in a fast-ground Guineas, we would have that balance in the back of our minds with Quorto.
His damn Volume, ran third in the English Oaks (behind Taghrooda) and Irish Oaks (Bracelet), so there is plenty of stamina and Dubawi ran third in the Derby too.
So Quorto goes into the 2019 season with the potential to build on his already impressive achievements.
The third of our triumvirate of unbeaten and intriguing colts is another from the John Gosden stable – and one we only got a fleeting look at in 2018.
It is of course Calyx, the much-heralded son of Kingman, who got his sire off to a flying start and achieved many headlines in the space of just ten days in June.
Racing in the same Abdullah silks as his sire and damn Helleborine, Calyx made a sparkling debut on the July Course at Newmarket (as his sire had done, five years earlier).
He beat Octave (a future Pontefract winner) by five lengths, with Khadeem a further six lengths back. The latter went on to land his next two starts, looking smart at Doncaster’s St Leger Festival.
There was plenty of excitement, when Gosden announced that just ten days later, Calyx would take his chance in the Group Two Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Taking on 22 rivals, what Calyx achieved remains remarkable to the eye but also very difficult to fathom.
Clearly the far side appeared to have an advantage, but Calyx pulled fully ten lengths clear of his stands side group.
With a furlong to race, Calyx was already clear of his stands rivals and his momentum carried him to a one length victory over Advertise, with Sergei Profokiev a neck further back in third.
Gosden immediately indicated that the Group One Prix Morny would be Calyx’s next target, but injury subsequently ruled him out for the year, something that by coincidence, had happened to Kingman.
It was hugely frustrating, as Calyx had quickly fuelled the imagination, with so many exciting races to contest and prove himself in, as the two year old campaign took shape. But it wasn’t to be.
The tantalising question of how far he might have beaten Advertise, had he raced on the far side of the Ascot track, remains unanswered.
What we can say is that the second proved a top class horse, with victory in the Group Two July Stakes and the Group One Phoenix Stakes, before he chased home Too Darn Hot at Newmarket.
Calyx looks to be an out and out miler on breeding; his dam was a smart juvenile, landing the Group Three Prix D’Aumale and running second to Misty For Me in the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac. But after finishing second in the Prix Imprudence, her three year old form tailed off.
That leaves a tiny concern about Calyx training on, but he is so lightly-raced there ought to be plenty of improvement to come.
Kingman had a preparatory race in the Greenham Stakes (which he annexed in emphatic style), so he had a run before his 2,000 Guineas second. It would be no surprise to see Gosden deploy a similar approach with Calyx.
Advertise in many ways, proved the ultimate test and yard stick for the leading juveniles in 2018 – and proved himself a top contender too.
The Martyn Meade trained son of Showcasing, made a winning debut at Newbury in May, beating Pogo by ¾ of a length, with the useful Burj in third.
Then came that fine run at Royal Ascot, when he was best of those on the favoured far side, finishing a length second of 23 to Calyx, with his Newbury rivals much further back this time.
Meade then sent Advertise to the Group Two July Stakes at Newmarket’s July Festival.
The colt totally outclassed his rivals, making smooth progress to beat Konchek by two lengths, with Charming Kid and Dunkerron next.
With options in the Group One Prix Morny and the Phoenix Stakes, Meade elected to send Advertise to Ireland for his next race, making a bold prediction that he would beat the Aidan O’Brien team (in a race the Ballydoyle Master had dominated).
Advertise lived up to Meade’s confidence, beating the filly So Perfect by ½ a length, with a similar margin back to The Irish Rover.
He had to work hard for the victory before getting on top, but Meade maintained full faith in his charge.
Advertise was not seen again until the Dewhurst Stakes, his first attempt at seven furlongs.
In a hot contest, Advertise held every chance and got the better of Anthony Van Dyck, before having no answer to Too Darn Hot’s acceleration.
Late on Advertise was clawing back the leader, to go down by 2 ¾ lengths.
Whilst Showcasing was pure speed, the manner of Advertise’s racing gives hope that he might get a mile and we would be confident that is the case.
He remains a classy and consistent horse who should not be underestimated.
Anthony Van Dyck had looked potentially the leading juvenile in mid-summer, but the Aidan O’Brien stable was afflicted with sickness and the son of Galileo ultimately came up short at the highest level in the autumn.
After running down the field at the Curragh in early July, Anthony Van Dyck was a spectacular winner of a Killarney maiden later that month, beating Yonkers by eight lengths.
The Group Three Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown, in late July, has often been a launch pad for some of O’Brien’s future stars. Anthony Van Dyck was sent there and did not disappoint, with a resounding 4 ¾ lengths success from maiden winner Bold Approach.
A month later, Anthony Van Dyck returned to the Curragh for the Group Two Futurity Stakes, another race O’Brien has farmed down the years.
Stable mate Christmas set a strong tempo and Anthony Van Dyck was made to work to get on terms, eventually winning by ½ a length, with Mohawk back in third, as the winner completed his hat-trick.
Anthony Van Dyck’s progression meant that he was always destined to step up to Group One level and his first taste came in the National Stakes at the Curragh, in mid-September.
He made his move with two furlongs to race, but failed to shake off Quorto, who comfortably went past to record a 1 ¼ length victory.
It was a perfectly satisfactory run from Anthony Van Dyck and he then headed to Newmarket, for a big showdown in the Group One Dewhurst Stakes.
Once again, Christmas cut out the early running, with Anthony Van Dyck and Advertise taking control two furlongs out.
Both colts had no answer as Too Darn Hot swept through and Anthony Van Dyck eventually came home four lengths third to the winner.
The colt ran once more in 2018, but was never a factor in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf at Churchill Downs. It is hard to belief he ran to his true ability there and we are inclined to draw a line through that run, as he may have gone to the well once too often.
Anthony Van Dyck has entries in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the Derby, but not the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.
Whilst Galileo imparts stamina, the dam, Believe N’Succeed, was pure speed and her progeny to date have been the same, so there must be some doubt whether he will quite see out a mile – and even more about his Derby pretensions.
Despite the stable form in the summer, Aidan O’Brien still demonstrated a strong hand in the juvenile colt division, with Ten Sovereigns quickly making his mark and proving Group One class.
The son of No Nay Never proved a stand out from his first visit to the racecourse.
In a season when very few of O’Brien’s juveniles won first time out, Ten Sovereigns won a big field Curragh maiden by seven lengths, from Carbon Fibre, in late August.
It was a performance that immediately had people talking.
Just a week later, we got a second look at the colt, in the Group Three Round Tower Stakes, at the same track.
Once again, the outcome was emphatic, as he beat Bruce Wayne and Fantasy by 3 ¾ lengths.
The decision was taken to keep Ten Sovereigns at six furlongs for his next start, in the Group One Middle Park Stakes, at Newmarket.
The contest in late September, saw Ten Sovereigns pitted against proven Group horses in Marie’s Diamond and Rumble Inthejungle.
However, coming out of the Dip, it was another unexposed colt in Jash, who threw down the big challenge.
These two raw talents pulled clear of their rivals in the manner of two smart colts and it was Ten Sovereigns who got the better of the argument, winning by ½ a length.
It was very momentarily mooted that Ten Sovereigns could join the Dewhurst Stakes picture over seven furlongs, but the decision was quickly dispelled as the colt was roughed off for the year.
Like his sire, Ten Sovereigns shows plenty of pace, but his dam Seeking Solace, won over 10 furlongs for Andre Fabre and has produced a winner over 9 ½ furlongs.
So there is hope that Ten Sovereigns should get the Guineas mile next season and he handled the Newmarket contours just fine.
Another O’Brien colt to make his mark at Group One level was the late developing Magna Grecia.
The son of Invincible Spirit had three starts in the space of one month, culminating in Group One glory.
Like Ten Sovereigns, he was a first-time out winner, when landing a Naas maiden by 3 ½ lengths from Mudlahhim and Tranchee, in late September.
Just under a fortnight later, Magna Grecia headed to Newmarket for the Group Three Autumn Stakes, over a mile.
Despite his inexperience, he demonstrated his immense promise, pulling clear with the more experienced French colt Persian King, to finish a neck second, with the likes of Circus Maximus and Western Australia over three lengths adrift.
That run elevated Magna Grecia up the pecking order in Ballydoyle and his next start came in the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster.
Armed with more experience, Magna Grecia showed the benefit of that Newmarket fight, as he tenaciously fought off the challenge of Phoenix Of Spain, to win by a head, with Western Australia and Circus Maximus much closer this time.
Magna Grecia’s dam Cabaret, won up to seven furlongs, whilst her progeny have won up to 1 ¼ miles.
Magna Grecia looks to have live Guineas prospects next spring, but there would be some doubt if he would get further than ten furlongs.
In discussing Magna Grecia as a Group One winner, one gains a true perspective of the huge potential that his Newmarket conqueror Persian King has.
Andre Fabre’s raids on Newmarket, were few and far between in 2018, but Persian King made a huge impression on us – and there were two juveniles all season that had a presence to them; Quorto was one – and Persian King the other. Both looked the part racing too.
The son of Kingman made a fine start when finishing two lengths second to Anodor, another colt we will feature later on in this article. That race took place at Deauville in early August and maybe six weeks later, looked very good form.
Persian King benefited from that run by routing his rivals by six lengths at Chantilly in early September. Two weeks later he returned there to win a conditions race by an easy five lengths from Lone Peak.
That saw Fabre send his charge to Newmarket for the Group Three Autumn Stakes in early October.
The colt had to race seriously for the first time and handled the undulations of the Rowley Mile to good effect.
He and Magna Grecia pulled clear of their rivals in the final furlong, with the greater experience of Persian King, gaining the day by a neck, with three lengths back to Circus Maximus and Western Australia.
Magna Grecia went on to land the Group One Vertem Futurity, with his two stable mates from Newmarket, filling third and fourth at Doncaster. That gives the Persian King race a solid look now.
Persian King is an imposing colt, beautifully balanced and he physically stood out when last seen.
Kingman was of course a miler, while his dam, Pretty Please, is by Dylan Thomas – and she stayed further than 1 ¼ miles.
The 2,000 Guineas would appear an obvious early starting point for Persian King, but on breeding, it could be the Prix du Jockey Club rather than Epsom in June.
If Quorto was the banner juvenile for Godolphin, they had plenty of Group One strength in depth amongst the colts.
Line Of Duty, a son of Coolmoer stallion Galileo, exemplifies the new relationship between the two powerhouses of European racing.
Out of the top class Jacqueline Quest, who was disqualified in the 1,000 Guineas, Line Of Duty ran second in his first two starts, behind subsequent Group Three winner, Arctic Sound, at Sandown Park in early July and then Great Scott, at Haydock Park, two weeks later.
Line Of Duty got off the mark with a ½ a length victory over Pablo Escobarr at Goodwood in early September and showed he was progressing, when landing the Group Three Prix de Conde by 1 ¼ lengths from Syrtis at Chantilly, in early October.
The colt then shipped out to Churchill Downs for the Grade One Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, which represented a huge step up in class.
Patiently ridden by William Buick, Line Of Duty got into top gear in the home straight and finished widest of all and to greatest effect, beating Uncle Benny by ½ a length, to give Charlie Appleby another string to his bow.
Line Of Duty appears to still be on the upgrade and whilst a Guineas bid would not be out of the question, Godolphin has plenty of strength in depth for that race, so it would be no surprise to see him start back in something like the Dante Stakes at York.
Royal Marine is another colt who needed time but ended the year looking very progressive.
The son of Raven’s Pass is trained by Saeed Bin Suroor. He was a well beaten sixth behind subsequent Middle Park Stakes runner-up Jash, in a Newmarket maiden in late August.
Three weeks later, he looked a smart prospect when landing a Doncaster maiden by 2 ¼ lengths from the very useful Turgenev.
In early October, Royal Marine made the transition from maiden winner to Group One winner, when getting the better of Broome, by a neck, in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp, with the highly-regarded Anodor unable to close.
That performance raised many eyebrows and Royal Marine ought to have plenty of improvement to come, being out of a Singspiel mare.
He holds entries in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the Derby, but will probably need further improvement.
Stable mate Royal Meeting, was another to make the transition from maiden winner to Group One winner with some aplomb.
The son of Invincible Spirit made a big impression when winning a Yarmouth maiden on debut, in September, getting the better of Alrajaa by ½ a length, with a nice turn of foot.
Afterwards, Bin Suroor suggested that Royal Meeting was probably a Group horse – and he proved that and more with his victory in the Group One Criterium International at Chantilly, in late October.
Racing wide, Royal Meeting showed good acceleration, despite his inexperience, to beat Hermosa by ¾ of a length.
He is a big enough colt and should have plenty of scope for strengthening up, with talk that he may head to the 2,000 Guineas next spring.
Sangarius came into the Dewhurst Stakes with a burgeoning reputation and nothing that happened in that race has swayed the faith of trainer Sir Michael Stoute.
The son of Kingman, made a winning debut when beating the useful Bangkok by a neck, in a Newmarket maiden, in late August.
In mid-September, he headed to Doncaster for a Listed race, once won by Frankel.
Sangarius showed himself to be very smart, as he powered his way to a 2 ¼ length defeat of Dubai Dominion.
Stoute then decided to test the Group One waters with his protege, electing to run him in a hot renewal of the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, in early October.
Whilst Sangarius was unable to go on with main principals late on, he stayed on nicely to finish 8 ½ lengths fourth behind Too Darn Hot.
This was a good education for Sangarius and there ought to be tons of improvement to follow. It would be no surprise to see Sangarius have an extra run to gain more experience, before contesting a Guineas.
Phoenix Of Spain proved a top class horse who took on the very best and placed at Group One level in 2018.
The Charlie Hills trained grey son of Lope De Vega, made a promising start, when 4 ½ lengths fourth of eight behind King Of Comedy, at Sandown Park, in early July.
Just over three weeks later, Phoenix Of Spain stamped himself very useful, when defeating Multamis by 2 ½ lengths at Wolverhampton.
The following month, Phoenix Of Spain headed to York for the Group Three Acomb Stakes, coming from the back to win well, by 1 ½ lengths from Watan, with the likes of Persian Moon, Swissterious and Broome much further back.
The grey returned to Yorkshire for his next start in the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster’s St Leger Meeting in September.
In a strange tactical race, Phoenix Of Spain proved no match for the turn of foot of Too Darn Hot, finishing 1 ¾ lengths second to the year’s top juvenile colt, with Cardini, Van Beethoven and Dark Vision behind.
Subsequent events showed that to be top class form and Phoenix Of Spain got his own chance at Group One level in the Vertem Futurity Trophy, back at Doncaster, in late October.
Once again the race was a messy tactical affair and Phoenix Of Spain quickened well in the latter stages, suffering interference along the way, in finishing a head second to Magna Grecia. The winner had to survive a Stewards’ Enquiry in landing the race.
Phoenix Of Spain holds an entry in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, but in reality, looks likely to prove most effective at around 1 ¼ miles. We see the Prix du Jockey Club as the ideal target.
Jash goes into the winter with serious Classic credentials, after three memorable performances in 2018.
The Simon Crisford trained son of Kodiac, immediately stamped himself a smart prospect, when winning a Newmarket novice race by 4 ½ lengths from Dazzling Dan, in late August. Subsequent Group One winner Royal Marine, was much further back.
Jash headed to Salisbury, for another novice contest, in mid-September. He ran out a spectacular 9 lengths winner over Ginger Fox and was clearly ready for a step up in class.
That came in the Group One Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, in late September.
Coming out of the Dip, Jash was the only horse who could go with Ten Sovereigns, giving him a real test but ultimately going down by ½ a length.
It was a top class effort from Jash, who had the proven Group quality of Rumble Inthejugle, Marie’s Diamond, Emaraaty Ana and Sergei Profokiev well behind.
Jash’s dam Miss Azeza, has had one other runner, which won over a mile, so there is plenty of hope that he will get the Guineas trip. He is entered in the Irish 2,000 Guineas, but it would be no surprise to see him supplemented for the Newmarket Classic.
Japan was well beaten on debut, but looked a smart prospect, as he added to Aidan O’Brien’s impressive record in the Group Two Beresford Stakes, later in the year.
The son of Galileo is out of a Danehill mare and looks an exciting horse.
He showed very little on debut, when 6 ½ lengths seventh of 13 to Sydney Opera House, with pattern winner Norway, also ahead of him, in a Curragh maiden at the start of September.
Eleven days later he won a Listowel contest by ¾ of a length from Aristocratic Man.
O’Brien then sent him to Naas for the Beresford, in late September.
He did not get the clearest of runs and had to be switched, getting up on the line to beat stable mate Mount Everest by a short head.
Japan looks a likely middle-distance colt for 2019 and could well start out in a Derby trial, as he holds entries for Epsom and the Curragh.
Mohaather was quite late getting started, but in the space of just over a month, established himself as a pattern winner and a 2,000 Guineas prospect.
The Marcus Tregoning trained son of Showcasing, showed plenty of promise when finishing 3 ¾ lengths second of 12 to the smart Breath Of Air, in a Newbury maiden, in late September.
In early October, Mohaather came on for that run, to win a Nottingham maiden by a head from Alfred Boucher.
Seventeen days later, he stepped up in distance to seven furlongs, for the Group Three Horris Hill Stakes, on good to soft ground.
Things did not run smoothly for Mohaather, during the race, but he overcame trouble in running to pull away from Azano by 1 ½ lengths.
Connections appear to be keen on a 2,000 Guineas bid and Mohaather’s dam Roodeye, is by Inchinor, who stayed beyond a mile. He will need to improve further, but made giant strides in the five weeks in which he raced.
The French two year-olds did not stamp their influence on the colts’ division with strength in depth, but Anodor did look a really promising horse.
Freddy Head’s son of Anodin made a big impression on debut, becoming the only horse to beat Persian King so far, with a 2-lengths victory at Deauville, in early August.
He confirmed himself very smart with success in the Group Three Prix des Chenes a month later, defeating Insandi by 2-lengths and looking France’s leading juvenile colt in the process.
The next stop was naturally the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at ParisLongchamp, on Arc Day.
Anodor ran well, without ever quite having the turn of foot to win, finishing a length third of 6 to Royal Marine.
Head was far from despondent and Anodor still retains a lofty reputation.
On breeding, he should stay 1 ½ miles well on the dam side, but a French Guineas preparation would not be a surprise before he steps up for either the Epsom Derby or Prix du Jockey Club.
Madhmoon was only seen twice in 2018, but made a big impression.
The Kevin Prendergast trained son of Dawn Approach, looked smart on debut, as he slammed the more experienced Sydney Opera House by 2 ¾ lengths in a Leopardstown maiden, in mid-August.
That impression was confirmed on his return to the Dublin track, for the Group Two KPM Champion Juvenile Stakes a month later.
Madhmoon showed a fine turn of foot to defeat Broome by 2 ½ lengths, with Masaff, Western Australia and Sydney Opera House well beaten.
We didn’t see Madhmoon again, but being out of a Haafh’d mare, a mile ought to suit him perfectly and it would be no surprise to see him aimed at the Irish 2,000 Guineas next spring.
At the height of summer, Dark Vision had established himself as a leader in his generation, but one disappointing run, seemed to make him a forgotten horse.
That might prove a big mistake in the long-run, for his final run of the year was clearly not his true form.
The Mark Johnston trained son of Dream Ahead, travelled south for his debut, landing a minor contest at Yarmouth, by 1 ¼ lengths from Sky Patrol.
It was the first of three races Dark Vision had in July, which culminated in his lofty status in the juvenile ranks.
Nine days after his debut, Dark Vision impressed at York, when defeating Absolute Dream by 2 ¼ lengths.
Johnston then stepped his charge up in class and trip for the Group Two Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, at the end of July.
Plenty went wrong for Dark Vision at Goodwood, he was hampered early on and then denied a clear run. However, having got into the clear, he quickened well and was drawing away at the line, beating the useful Dunkerron by 1 ¾ lengths, in a race Johnston had won with Shamardal.
Dark Vision was waited with and not seen out again until the Doncaster St Leger Meeting in September.
There he faced a strong line-up, but the quality of opposition hardly seemed to matter. Dark Vision was never in contention and scrubbed along at halfway, failing to pick up and trailing in a lacklustre last of six to the top class Too Darn Hot and Phoenix Of Spain.
Whilst it would be stretching the imagination to say he would have beaten the year’s outstanding juvenile colt, Dark Vision ran no sort of race, was always in arrears and something appeared to be amiss.
If Johnston can pinpoint what went wrong, Dark Vision should not be written off too hastily. He is out of a Dansili mare and should stay a mile well in 2019.
Mark Johnston was also responsible for the smart Arctic Sound, who rounded off his season with a big victory at Newmarket.
The son of Poet’s Voice showed plenty of promise on his debut in late June, finishing 2 ¼ lengths second of seven behind More Than This, at Haydock Park.
A couple of weeks later, he got off the mark, when beating subsequent Group One winner Line Of Duty, by a neck, at Sandown Park.
On the day that Dark Vision won at Goodwood, Arctic Sound was making waves himself, at Beverley, beating Abie’s Hollow by an emphatic seven lengths.
Johnston stepped him up in class for his next start, in the Listed Stonehenge Stakes at Salisbury, in late August. However, Arctic Sound, having been up with the pace, faded in the last quarter of a mile and was eased down to finish last of six behind Kuwait Currency.
It was a disappointing effort, but Johnston maintained his faith in the colt and was rewarded with a victory in a Doncaster nursery, at the St Leger Meeting, in September. Arctic Sound ran out a 1 ¼ length winner from the useful Fanaar.
Towards the end of September, Johnston sent Arctic Sound to Newmarket, for the Group Three Tattersall Stakes, a race he had won the previous year, with Elarqam.
Among his opposition were the useful Dunkerron, Aidan O’Brien’s Cardini and the expensive yearling Prince Eiji.
The latter appeared to have the race at his mercy entering the Dip, but inexperience told and Arctic Sound began his run down the centre of the track, staying on well to beat Bye Bye Hong Kong by a length.
Johnston did not rule out a Guineas bid in 2019 and being out of a Royal Academy mare, he should stay the mile well, but will need more improvement to figure at Group One level.
Kessaar made his mark among this year’s juveniles, with two Group successes in the autumn, but sadly he has been retired to stud.
The John Gosden trained son of Kodiac ran ½ a length second of nine behind I Am A Dreamer, at York in mid-May.
He was thrown in at the deep end for his next start – and struggled, when 25th of 28, behind Soldier’s Call, in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot in late June.
Stepped back up to six furlong a month later, he got off the mark in spectacular fashion, with a 10-length defeat of Bobby Ewing, at Windsor.
In late August he was only sixth, but beaten just two lengths by Sporting Chance in the Listed Ripon Champion Two Year Old Trophy.
To that point, Kessaar had achieved nothing outstanding with his performances and form.
That changed with his success in the Group Three Sirenia Stakes at Kempton Park, in early September, when he beat Junius Brutus by 2 ½ lengths, with the useful Konchek further back.
Two weeks later, he showed a real liking for soft ground, when beating True Mason by 2 ¾ lengths in the Group Two Mill Reef Stakes, with the rest of the field, strung out like three-mile chasers.
It was Gosden’s first Mill Reef success and Kessaar’s biggest moment.
In late October he tried seven furlongs in the Group One Criterium International at Chantilly, running a respectable race to finish 2 ¼ lengths fourth of six behind Royal Meeting.
Kessaar perhaps over-achieved with his biggest victories, given his form before and after and perhaps connections felt he was unlikely to improve any further.
He was a useful colt at his best and an important component to this essay.
Soldier’s Call was out and out speed and looks an exciting colt going into 2019.
The son of Showcasing, was on the go from early May until November, running 8 times and only once out of the first three.
Trained by Archie Watson, he made his debut at Lingfield Park in early May, running 1 ¼ lengths second of 8 behind Glory Fighter.
Just under a month later, he got off the mark when beating Blyton by two lengths at Haydock Park.
That set up an audacious bid for Royal Ascot glory, in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes, where 27 rivals lay in wait.
Soldier’s Call proved well up to the test though, beating Sabre by ½ a length and showing blistering speed to do so.
That victory earmarked Soldier’s Call as one of the year’s speediest juveniles and he was expected by many to follow-up in the Group Three Molecomb Stakes, over the minimum distance, at Glorious Goodwood, at the start of August.
After suffering a bump early on, he appeared to have every chance, but was no match for Rumble Inthejungle, eventually fading, to finish 2 ¾ lengths third.
A month later, Soldier’s Call travelled to France for the Group Three Prix d’Arenberg, at Chantilly. He was back to his best as he beat the Group-winning filly Queen Of Bermuda, by a length.
Further success followed in the Group Two Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster in September, where he was a most impressive 2 ¼ length winner from Well Done Fox.
In early October, Watson sent Soldier’s Call on an ambitious trip to ParisLongchamp, for the Group One Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp.
His charge did not let him down and was up with the pace throughout, looking the likely winner a furlong out.
But the significant action unfolded down the centre of the track where Mabs Cross got up late on, with Soldier’s Call beaten just a neck, when third of 16 to Europe’s finest sprinters.
His final race of a busy campaign, came in the Grade One Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, at Chuhrchill Downs, in early November. Again he ran an honourable race, coming home 5 lengths sixth of 12 behind Bulletin.
Soldier’s Call looks to be a five furlong horse to our eye and the obvious early season target for him would be the Group One King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, with the King George VI Stakes at Goodwood, the Nunthorpe Stakes at York and a return to the Prix de l’Abbayye, likely targets.
Other pattern performers
In the early part of the summer, Sergei Profokiev looked to be a leading juvenile in the colt’s division.
One of Aidan O’Brien’s earliest two year old runners, he was campaigned from April through to November, with 5-furlongs appearing his forte.
The son of the much-lamented Scat Daddy, ran a short-head second to Skitter Scatter, in a Dundalk maiden, in April. That form by the end of the year, looked exceptional, given that the filly went on to win the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes.
Sergei Profokiev made no mistake on his second start, landing a Navan contest by 7 ½ lengths from Pride Of Pimlico, in late April.
Further success followed in the Listed Rochestown Stakes at Naas, in May, as he beat Andre Amar by 4 lengths, looking a real star.
His reputation was far from dented with a fine effort in the Group Two Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. Racing on the far side, Sergei Profokiev was beaten just 1 ¼ lengths by two of the year’s very best: Calyx and Advertise.
After a break of nearly two months, Sergei Profokiev flopped badly in the Group One Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh in August, trailing in last of six behind Advertise.
He similarly was never a factor in the Group One Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket the following month, coming home a bitterly disappointing seventh of 8 behind stable mate Ten Sovereigns.
But a couple of weeks later, Aidan O’Brien dropped Sergei Profokiev back down to 5-furlongs, for the Group Three Cornwallis Stakes, back at Newmarket.
The drop in class and trip seemed to suit the colt as he readily beat Well Done Fox by 1 ¼ lengths, with useful colts like Barbill and True Mason, further back.
Sergei Profokiev failed to really get involved in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Sprint Turf, finishing down the field behind Bulletin.
On breeding, Sergei Profokiev ought to get a mile, being out of a Tapit mare. However, he has speed to burn and his best performances were over the minimum trip. Some of his mid-summer disappointments might be down to the illness that Ballydoyle suffered at that time, so his overall form might not tell the whole story.
He looks a prime candidate for the Commonwealth Cup and the big sprints in 2019.
Another early season Ballydoyle colt of real promise was Van Beethoven, who perhaps held his form together slightly more than Sergei Profokiev.
Also by Scat Daddy, Van Beethoven made his debut in a Newmarket maiden at the Craven meeting in April, finishing third to Jackstar.
In early May, he got off the mark with a 3 ½ lengths defeat of California Daddy at Naas, but later that month, was no match for the smart filly Fairyland, when 2 ¼ lengths second of 9 in the Listed Marble Hill Stakes at the Curragh.
Van Beethoven ran well in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, coming home 2 ¾ lengths fourth of 28 to Soldier’s Call.
Just a week later, he was out again, beating Marie’s Diamond by ½ a length, in the Group Two Railway Stakes at the Curragh. It would prove the highpoint of Van Beethoven’s season.
What followed was a bitter disappointment, as he trailed in a well beaten seventh of 8 behind Advertise, in the Group Two July Stakes at Newmarket.
Towards the end of July, O’Brien stepped Van Beethoven up to 7-furlongs for the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood, but once again, at a time when the stable was not fully firing, the colt disappointed, coming home 5 ¼ lengths fifth of 12 behind Dark Vision.
Van Beethoven’s last run of the year came in the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in September, where he was not disgraced in finishing 5 ½ lengths fourth of 6 to Too Darn Hot.
Van Beethoven’s pedigree is North American and it would be no surprise to see him travel across the Atlantic at some point next year. He should get a mile but might end up a sprinter in 2019.
The winner of three of his eight starts in 2018, Land Force was a modicum of consistency at Group level.
Aidan O’Brien’s son of No Nay Never, ran a disappointed third to Dadoozdart on debut in April, but then won a Curragh maiden by 2 ¼ lengths from Vocatus, in May.
Two weeks later, he ran 2 ½ lengths third of 9 to the smart Lowther Stakes winning filly Fairyland, in the Listed Marble Hill Stakes.
Land Force dropped down to 5-furlongs at Royal Ascot, for the Group Two Norfolk Stakes, where he ran well behind the America Shang Shang Shang, finishing ½ a length third of 10.
In early July, Land Force had a nice confidence-booster, landing the Listed Tipperary Stakes by 2 lengths from Mintd.
A month later, he had his biggest success of the year, stepping back up to 6-furlongs for the Group Two Richmond Stakes at Goodwood and beating Marie’s Diamond by a length.
Later in August, Land Force headed to Deauville for the Group One Prix Morny, but having been bumped early on, he was no match for the flying filly Pretty Pollyanna, finishing 7 ¼ lengths fourth of 9.
Land Force had one more start, trying 7-furlongs for the first time, in the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh in September.
As the pace quickened, Land Force was unable to progress and trailed in well beaten behind Quorto.
Land Force’s dam is by Rock Of Gibraltar and there are grounds for thinking he will stay a mile at three. Whether he is quite up to Group One class remains open to debate at this point but he has the option to drop in trip.
Mohawk landed the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket and looked like he might be a progressive horse for Aidan O’Brien, after the yard’s travails, earlier in the summer.
However, his overall form suggests he might be some way off the top, winning just twice from six outings.
He was very green on debut when fifth of nine behind Copia Verborum, at the Curragh, in early June. Nine days later he beat Eagle Son by ¾ of a length at Cork.
The son of Galileo was waited with and ran well when 2 ¾ lengths third of six behind stable mate Anthony Van Dyck, in the Group Two Futurity Stakes, at the Curragh, in late August.
He was a well-beaten 7 ½ lengths fourth of seven to Quorto and Anthony Van Dyck, in the Group One National Stakes at the same venue, in September.
Later that month he got the Newmarket mile well in the Royal Lodge, staying on to beat stable mate Sydney Opera House by 1¼ lengths and looking a nice middle distance prospect for next year.
O’Brien decided to run him one more time, in the Group One Dewhurst Stakes, down in trip, in early October.
Once again, Mohawk came up short in the best company, over seven furlongs, coming home a distant last of seven behind Too Darn Hot and Anthony Van Dyck.
A longer trip should suit Mohawk in 2019, but he is going to need improvement.
Sydney Opera House only got his head in front once in 2018, from seven starts, but his improvement and performances in Group races, suggests there might be a lot more to come from this colt, from the first crop of Derby winner Australia.
Aidan O’Brien’s charge was a close fourth on debut behind Cruciatus, before running 2 ¾ lengths second of 8 to the exciting and unbeaten Madhmoon, at Leopardstown, in mid-August.
He got off the mark with a 1 ½ length defeat of Patrick Sarsfield in a Curragh maiden at the start of September, but was disappointing when fifth of 7 behind Madhmoon in the Group Two KPMG Champion Juvenile Stakes at Leopardstown, over Irish Champions’ Weekend.
Sydney Opera House ran a big race to be 1 ¼ lengths second of 7 to Mohawk in the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket, showing himself to be going the right way.
He returned to the Rowley Mile two weeks later for the Listed Zetland Stakes, over 1 ¼ miles.
However, he met all kinds of trouble in running and stayed on after the race had gone, to finish 3 lengths fifth of 6 to stable mate Norway.
That was clearly not his best form and O’Brien stepped him up to Group One class for his final outing, when he ran a belter to come home a neck second of 9 to the filly Wonderment, in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud, in late October.
Sydney Opera House looks a Middle Distance prospect for 2019 and likely to start out in a Derby trial.
Another O’Brien colt to make his mark over longer trips, was the white-faced Norway.
Once again, a son of Galileo, Norway took time to flourish, finishing well beaten behind Klute on debut, before running 4 lengths third of 13 to Sydney Opera House, in a Curragh maiden at the start of September.
He looked an improved performer when routing his rivals in a Naas maiden a month later, beating Bellakris by 6 ½ lengths and that booked his spot in the 10-furlong Zetland Stakes at Newmarket, a few days later.
He had to be switching in the race, but once in the clear, showed plenty of stamina, to beat I’ll Have Another by a length, with old rival Sydney Opera House, denied a clear run, well back.
But that form was reversed in the Group One Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud, where Norway, with every chance and a clear run, kept on at the one-pace to finish 4-lengths fourth of 9 to Wonderment and Sydney Opera House.
Norway looks to have plenty of stamina and is another who is likely to head to Derby trials. He is the type that might make into a Grand Prix de Paris contender come mid-summer.
Western Australia, another son of Australia, looks a horse with the potential for improvement over middle distances.
He looked green and weak as he finished down the field in his first two starts, before landing a Gowran Park maiden by 2 ¾ lengths from South Pacific, in early September.
He was no match for Madhmoon in the Group Two KPMG Champion Juvenile Stakes, coming home 5-lengths fourth of 7.
He was also well beaten when 6 ½ lengths fourth of 8 to Persian King and Magna Grecia, in the Group Three Autumn Stakes, at Newmarket, in early October.
But Western Australia showed improved form on his final start, staying on well to finish just a length third to Magna Grecia and Phoenix Of Spain, in Doncaster’s Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy, in late October.
Western Australia has Irish Guineas and Derby entries and it would be no surprise to see him start out in a Derby trial. That final start puts him in the second level of colts for 2018.
The beautifully-bred Circus Maximus was another Ballydoyle colt from perhaps the second tier.
The son of Galileo, out of that fine racemare Duntle, showed promise, whilst green, when fifth of 23 to Breaking Story, in a Curragh maiden, in late August.
Just under a month later, he won a Gowran Park maiden by 2 lengths from Army Recruit and from then on, he stepped up in class.
He ran a respectable 3 ¼ lengths third of 8 to Persian King and Magna Grecia, in the Group Three Autumn Stakes, at Newmarket, in early October.
Two weeks later he ran a big race in the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster, getting run out of it late on when a length fourth to Magna Grecia.
He looked weak on some occasions in 2018 and with physical development and a longer trip, looks a nice middle distance prospect next year.
Having finished well beaten on debut and second on his next start, Christmas won a Roscommon contest by 3 ½ lengths from Moffaker in July.
A month later, the Aidan O’Brien trained son of Galileo, took Tipperary’s Listed Caravaggio Stakes by a neck from Highland Fortune.
He then ran a cracker in the Group Two Futurity Stakes at the Curragh, setting off into a commanding lead and sustaining his gallop to finish an excellent ½ a length second to Anthony Van Dyck, with Royal Lodge Stakes winner Mohawk, a further 2 ¼ lengths back.
Similar tactics were deployed in the Group One National Stakes at the same course in September, but Christmas was caught two-furlongs out and could make no impression on Quorto and Anthony Van Dyck, coming home 5 ¾ lengths third of seven.
Christmas had one more start in the Group One Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket. Again he was up with the pace, before weakening two-furlongs out, coming home 11 ½ lengths sixth of seven to Too Darn Hot.
Christmas was a little short of the very highest echelons, but this son of Galileo, is out of a Lemon Drop Kid mare – and could possibly be one for North America in 2019.
Mount Everest is another stunningly-bred colt, being by Galileo, out of the brilliant Six Perfections.
O’Brien’s colt ran green when a well beaten sixth behind Klute on debut in July.
The following month showed that the penny was dropping, as he finished 2 ½ lengths second of 11 to Duckett’s Grove at Cork.
Towards the end of August, he put that experience to good use, with a 1 ¼ length defeat of Yonkers, in a Curragh maiden.
He had one more run, in the Group Two Beresford Stakes, going down by just a short head to stable mate Japan.
Mount Everest has entries in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the English and Irish Derbies. We doubt he will be sharp enough for a mile at the highest level and expect him to be a Derby contender.
Broome was another O’Brien colt by Australia, to show good potential in Group races.
He was down the field and beaten 10 lengths by Anthony Van Dyck, in a Killarney maiden, in mid-July.
However, at the Galway Festival, the following month, he got the better of Lightning Amber by 1 ½ lengths.
O’Brien then sent Broome to York for the Group Two Acomb Stakes, but it was a race that perhaps came too soon, although it suggested he had shown something at home.
Broome finished 6 ¾ lengths sixth of 8 behind the smart Phoenix Of Spain.
Again, O’Brien persisted with pitching Broome into good races and his next start underlined why.
He appeared out-paced, before staying on to grab second, beaten 2 ½ lengths by the smart Madhmoon, in the Group Two KPMG Champions Juvenile Stakes, at Leopardstown, in September.
That race signified improvement in Broome and O’Brien gave him one last run in 2018, in the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Paris-Longchamp.
Broome made much of the running and battled on gamely, when headed by Royal Marine, fighting tenaciously to finish a neck second of six, in one of Europe’s leading two year old races.
It was an effort that promised much and explained why O’Brien had kept the faith in Broome by aiming high in his races.
Broome’s dam is an Acclamation mare, which might on the face of it bring into question whether he will stay 1 ½ miles.
He has an Irish Guineas entry and Derby entries in England and Ireland, but we would not be surprised to see him have a tilt at the French Classics in 2019.
Emaraaty Ana made the Gimcrack Stakes a Yorkshire affair in August and could have plenty more improvement to come.
The Yorkshire-based Kevin Ryan, has this son of Shamardal ready to win on debut at Windsor, in late April, when he impressed in beating Blown By Wind by 2 ¼ lengths.
He was not seen out again until July, when he was perhaps in need of the run when coming home 2 ¼ lengths third of 5 to Natalie’s Joy.
A month later he looked a different prospect, as he won the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes at York by ½ a length from Legends Of War, with The Irish Rover and Space Traveller among his victims.
Emaraaty Ana was then purchased by Sheikh Mohammed Obaid, ahead of his run in the Group One Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket.
He finished 5 ¼ lengths fifth of 8 behind Ten Sovereigns, with Sergei Profokiev and old rivals Legends Of War and Space Traveller behind him.
Emaraaty Ana’s runs were well-spaced out, suggesting he needed time and may not have been fully straight-forward.
There ought to be more improvement to come and he strikes us as similar to Sands Of Mali. A sprint campaign looks likely in 2019, with the Commonwealth Cup an obvious target.
Marie’s Diamond was a constant throughout 2018 and a yardstick against which some of the very best measured themselves.
The Mark Johnston trained son of Footstepsinthesand, won three of his ten starts in 2018, including minor contests at Leicester and Chester in the early part of the season.
In late June, he ran a cracker to finish ½ a length second to Van Beethoven, in the Group Two Railway Stakes at the Curragh.
He returned to Ireland in July to win the Group Three Anglesey Stakes by ½ a length from Viadera, his biggest success of the campaign.
Marie’s Diamond again ran well when a length second to Land Force in the Group Two Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, before his form slipped.
He was last of 9 to Pretty Pollyanna in the Group One Prix Morny, but did not run badly when 4 ½ lengths fourth of 8 behind Ten Sovereigns, in the Group One Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket, in late September.
To that point, Marie’s Diamond had run over no further than 6 ½ furlongs, but his final start came over a mile in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, at Churchill Downs. He failed to get on terms and finished a well beaten 11th to Line of Duty.
Marie’s Diamond proved a tough, consistent type in 2018. he might fall short of Group One class and could be a difficult horse to place in 2019. It would be no surprise to see him contest something like the European Free Handicap in the spring and 6 or 7-furlongs may prove his optimum.
Barbill was another to make his mark in a busy campaign which saw him race 12 times.
The Mick Channon trained son of Zebedee, won on debut by 4 lengths from the useful Ginger Nut and was then a good second to The Irish Rover in aq Newbury conditions race in May.
He was down the field in the Coventry Stakes won by Calyx, before finishing fourth in Listed contests at Sandown Park and Newbury.
Barbill at this stage looked well exposed and he was 3 ¾ lengths sixth of 11 to Rumble Inthejungle, in the Group Three Molecomb Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, in August.
But Barbill’s form turned a corner from mid-August, when he finished a short neck second to Queen Of Bermuda, in a Listed race at Deauville.
He was fifth to Sporting Chance in the Listed Ripon Champion Two Year Old Trophy later that month, but only beaten 1 ¾ lengths.
The following month, Channon sent his charge to the Curragh for the valuable Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale, where he beat a field of 18, with a ½ length success from Flashcard.
In October, Barbill took his chance in the Group Three Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket, acquitting himself well to finish 3 ½ lengths third of 14 behind Sergei Profokiev.
Two weeks later he contested the Listed Doncaster Stakes and again put up a gallant performance to finish ¾ of a length second of 9 to San Donato.
Barbill’s busy year rounded off on a glorious note, as he returned to France to win the Listed Prix Lacowlef by 2 ½ lengths from Rockin Roy at Chantilly, in mid-November.
Barbill has a fascinating pedigree, as his dam is a daughter of Montjeu, an influence for stamina of course. That sid, he showed plenty of speed and one would imagine Channon might campaign him up to 7-furlongs in 2019.
Simon Crisford had a great year in 2018 and whilst Jash looked a serious player in the juvenile division, Sporting Chance also made his mark.
The son of Kodiac edged to victory on debut, at Wolverhampton, in late May. The following month he was beaten a head by Typhoon Ted at Kempton Park.
His first start on turf saw him thrown in at the deep end, in the Group Two July Stakes at Newmarket’s prestigious July Festival.
Sporting Chance was far from disgraced in finishing 4 ½ lengths fifth of 8 to Advertise.
In early August, he finished seventh of 9, beaten 3 ½ lengths by Land Force, in the Group Two Richmond Stakes at Goodwood.
Crisford then decided to drop him in grade and the decision paid dividends with a head victory over Gipsy Spirit, in the Listed Ripon Champion Two Year Old Trophy, at the end of August.
Sporting Chance’s biggest success was to come in mid-September, however, as he beat Space Traveller by 1 ¾ lengths in the Group Three Prix Eclipse, at Maisons-Laffitte.
He returned there in mid-October, for the Group Two Criterium de Maisons-Laffitte, finishing 4 lengths fifth of 8 to Hello Youmzain, in soft ground.
Sporting Chance seemed to improve with time and there could be a good bit more to come. It would be no surprise to see him campaigned in France at some stage next year and a tilt at the French 2,000 Guineas would not be out of the question.
Boitron led the Richard Hannon string of juvenile colts, looking a smart prospect.
The son of Le Havre looked a classy individual from the get-go, landing a Newbury maiden by 4 ½ lengths from Fox Coach in July.
In early August, he won a minor Doncaster contest by a length from Dancing On A Dream, before returning to Newbury, later than month, to land the Listed Washington Singer Stakes by1 ¾ lengths from Dutch Treat.
Hannon then stepped him up to a mile for the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, at ParisLongchamp.
Boitron was bang there with a furlong to race and eventually finished a creditable 2 ¾ lengths fourth of 6 to Royal Marine.
Boitron has an entry in the Irish 2,000 Guineas in 2019, but on pedigree, he ought to get middle distances and we see him as a racehorse likely to make his biggest impression over 1 ¼ miles.
Arthur Kitt was one of the fairytale stories of 2018.
Tom Dascomb’s son of Camelot was an impressive winner on debut, when beating Napanook by 2 ½ lengths at Haydock Park, in late May.
Then came the big headlines. Arthur Kitt made news for simply contesting the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot. His dam, Ceiling Kitty, had won the race as a two year old, but died foaling Arthur Kitt.
The dream came true as Arthur Kitt defeated Nate The Great by a neck to emulate his mother.
After a break, he returned in the Group Three Solario Stakes at Sandown Park, but had no answer to Too Darn Hot’s acceleration, coming home 4-lengths second of six.
In late September he was a shade disappointing in the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes at Newmarket, when beaten 6-lengths and finishing fifth of 7 behind Mohawk.
Arthur Kitt had one more start in 2018, heading Stateside for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf and running a fine race to finish 2 ½ lengths fourth of 14 to Line Of Duty.
That was arguably the best of his runs and we expect he will prove most effective at up to 1 ¼ miles in 2019.
Other horses to note
Godolphin had a truly wonderful 2018 and its juvenile colts won plenty of Group races.
There looks to be plenty of strength in depth in the background too.
Court Poet was only seen out twice. The son of Dubawi beat Leroy Leroy by ¾ of a length at Chelmsford, in early September.
Just 8 days later, Charlie Appleby sent him to France for the Group Three Prix des Chenes, where he was far from disgraced in finishing 3 lengths fourth to arguably France’s leading juvenile colt, Anodor.
Court Poet wasn’t seen out again, but being out of a Giant’s Causeway mare, he could well be a useful middle distance horse in 2019.
Appleby also saddled the unbeaten colt Al Hilalee, who looked very smart in beating Al Mureib by 3 ¼ lengths in a hot maiden at the Newmarket July Festival.
Whilst the runner-up struggled to win a race afterwards, Al Hilalee stepped up in grade with success, on his only subsequent start.
The son of Dubawi, out of Roger Varian’s Group One winner Ambivalent, scrambled home in a Listed contest at Deauville, by a short head from Duke of Hazzard, in August.
He got the mile that day and on breeding, should go a bit further and holds an entry in next year’s Irish Derby.
Star Safari showed very little when a well-beaten tenth behind Kick On, in a Newmarket maiden, in September.
Charlie Appleby’s son of Sea The Stars clearly learned from that experience however, as he beat Tempus by a head in a Nottingham maiden in October.
Whilst he does not hold any flashy entries at this stage, Star Safari could be a name to remember next season as he steps up in trip.
Art Du Val had been scheduled to make his debut in the Newmarket maiden won by Al Hilalee, but refused to go in the stalls.
This imposing son of No Nay Never, out of a Rainbow Quest mare, made no mistake on his next racecourse appearance, beating Leroy Leroy by 1 ¾ lengths at Sandown Park, in August.
He was not seen out again until late October, when he ran well to finish 1 ½ lengths second of 6 behind Duke Of Hazzard, in a Listed race at Deauville.
Given his size, there ought to be a lot more to come from Art Du Val and he is an exciting prospect who could be a middle distance horse for 2019.
Scat Daddy has certainly left an enduring mark on the breed and looks to have produced another interesting horse in the once-raced Art Song.
This colt won his only start at Kempton Park, in late October, beating Sash by ½ a length.
Given he made his debut on the all-weather, he might be a horse for the Dubai Carnival in the early months of 2019, as he advances his learning.
Space Blues was another end of season winner of his only start for Appleby.
The son of Dubawi, out of a Noverre mare, landed a Nottingham maiden in early November in impressive style, beating Private Secretary by 2 ¼ lengths.
He looks like 10-furlongs could be his perfect trip in 2019.
Velorum shaped like a nice prospect on his only start, in a good Newmarket maiden in October.
The son of Sea The Stars finished 2-lengths second of 14 to Skardu and there are definitely races to be won with him.
Wings Of Time also ran in that race at Newmarket, finishing mid-division, having run green early on. He was very much raw material on that occasion but this son of Invincible Spirit should develop nicely over the winter.
Zakouski was not seen out until late November, but the wait was worthwhile.
The son of Shamardal took on experienced rivals at Kempton Park, but overcame his lack of prior experience to beat the previously unbeaten Headsman by 2-lengths, looking very smart.
Zakouski has a southern hemisphere pedigree on the dam’s side and looks a really fascinating prospect going into 2019.
He should be in his prime at 1 ¼ miles and could be one for Royal Ascot.
Another late debutant for Appleby was Moonlight Spirit, a son of Dubawi, out of a Monsun mare.
On pedigree, Moonlight Spirit will get better with age and trip, so it was some performance to get him to win first time out at two.
He misbehaved in the preliminaries, but went on inside the final half a mile to beat Jalmoud by an uncontested 1 ¾ lengths, at Newcastle, in late November.
Jalmoud, a son of New Approach, ran well on debut in that contest and should progress well in 2019.
Saeed Bin Suroor also had a nice group of juvenile colts in 2018.
Global Hero ended the year with two victories from three starts.
The son of Dubawi got off the mark at the first attempt, beating Chatham House by 1 ¼ lengths, at Salisbury, in early September.
He then ran well to finish 1 ¼ lengths second of 11 to House Of Kings at Leicester, later that month.
In late October, Global Hero stepped up to a mile and ½ a furlong on the Wolverhampton all-weather, beating Oliveto by a neck.
Whilst his form was a long way short of top class, he holds an Irish Derby entry for 2019 and being out of an Authorized mare, should be suited by longer trips.
Estihdaaf ran with promise on his first two starts, before cementing his improvement with a win on his third and final start of the year.
This son of Arch, ran a nose second of 10 to Woven, at York, in early October.
Later that month he ran in a competitive Newmarket maiden, putting up a good performance when 2-lengths third of 14 to Skardu.
He got off the mark in a Leicester maiden in mid-October, defeating Mokammal by 2-lengths.
Estihdaaf’s pedigree suggests he will be a useful middle distance campaigner in 2019.
Dubai Legacy looked a useful colt when landing a Doncaster contest in early June, by ½ a length from Eagle Hunter.
Off the back of that run, Bin Suroor pitched him into the Group Two Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot, which might with hindsight, have been a little too soon.
He finished 7 ½ lengths tenth of 23 to Calyx.
The following month he won an Epsom contest by 1 ½ lengths from Napanook.
We didn’t see Dubai Legacy again, but his American breeding (by Discreet Cat out of a Tiznow mare), suggests a mile should be well within his compass in 2019.
Dubai Icon is another with a middle distance pedigree, being a son of Derby winner New Approach.
He made his debut at Goodwood in early September, where he was well beaten by subsequent Breeders’ Cup winner Line of Duty.
However, he gained valuable experience there and in mid-October, won a Nottingham maiden by an impressive 2 ¼ lengths from Deebee.
He holds an Irish Derby entry and could be an interesting prospect, with something like the Newmarket Stakes on 2,000 Guineas day, a possible starting point.
Shoot For Gold has already had one taste of Group One action, underlining the regard in which he is held.
The son of Sea The Stars made his debut at Newbury, in late September, running 5 ½ lengths fifth of 13 to King Ottakar.
In early October he routed his rivals at Windsor, beating Politicise by 7-lengths, over a mile in the soft.
He then headed to France for the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud, finishing 10-lengths sixth of 9 behind Wonderment.
That was not a bad effort and there ought to be plenty of improvement to come from another Irish Derby entry.
Global Heat was not beaten far, when placing on both his starts in 2018. He is another likely to takes steps forward in 2019 and looks sure to win races.
The same is true of Silent Hunter, fourth on debut, before running 1 ¾ lengths second of 11 to Nivaldo, at Kempton Park, in early November.
As already indicated, Aidan O’Brien’s string were below par for a part of the summer, meaning some of his two year olds did not have time to make their racecourse appearances.
That could lead to an interesting spring in 2019.
Of those that did run, we have already discussed the leading protagonists in the pattern races, but there were plenty more who showed enough promise to suggest they could take big steps forward in 2019.
Old Glory was not seen out until September, but made a winning start to life with a 1 ½ lengths defeat of Erich Bloch in a Naas maiden.
The son of Frankel then ran in the Listed Star Appeal Stakes at Dundalk, in early October, finishing 1 ¾ lengths second of six to the useful No Needs Never.
He rounded off his short campaign by running 1 ¼ lengths third of 10 behind Coral Beach in the Group Three Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown.
Old Glory runs in the familiar American Pharoah silks and is an interesting prospect. He is out of a Xaar mare and holds entries in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and both the English and Irish Derbies next year.
Western Frontier was another to show consistency in three starts at two.
The son of Scat Daddy ran 1 ¼ lengths third of 8 behind Archaeology, in a Navan maiden at the end of September.
He returned there in mid-October and again ran well, when 5 ½ lengths second of 19 to Third Of March.
His third start at Navan proved a winning one, as he defeated stable mate Captainofthebounty by 3-lengths. There should be improvement to come as he steps up in class.
Never No More showed promise to finish second of 8 behind All The King’s Men in a Naas maiden in September.
The son of No Nay Never made no mistake on his next start, landing a Dundalk contest by 3 ¼ lengths from Chicago May, in early October.
Aidan O’Brien thought enough of the colt to pitch him into the Listed Legacy Stakes at Navan, just 9 days later. He ran a reasonable race to come home 4 ¼ lengths seventh of 9 to old rival and stable mate All The King’s Men.
Never No More should have plenty of improvement to come and holds an Irish 2,000 Guineas entry.
Turnberry Isle was not seen out until the back end but showed plenty of promise and improvement in three starts.
The son of Galileo, out of the useful Rosdhu Queen, showed greenness when fifth of 15 to Millswyn, at Gowran Park, in mid-October.
He improved just under two weeks later when beaten just a nose by Manjeer, at Leopardstown.
O’Brien was keen to get more experience into the colt and in early November, he landed a Naas maiden by 2-lengths from Gentile Bellini.
Turnberry Isle holds entries in the Irish 2,000 Guineas and the English and Irish Derbies next year and could be an interesting horse next spring.
San Andreas is an interesting colt who was pitched in at the deep end.
The son of Dark Angel was fourth of 12 to Smart Flies in a Naas maiden, in early October.
Nineteen days later he returned to Naas to beat Ferretti by ½ a length in another maiden.
O’Brien then sent the colt to Chantilly for the Group One Criterium International, at the end of October. It proved a step too far at this stage of his career, but he was not disgraced in finishing 6-lengths last of six to Royal Meeting.
San Andreas holds an Irish Guineas entry, but his dam is by V|ital Equine and he may prove more effective over 6-7 furlongs in 2019.
After two relatively non-descript runs, Cape Of Good Hope improved markedly as the summer wore on.
The son of Galileo got off the mark on his third start, taking a Tipperary maiden by a length from Decisive Action, in early July.
The following week he headed to Newmarket for the Group Two Superlative Stakes, running well to finish 3 ¾ lengths second of 7 to the top class Quorto.
After a break, Cape Of Good Hope had one more start, in the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes on the Rowley Mile in late September.
He again ran a creditable race to come home 3 lengths third of 8 to Mohawk.
Cape Of Good Hope is out of a Danehill mare and there is every reason to think he will stay the Derby trip next year and he holds entries in both the English and Irish versions.
Constantinople is another colt with the Galileo-Danehill cross, who showed little when 7 ½ lengths behind the smart Madhmoon, in a Leopardstown maiden in mid-August.
In late September, he made the trip to Newmarket, for what looked a good maiden, showing promise to finish 3 ¼ lengths third of 18 to Kick On. Interestingly, Wings Of Eagles was also sent to Newmarket for an autumn maiden in his juvenile season.
Constantinople got off the mark in spectacular fashion, when beating Counting Sheep by 10 lengths at Thurles, in late October.
Each of his races was spaced out and he will have learned plenty from his trip to Newmarket. Constantinople holds Derby entries and could develop into a smart colt in 2019.
Albuqurque had just the two starts and a long gap between each run.
The son of Galileo, out of a Stravinsky mare, was well beaten behind Bold Approach in a Leopardstown maiden in late May.
He was not seen again for five months, but beat Empire State by a neck in a Gowran Park maiden.
Albuquerque holds an Irish Guineas and English and Irish Derby entries. Clearly he had his issues in 2018, but could be an interesting prospect next year.
Gentile Bellini didn’t win in 2018, but ran well on both starts and one could envisage him making his mark in an early season maiden before going on to bigger things next year.
Aidan O’Brien’s son of Dubawi, again underlines the new relationship between Coolmore and Godolphin.
He finished a good fourth of 20 to Rakan in a Leopardstown maiden in late October.
A couple of weeks later he headed to Naas and ran 2-lengths second of 19 to stable mate Turnberry Isle.
Gentile Bellini holds Irish Guineas and Derby entries and one would imagine he would step up to Pattern company if he gets off the mark early in the spring.
U S S Michigan made a lovely debut in the summer, but wasn’t seen out again.
The son of War Front finished ½ a length second of 10 to the smart Viadera, in a Curragh maiden in late June.
Clearly things did not go to plan thereafter, but the winner proved Group class and U S S Michigan is another who could make his mark if he wins an early maiden.
Desert Island is another to keep an eye on, although his debut caused no ripples.
He is stunningly-bred, being a son of Australia, out of the brilliant Peeping Fawn.
He ran down the field behind Millswyn, in a Gowran Park maiden in October. But it should be remembered that Peeping Fawn did not come into her own until the summer of her three year-old career, so it would be rash to write him off on one run.
Other maiden two year old colts who could show plenty more for Ballydoyle in 2019, include: Globe Theatre, Giottino (fifth of 25 to the top class Ten Sovereigns, on his only start) and Barbados,
Michael O’Callaghan has proven his talents with the right ammunition and looks to have another smart prospect in Third Of March.
The son of Camacho ran well on debut to finish 7 ¾ lengths third of 8 to Lethal Promise, in a Naas maiden in June.
He was not seen out again until mid-October, when he looked very useful in defeating Western Frontier by 5 ½ lengths at Navan.
Karl Burke has enjoyed terrific success with his juveniles of late and has an interesting prospect in Kadar.
The son of Scatt Daddy went into plenty of notebooks when beating experienced rivals, including the hitherto unbeaten Waldstern, at Haydock Park, in early September.
Kadar, who is out of a Sinndar mare, should have plenty of stamina and it was that attribute that saw him beat the John Gosden colt by 1 ¼ lengths. He subsequently missed Group One engagements.
Kadar holds Irish 2,000 Guineas and Derby entries and looks an exciting prospect in 2019. It would be no surprise to see him return in something like the Dante Stakes at York, to test his Derby credentials.
John Gosden has strength in depth amongst his juveniles.
Too Darn Hot and Calyx might lead the pack at this stage, but there are other horses who should make up into Pattern horses next year.
Kick On ran well on debut to finish a length second of 9 to Red Bravo, at Newmarket, in August.
The following month, he made a big impression when quickening well in an 18-runner Newmarket maiden at the Cambridgeshire Meeting, beating Humanitarian by 2 ½ lengths.
Gosden thought enough of his son of Charm Spirit, to hunt Group One glory in his final start of 2018.
In the event, Kick On did not run badly, coming home 3 ¼ lengths sixth of 11 to Magna Grecia in the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy, at Doncaster, in late October.
Kick On should have more to come and could be one for a race like Sandown’s Classic Trial in April, a race Gosden often targets.
Waldstern is another who might head to that type of race.
The son of Sea The Stars won on debut, at Newmarket, in mid-August, beating Venedegar by 1 ¼ lengths.
He lost his unbeaten record on his next start, when beaten 1 ¼ lengths by the staying on Kadar.
Waldstern had one more race, stepping up to 10-furlongs, for Newmarket’s Listed Zetland Stakes, in October. He acquitted himself well to finish 2 ½ lengths fourth of 6 to Norway.
It could be argued that anything Waldstern did at two, is a bonus. He is out of a Monsun dam and should improve with age and distance.
At this stage, Waldstern has a Derby entry. If he won a Derby trial, one could see him run in the Derby, although we doubt he will have enough pace at Epsom. We see him as more of a St Leger type as that trip and time in his life should bring out the best in him.
Turgenev looked a progressive colt in the autumn and was not disgraced in Group One company on his last start of the year.
Gosden’s son of Dubawi, out of a Nayef mare, ran well to finish 2 ¼ lengths second of 7 to subsequent Group One winner Royal Marine, at Doncaster, in September.
Ten days later he headed north again, landing an all-weather contest at Newcastle, by an impressive 6 lengths from Durrell.
Turgenev made it two wins from three with a 1 ½ length defeat of Il Paradiso, in a Newmarket novice race in early October.
Three weeks later, he headed to the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster, running well to finish 4 ¾ lengths seventh of 11 behind Magna Grecia.
Turgenev will have learned plenty in those two months and with no immediate Classic entries, could be campaigned with Royal Ascot in mind.
Marhaba Milliar looked a progressive and very speedy colt, living up to his breeding.
The son of Kodiac is out of the brilliantly fast Lady Of The Desert.
He made a winning debut, at Ascot, in mid-July, beating Dirty Rascal on disqualification, having been denied by a short-head initially.
In early August, Marhaba Milliar made it two from two, with a neck defeat of Fanaar, at Yarmouth.
He was conceding a stone and four pounds, when beaten a short head by Nayslayer, in a Chelmsford nursery, in early September.
Whilst Marhaba Milliar was never tested in Pattern company, he showed enough to suggest he will be contesting bigger races in 2019.
Azano, of course, did contest the Group Three Horris Hills Stakes, running well.
The son of Oasis Dream ran unplaced in a Yarmouth maiden in September, behind Millions Memories.
He showed plenty of improvement when returning to the Norfolk track, beating Frederickbarbarosa by 5 lengths in mid-October.
That saw Gosden step him up in class at Newbury, where he ran a fine race to finish 1 ½ lengths second of 8 to Mohaather.
Azano is out of a Hurricane Run mare and should get a mile next year.
Beatboxer looked as if he could be anything in mid-summer, with two impressive victories that had him (at that stage) in the same bracket as Too Darn Hot.
John Gosden’s son of Scatt Daddy won on debut, with a 2-length defeat of Venedegar, at Sandown Park, in July.
The following month he impressed again, storming 3 ¾ lengths clear of Rajinsky, at Haydock Park.
Beatboxer then went to Newmarket in late September, for the Group Two Royal Lodge Stakes. He was expected to run well, but ran deplorably, trailing in a tailed off last of seven.
Something was clearly amiss with Beatboxer on his final start of the year and assuming the issue is resolved, he is an interesting horse for 2019. It would be no surprise to see him contest an early Derby trial and possibly even drop in distance if that doesn’t work out.
King Of Comedy was another Gosden colt to put an early marker down for Freshman sire Kingman.
He landed a Sandown Park contest, on debut, in early July, beating the useful Persian Moon by 2 ½ lengths.
King Of Comedy was not seen out again until early November, when he ran ½ a length second of 15 (conceding 7 pounds) behind I Could Do Better, at Redcar.
King Of Comedy should stay a mile well, but if he has a good spring, we could see him in something like the Jersey Stakes at the Royal Meeting.
Lord North was only fleetingly seen in 2018, but looked a useful colt.
The son of Dubawi won his only race, beating Fox Leicester by a length at Redcar, in October.
He is out of a Giant’s Causeway mare and could find 1 ¼ miles his optimum trip next year.
Humanitarian could well give Noble Mission a big race success in 2019, judged on his promising juvenile career.
John Gosden’s charge ran a lovely race when 2 ½ lengths behind stable mate Kick On, in an 18-runner Newmarket maiden, in late September.
Humanitarian looked a smart prospect on his subsequent start, defeating Sash by 5-lengths at Lingfield Park, in mid-November.
He holds a Derby entry and looks likely to start out in a Derby trial, if thriving in the spring.
Battle For Glory is another lightly-raced prospect from Clarehaven Stables.
The Magnier-owned son of War Front, won a Newmarket contest in early November by a nose from Real Smooth.
It was a nice start and Battle For Glory ought to get 1 ¼ miles next year.
November saw Gosden unveil another useful prospect in Dubai Warrior.
This son of Dansili, out of a Galileo mare, won a Chelmsford contest by an impressive 4 ½ lengths from Days Of Glory.
He could be anything, but does hold an Epsom Derby entry, so a step up in grade would look likely in the spring.
Kosciuszko was only seen at Sandown Park in 2018 and his two starts had conflicting outcomes.
The son of Australia was a well beaten sixth of 9 to his stable mate Beatboxer, in late July.
He wasn’t seen again until mid-September, when he stepped up to a mile and beat Dawn Treader by 1 ¾ lengths.
Kosciuszko is out of a Rock Of Gibraltar mare and should stay beyond a mile.
Kimblewick won his only start, but we had to wait until mid-November to see him.
The son of Iffraaj beat Say Nothing by ½ a length at Kempton Park.
He is out of a Sadler’s Wells mare and should be effective over 1 ¼ miles.
Honest Albert falls into the same category, once-raced – and a winner to boot, at Kempton Park, in November.
This son of Sepoy, out of an Indian Ridge mare, beat Dark Miracle by an impressive 2 ¾ lengths.
He doesn’t hold any Classic entries, so Royal Ascot might be his target.
Alrajaa goes into 2019 still a maiden, but the form of his final start was very useful and suggests there is plenty to come from this son of Dubawi.
He ran 3 ¼ lengths fourth of 7 to Group Three winner Arctic Sound on his debut, at Sandown Park, in early July.
At the end of August, he was a little disappointing when 3-lengths fifth of 10 behind Rakinsky at the Esher track.
In mid-September, Alrajaa ran in a hot looking Yarmouth maiden. He put up much his best performance to finish ½ a length second of 15 to subsequent Group One winner Royal Meeting.
Alrajaa therefore ran close-up behind two Group winners in 2018.
He has a handicap mark now and could be an interesting horse, the type that perhaps progresses eventually into Pattern company.
In December, Gosden was still sending out intriguing and well-bred youngsters.
New King, a son of Frankel, with a Derby entry, made a promising debut when 9 ½ lengths fourth of 11 to Barys, at Lingfield Park, in mid-November.
He reappeared in a Wolverhampton maiden, on a stormy December evening, coming from miles back to show a smart turn of foot and beat Crimewave by ¾ of a length.
He looked very good on that occasion, having had lots of ground to make up in the home straight and racing wide.
On the same evening, half an hour later, Sucellus put up a carbon copy performance on his debut.
The son of Dansili was taking on the more experienced Nabbeyl, who made much of the running and looked booked for victory.
But Sucellus came from a long way back and again raced wide, to cut down the leader late home with super acceleration.
He is out of a Singspiel mare and should stay middle distances well in 2019.
Others to keep in mind for 2019 from John Gosden’s string, include: Oussel Falls, second, beaten only a head, on his only start, to Frankellina.
Gantier, a son of Frankel, was down the field on debut at Newmarket, but beaten only a nose by Eightsome Reel at Wolverhampton, in November.
Sheriffmuir, Franz Kafka, Red Centre, Fightwithme and So High are other names among the Gosden maidens, that are worth keeping an eye on.
Dermot Weld had a quiet time of things in 2017, but enjoyed a better year.
Masaff looked a really smart prospect when landing a Leopardstown maiden in June, beating California Daddy by a length.
The Aga Khan owned son of Raven’s pass, was not seen out again until mid-September, when he ran in the Group Two KPMG Champions Juveniles Stakes, at the Dublin track.
He stayed on, but could not answer Madhmoon’s turn of foot, succumbing to a 3 ¾ length defeat, finishing third.
Masaff had one more race in the Group Three Eyrefield Stakes over 9-furlongs, also at Leopardstown, in late October.
He again ran well when finishing ½ a length second of 8 to Guaranteed.
Masaff should have more to come and remains open to plenty of improvement. His dam is by Dalakhani, an influence for stamina, so should he step up on 2018, his Irish Derby entry could be an interesting proposition.
Zuenoon had looked a useful prospect in three starts, but was not seen after August.
The son of Havana Gold was 2 lengths second to Joza on debut in June, before landing a Galway maiden by ½ a length from Cosmic Horizon.
He followed-up in late August, with victory in a Killarney auction race, beating Cardini by a head, on his first start over a mile.
Cardini improved to run well in the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster, suggesting Zuenoon is above average.
He holds entries in the Irish Guineas and the English and Irish Derbies and could be interesting in the spring.
Asdaa was another to have a curtailed season and could be a real dark horse.
He finished down the field in a Curragh maiden won by Viadera, in late June.
The following month, the son of Dutch Art won a Fairyhouse contest by a neck from Darkash.
A mile would appear his optimum trip on breeding.
Tankerville goes into 2019 unbeaten in one start.
The son of Kitten’s Joy, out of a Dynaformer mare, won a Gowran Park maiden in late October and on yielding ground, over a mile. He beat Killourney by 2 ¼ lengths, looking potentially smart.
He holds Derby entries in England and Ireland and could be anything.
Sherkali goes into 2019 as a maiden, but a horse who ran with real promise on debut.
The son of Siyouni finished 3 ¾ lengths third of 15 to Manjeer, in a Leopardstown maiden, in late October.
He holds an Irish 2,000 Guineas entry and if he progresses in the spring, could be very interesting.
Whilst having a large team, Roger Varian does have an odd backward juvenile at Carlburg Stables, but despite that, his more forward youngsters have done well in 2018.
Prince Eiji, a 2.6 million guineas purchase, was a case in point, winning first time out at Ascot and acquitting himself well in Pattern company.
The son of Dubawi, out of that top class race mare Izzi Top, won at Ascot in early September, beating Red Armada by ½ a length.
Varian stepped the chesnut up in class later that month, in the Group Three Tattersall Stakes at Newmarket.
Prince Eiji was in front entering the Dip and had the race at his mercy, before wandering around and eventually coming home 2 ¼ lengths third of 7 to Arctic Sound. Perhaps he was still too green on that occasion and became a little unbalanced.
But he was not done for the season, as Varian sought to gain more experience, sending his charge to Deauville for the Listed Prix Isonomy, in late October.
Prince Eiji was a shade disappointing, never getting competitive, before staying on at the end to finish 5 ½ lengths fifth of 6 to Paul Cole’s Duke Of Hazzard.
Often we learn more about horses in defeat and it may be that Prince Eiji is already crying out for longer trips.
Discarding the price tag, Varian should be afforded time with this colt who came to win his race at Newmarket, demonstrating that the ability is certainly there. He should do well over 1 ¼ miles in 2019.
San Donato was an early season two year old for Varian, but it was later on that he really made his mark.
The son of Lope De Vega, ran well on debut, to finish 4-lengths second of 7 to the useful Legends Of War, at Yarmouth, in late May.
A month later he was pitched into the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot, but was never a major factor, finishing a well beaten 8th of 11 behind Arthur Kitt.
San Donato was given plenty of time afterwards and repaid that in spades in the autumn.
He got off the mark with a ½ a length defeat of Hello Youmzain, at Haydock Park, in early September.
Later that month he was most impressive at Kempton Park, when slamming Converter by 4 ½ lengths.
That saw San Donato upped in grade again – and this time he did not fluff his lines, landing the Listed Doncaster Stakes by ¾ of a length from the smart Barbill, in late October.
San Donato is out of an Acclamation mare and ought to get a mile, although his best form in 2018 was over six furlongs.
Turjomaan has not raced at a high level but looked exciting on the second of his two winning starts.
The son of War Front, made a winning debut, when getting the better of Repaupo by a head, at Ascot, in early September.
In late October, he headed to Newcastle and impressed in beating Wiretap by 2 ½ lengths.
Turjomaan’s American pedigree looks made for a miler and it would be no surprise to see him perhaps target the All-Weather Championships in the spring before returning to turf.
Surfman was another juvenile to advertise the merits of his sire Kingman.
He ran well on debut when ½ a length third of 10 to Star Safari, at Nottingham, in October.
Surfman returned to that course a month later and won a maiden by 1 ¾ lengths from Durston.
He holds an Epsom Derby entry and it would be no surprise to see him in races like the Feilden or Newmarket Stakes in the spring.
Mackaar was another colt not seen out until late in the year.
The son of Cape Cross ran with promise to finish 8 ¼ lengths fourth of 11 to Nivaldo, at Kempton Park, in early November.
Just under two weeks later he got off the mark with a short-head victory over King Of Change, at Wolverhampton.
Mackaar holds a Derby entry, but has entries on the all-weather and it may be that Varian is contemplating an All-Weather Championship bid.
Bayroot was yet another not seen out until late in the year, but was a first-time out winner for Varian.
The son of Exceed And Excel landed a Kempton Park contest by a length, from Private Rocket, in late October.
It was a pleasing debut and being out of a Street Sense mare, Bayroot should stay a mile nicely.
Apparate goes into 2019 as a maiden, after a hugely promising debut.
He is beautifully-bred, being by Dubawi, out of a Galileo mare.
Apparate ran a cracker on his only start, finishing a neck second of 15 to Landa Beach, at Newbury, in late October.
He holds a Derby entry and could be highly progressive.
Khuzaam is another to keep an eye on.
The son of Kitten’s Joy was not seen until late November, but ran a race full of promise at Lingfield Park. He showed plenty of greenness, before running on late in proceedings to finish 1 ¼ lengths second of 12 to the smart-looking Dawaam.
Khuzaam was given another start in December at Kempton Park. Travelling powerfully, he went to the front and went clear before debutant Deal A Dollar began to close late on, eventually winning by ¾ of a length.
It may have been that Khuzaam got a little lonely in front but he has shown plenty of raw ability in two starts and looks an exciting prospect for 2019.
Khuzaam holds a Derby entry and looks sure to win races.
As indicated, many of the juveniles under Roger Varian’s care are backward and ought to improve notably in time. Colts who may be worth keeping an eye on in 2019, include: Enough Already, Emirates Knight (who finished in the first four on all three starts in 2018), Motalaqqy (who ran second to Persian Moon on his only start), Nabbeyl, Lehoogg, Fabriano (who is bred to stay) and Moqtarreb.
Another stable not noted for its first-time out juvenile winners, is that of Sir Michael Stoute. As we have already seen, Stoute has an exciting prospect in Sangarius, but has other colts to look forward to in 2019.
Solid Stone took a couple of runs for the penny to drop, but looks a nice prospect.
The son of Shamardal ran well on debut when 4 ¾ lengths fourth of 13 to King Ottokar in a Newbury contest, in late September.
He progressed from that run to finish a neck second of 13 to Reeves, at Doncaster, in late October.
Solid Stone got off the mark in early November, defeating Forest Of Dean by a neck, at Newcastle.
He holds no Classic entries, but the experience gained should stand Solid Stone in good stead and he could make up into a smart handicapper or Group horse in 2019.
Almania ran a decent race on debut, when 3 ¼ lengths fourth of six to Production, at Ascot, in July.
The son of Australia made use of that experience when beating Buffalo River by ½ a length at Sandown Park, in late August.
Almania wasn’t seen again, but held a Vertem Futurity entry, suggesting he is well regarded by his master trainer.
Karnavaal was another to take time, but holds a Derby entry and looks progressive.
He was down the field behind Turjomaan at Ascot, in early September.
Towards the end of that month he contested a hot-looking Newmarket maiden and ran well to finish 4 ½ lengths fourth of 14 to Skardu.
Karnavaal lost his maiden tag when beating Awe by 1 ¾ lengths at Chelmsford in October and looks to be going the right way.
Sovereign Grant, owned by Her Majesty The Queen, holds a similar profile to Karnavaal, a Derby entry and a winner at the third time of asking.
The son of Kingman ran a promising race when 2 ¼ lengths fourth of 10 behind Rajinsky, at Sandown Park, in late August.
The following month he was beaten just a length, when third of 11 to Millions Memories, at Yarmouth.
Sovereign Grant looked a useful recruit when getting off the mark at Kempton Park in early October, defeating Current Option by 3 ½ lengths.
So far he has been campaigned relatively low key and it will be fascinating to see how high he can climb in 2019.
Mubakker looks another intriguing prospect.
The son of Speightstown ran a nice race on debut to finish 3-lengths fourth of 7 to Magic J, at Yarmouth, in September.
At the start of November, he headed to Wolverhampton and won convincingly, beating Angel Alexander by 2 ¼ lengths.
On breeding (he is out of a More Than Ready mare) he should get a mile next year.
Calculation on breeding, should show a lot more, the older and further he races.
The son of Dubawi, is out of The Queen’s Gold Cup winner Estimate, so a long trip should suit.
He showed promise in two maidens, won by Group One winners Too Darn Hot and Line Of Duty.
Given his breeding, there was no disgrace in either run and he is a name to remember for races like the Queen’s Vase and perhaps even the St Leger, whilst also holding a Derby entry.
Deal A Dollar is stoutely bred, being a son of Frankel, out of a Cape Cross mare.
He was not seen out until December, but ran a super race, chasing down the more experienced Khuzaam, who had gone clear. At the line, Deal A Dollar was just ¾ of a length down, with the rest of the field well behind.
He looks a very smart prospect, along with the winner.
Other Stoute runners to watch next year include: Laafy, Mokammal (an excellent second to Estihdaaf on his only start), Alnasherat (third on both starts, including getting within 3-lengths of Quorto on his second run, but not seen since June), Derevo (a son of Dansili, beaten 1 ½ lengths when second of 12 to Ernest Aldrich, at Doncaster, on his only run), Derby entry Alhaazm, Madeeh and Song Without End.
Mark Johnston had another fine season, cracking the 200 winner mark.
Persian Moon contributed three victories from his seven starts.
The son of Makfi was never out of the first four, winning at the third time of asking when beating Motalaqqy by 5-lengths, at Yarmouth, in July.
Later that month he followed-up with a ½ a length defeat of Hot Team, at York.
Persian Moon returned to the Knavesmire in August, for the Group Two Acomb Stakes, running well to finish 3 ½ lengths third of 8 behind Phoenix Of Spain.
Heavy ground proved too much for him at Haydock in September, as he was a well beaten fourth to Great Scot, in a Listed race.
However, Persian Moon signed off with another win, coping well with the Epsom Downs contours to beat Three Comets by 1 ¾ lengths in late September.
Persian Moon is out of a High Chaparral mare and should stay the Derby trip well. It would be no surprise to see him run in Epsom’s Derby Trial in the spring.
Desert Friend showed promise to win two of his three starts.
The son of Universal landed a Leicester contest, on debut, in September, by 4 ½ lengths, from Brasca.
Later that month at Pontefract, he finished 2 ½ lengths fourth of 9 behind Never Do Nothing.
Desert Friend got back to winning ways with a 2 ¼ lengths defeat of Filles De Fleur, at Kempton Park, in mid-October.
He is out of a Cape Cross mare and should have more victories to come in 2019.
West End Charmer looked a highly progressive colt and has an interesting future.
The son of Nathaniel ran last of 8 to the smart Duke Of Hazzard, on his debut at Glorious Goodwood, in early August.
He got off the mark just 8 days late at Windsor, beating The Olympian by 2 ¾ lengths.
West End Charmer was not seen out again until mid-October, when he stepped up to 1 ¼ miles with some aplomb, beating Edinburgh Castle by 5-lengths.
Stamina looks likely to be West End Charmer’s forte and he is a name to keep in mind next year.
Deep Intrigue improved with each of his three runs and was pure speed.
The son of Dark Angel finished third of 7 to Izzer, at Bath, in late March.
Mark Johnston gave him some time after that and he reappeared at Musselburgh in May, running 1 ½ lengths second of 7 to Nikki’s Angel.
He got off the mark over five-furlongs, when defeating Vange by ¾ of a length at Bath, in mid-May.
We didn’t see Deep Intrigue again, but he showed plenty of pace and looks an out and out sprinter.
Sky Cross was a well beaten last of 11 on debut in mid-June.
The son of Cape Cross was much more forward on his only subsequent start, winning at Catterick, by ½ a length from Al Mortajaz, in August.
He could make up into a nice handicapper.
Camelot had a good season as a sire and in Living Legend, could have a real improver.
He ran fifth behind Eesha’s Smile at Bath, in mi-September.
Ten days later, Living Legend put that experience to good use when defeating Surrey Warrior by a length, in a Lingfield Park maiden.
Living Legend is another who could make up into a useful horse next term and he should get 1 ¼ miles well.
Themaxwecan, a son of Maxios, won his only start at two.
He beat Skymax by a short head at Bath, at the start of October and is another who should be in the winner’s enclosure in 2019.
Other Johnston inmates to keep an eye on in 2019 include: Fiction Writer (second, beaten a nose, on his only start) and Tilmeeth.
Jash and Sporting Chance were undoubtedly among the flag bearers for Simon Crisford in 2018, but he had other very useful two year old colts.
Trolius was not seen on a racecourse until October, but quickly racked-up a hat-trick of wins on the all-weather.
The son of Cape Cross looked very useful on debut, landing a Wolverhampton contest by 3 ¼ lengths from Havana Sunset, in early October.
Just under three weeks later, Crisford sent the youngster up to Newcastle – where he was made to work to beat Ideological by a neck.
Trolius stepped up in trip to a mile and half a furlong for his final start at Wolverhampton, in mid-November.
In a thrilling race, he dead-heated with Felix The Poet, to make it three from three.
Trolius is out of a High Chaparral mare and holds a Derby entry. He has some way to go to prove that is a realistic aim – notably as he has not raced on turf yet or proven he can handle the undulations in a race.
However, Trolius looks progressive and will have learned plenty from those two hard fought races.
Alnadir was another to show progress in the autumn, winning the third of his starts.
The son of Noble Mission ran with promise first time out to finish 1 ¾ lengths third of 10 behind Woven, at York, in early September.
Later that month he again was not beaten far when 1 ¾ lengths fourth of 9 behind Fearless Warrior, at Kempton Park.
In early October, Alnadir got off the mark when beating Eagles By Day, by 1 ½ lengths, at Nottingham.
Alnadir has a Brazilian pedigree on his dam’s side and should stay 1 ¼ miles next year.
Cool Exhibit looked a potentially smart colt on his only start, but was not seen out after late May.
The son of Showcasing won a Nottingham contest by 2 ¾ lengths from Semoum, over six furlongs.
Clearly Cool Exhibit had issues thereafter. Assuminjg he is fit in 2019, he looks a sprinter – and being out of an Indian Ridge mare, his stamina might just extend to seven furlongs for something like the Jersey Stakes.
Other Crisford colts to keep an eye out for include the ultra-consistent Double Kodiac, Waterfront, Aluqair (beaten just 1 ½ lengths by Mohaather on debut) and Turntable.
2018 brought the curtain down on the training career of one of Newmarket’s favourite adopted Italians in Luca Cumani.
Luca down the years has been a production line for top class jockeys and race horses alike.
He is to continue operating the successful Fittocks Stud, so those famous silks will continue to grace the racecourse, with trainers Sir Michael Stoute, Willian Haggas and James Fanshawe.
Felix is one colt who looks to have a very bright future, after three highly encouraging runs.
Cumani juveniles are renowned for not being fully wound-up on their debuts, so it augured well when the son of Lope De Vega finished third of 7 to Roma Bangkok, at Chelsmford, in late August.
Felix came on well for the run and in September, landed a Yarmouth contest by a length from Greek Kodiac.
His consistency was borne out on his final start in October, when he ran with credit to finish 1 ¾ lengths second of 16 behind Sam Cooke, at York.
Felix will have learned a lot from those three starts and should be open to more improvement. He is likely to excel at around a mile.
Prejudice took time to find his way but looked improved in the autumn.
The son of Dubawi, who holds a Derby entry, was well held on his first three starts, before landing a Redcar nursery by 2 ¼ lengths from Al Fajir Mukbile, in late September.
A month later he acquitted himself well 1 ¼ lengths third of 7 to Big Baby Bull, at Doncaster.
Prejudice looks some way short of Classic material at this stage, but should be open to further improvement and success in 2019.
Ernest Aldrich was another who took time for the penny to drop, but showed marked improvement on his final start.
The son of Oasis Dream ran down the field in contests at Yarmouth (in September, behind Royal Meeting) and Windsor in early October.
He was sent to Doncaster in late October and ran a belter in a maiden, beating Derevo and Motawaj by 1 ½ lengths.
Ernest Aldrich is a gelding who could benefit from patience and could develop into a smart handicapper.
Durrell goes into 2019 still a maiden, but after two super efforts.
The son of Animal Kingdom, ran 2 lengths third of 7 behind Court Poet, at Chelmsford, in early September.
Later that month, he came home 6 lengths second of 5 to the smart Turgenev, at Newcastle.
Durrell has lots going for him and should come into his own over middle distances, being out of a Medaglia D’Oro mare.
Hugo Palmer’s gallant old-timer Gifted Master, gave the Kremllin Cottage Stables team plenty to cheer in 2018.
Among the two year-olds, Almufti looked a useful and progressive colt.
Palmer aimed high with this son of Toronado from the outset, pitching the youngster into that valuable conditions race at Newbury, on Lockinge Stakes Day. It was not a bad debut run as he finished 7 ¾ lengths sixth of 9 to The Irish Rover and other more experienced horses.
In late June, Almufti showed more promise when fourth of 11 behind Daafr at Newcastle.
He wasn’t seen out again until September, when stepping up to 7 furlongs at Kempton Park.
Almufti looked a different proposition, impressively defeating Alfurat River by 3 ¼ lengths.
In late October, Palmer sent Almufti back to Newbury for the Group Three Horris Hill Stakes. He ran well again, finishing 6 ½ lengths third of 8 to Mohaather.
Clearly Palmer thinks plenty of Almufti, who on breeding, should get up to 1 ½ miles in 2019.
James Street looked a smart prospect in early summer.
The son of Gale Force Ten ran well when beaten a neck by the more experienced Almurr, on debut, at Newbury, in early July.
A fortnight later, he made no mistake at Doncaster, getting off the mark with a length defeat of Alatia.
James Street confirmed his promise in early August, with a battling short-head defeat of Qutob at Nottingham.
Later that month, Palmer stepped James Street up in class for the Group Three Acomb Stakes at York. He ran a disappointing race to finish 13 lengths last of 8 to the smart Phoenix Of Spain.
The fact that James Street wasn’t seen out afterwards, suggests that something was amiss on that occasion and a line can be drawn through the York effort.
If James Street can come back to his best summer form, he is a name to remember in 2019.
Red October was not seen until the autumn, but showed plenty of ability in three starts.
The son of Dawn Approach ran well on his first two starts, finishing second on both occasions, when 1 ¾ lengths behind Jersey Wonder, at Salisbury in mid-September – and when 1 ¼ lengths second of 9 to Brian Epstein at Kempton Park, at the beginning of October.
Red October lost his maiden tag when beating Wise Ruler by ¾ of a length at Chelmsford, in late October.
He is out of a Fantastic Light mare and should be effective at around 1 ¼ miles as a three year-old.
Hot Team was a model of consistency during 2018 and gathered plenty of experience in 7 starts.
The son of Zoffany was second to Drogon on debut and then fourth of 10 behind Metallic Black, in July.
He stepped up from there, running ½ a length second of 11 to the smart Persian Moon, at York, in late July.
The following month he got off the mark when beating Dudley’s Boy by 1 ½ lengths at Newbury.
A week later he was 1 ¾ lengths third to Dark Jedi at Chelmsford, but the best was still to come.
In mid-September, Hot Team headed across the Irish Sea for a valuable Tattersalls Ireland auction race at the Curragh, on Irish Champions Weekend.
Hot Team ran a terrific race, coming home ½ a length third of 18 to Barbill.
Then in early October, Hot Team was again on his travels, landing the Listed Grand Criterium de Bordeaux – Prix du Hong Kong Jockey Club by an emphatic 4 lengths from Got Wind.
Hot Team improved throughout the campaign and should be effective at around 9 furlongs.
The grey colt Artois made a lovely start to his racing career.
On debut, the son of Mizzen Mast finished 5 ¼ lengths third of 6 to Dashing Willoughby in a Wolverhampton maiden, in mid-August.
The following month, Artois beat Sam Cooke by 1 ½ lengths at Kempton Park.
He is out of a Danehill mare and should stay 1 ¼ miles next year.
Power Of States was a ready winner of his only start at two – and could be anything.
The son of Lope De Vega, beat Anycity by 1 ½ lengths at Chelmsford, in mid-October.
He is likely to be a middle distance campaigner in 2019.
Set Piece was not seen until December, but made a striking debut at Kempton Park.
The son of Dansili was short of room but once he saw daylight, quickened really well to beat Just The Man by a length.
He looks to have a very exciting year ahead.
Eagle Hunter is another Palmer horse who should win races in 2019, having finished second on both starts as a juvenile
William Haggas enjoyed another terrific year, with the brilliant filly Sea Of Class leading the way.
Among his juvenile colts, it was a relatively quiet year in terms of major performers.
Here are a few that made an impact and are worth considering for 2019:
Deputise was busy, racing seven times in all, winning three and placing in the first four on another three occasions. The only time the son of Kodiac was out of the frame, was on his debut. He raced exclusively over five furlongs and looks an out and out sprinter.
Pablo Escobarr, a son of Galileo, was second on debut and then fourth on his next start.
He ran ½ a length second to future Breeders’ Cup winner Line Of Duty, in a Goodwood maiden, in early September.
He got off the mark with a ¾ of a length defeat of The Olympian, at the same track, in late September and should make up into a useful middle distance performer next year.
After running 5 lengths fifth to the top class Advertise, on debut, Eyelool got better the further he raced.
The son of Dragon Pulse was second to Kuwait Station at Ripon in early June. The following month he won an Epsom maiden by ½ a length from Spirit Warning.
In mid-August he finished 2 ½ lengths second of 5 to Critical Data, in a Wolverhampton nursery.
Eyelool rounded off his consistent campaign by landing a Kempton Park nursery, in early September, by a short head from Daafr.
Luxor was well beaten on debut, but took big strides forward thereafter.
The son of Oasis Dream won a Wolverhampton maiden in early September, by a neck from Madkhal.
Towards the end of that month he finished ¾ of a length third of 10 to Fastman, at Ripon.
In late October, Luxor impressed in a Newbury nursery, defeating Izzer by 1 ¾ lengths.
Derby entry Jahbath is a fascinating horse who looked very useful in his three starts in 2018.
The son of freshman sire Mukhadram, a former Haggas stable star, finished a neck second of 14 to Clara Peeters on debut, in a Salisbury contest, in early October.
Jahbath was an impressive winner at Kempton Park, just 12 days later, defeating Surrey Warrior by 4 lengths.
He returned to Kempton Park in early November to score again, with a 1 ¾ lengths defeat of Ours Puissant.
Jahbath is out of a Peintre Celebre mare and should stay 1 ½ miles well. It would be no surprise to see him target a Derby trial in the spring.
Skardu looked a really smart prospect when winning one of those good autumn Newmarket maidens, on his only start.
The son of Shamardal, beat Velorum by 2 lengths, in late September.
He holds an entry for the Irish 2,000 Guineas and could be set for a big 2019.
Dalaalaat made a promising debut in mid-September, to finish fifth of 10 to Flying Dragon, at Sandown Park.
The son of Kingman, made no mistake next time out, winning a Nottingham maiden in late October, by ½ a length, from King Of Change.
Dallaalaat is out of a Galileo mare and should stay middle distances.
Boerhan proved a useful colt who was highly tried towards the end of the season by Haggas.
The son of Sea The Stars won on debut, dead-heating with Sheila’s Showcase, in a Newbury contest in mid-August.
The following month, Boerhan ran 1 ¼ lengths third of 7 behind Felix at Yarmouth.
Haggas then stepped his charge up in grade, for the Group Three Autumn Stakes, at Newmarket, in early October. Boerhan acquitted himself well to come home 7 ½ lengths fifth of 8, behind Persian King and Magna Grecia.
Boerhan did not take up his Group One entry in the Vertem Futurity, but Haggas clearly thinks plenty of this colt, who should stay 1 ¼ miles next year.
Senza Limiti could be anything.
The son of Lope De Vega, holds an Irish 2,000 Guineas entry and won his only start at two.
That came at Salisbury, in early October, when Senza Limiti beat Monsieur Noir by 2 ½ lengths.
Being out of a Barathea mare, Senza Limiti should stay 1 ¼ miles next year.
The Night Watch ought to have lots of improvement to come as he was very late getting started in 2018.
The son of Dutch Art ran well on his debut at Doncaster, in early November, coming home 1 ½ lengths fifth of 14 to Edgewood.
In early December, he got off the mark when beating Moraawed by a head at Wolverhampton.
The Lope De Vega gelding Aplomb, was another to come on for the first run.
He ran well when fifth of 12 behind Breath Of Air, on his debut at Newbury, in September.
Aplomb improved to land his next start, beating Lyndon B by ¾ of a length at Yarmouth, in mid-October.
Dal Horrisgle has a similar profile to Aplomb.
The son of Nathaniel, out of a Grand Lodge mare, ran fifth on debut, behind Dashed, at Redcar, in early November.
Later that month, he won a Wolverhampton maiden by ¾ of a length from Emirates Knight.
Dal Horrisgle has a Derby entry and should stay that trip well. However, he might be a colt for the second half of the season.
Other Haggas inmates who should win next year include the Charm Spirit gelding True Hero, second on debut and winner at the third time of asking. Politicise won his second start and was a good second in his third race – the son of Camelot should improve next year. Awe was well beaten on debut but won at Redcar in early October, before running 1 ¾ lengths second to the useful Karnavaal at Chelmsford.
Current Option, a Derby entry, showed promise to place on both starts at two, while Originaire ran three times and was third on all three occasions – he looks sure to win races. Celtic Manor was another to place on both starts at two.
Others to keep an eye on include: Montatham and Derby entry Faylaq.
Fox Coach was the leading juvenile colt among the Marco Botti string, in 2018.
The son of Foxwedge, was beaten ¾ of a length by Happy Odyssey, at Newmarket, in late June.
A couple of weeks later, he was 4 ½ lengths second of 8 to the smart Boitron, at Newbury.
Fox Coach got off the mark in mid-August, when defeating Seductive by 3 ½ lengths at Chelmsford.
He confirmed himself above average with another victory at the Essex track, at the start of September, beating Blonde Warrior by a neck.
Fox Coach should stay a mile at three.
Fares Kodiac showed consistency in his four starts.
The son of Kodiac landed a Windsor maiden on debut, in August, beating Swindler by a nose.
In September, he headed to Doncaster’s St Leger Festival, for a conditions race, coming home 5 ¾ lengths third of 7 to Khaadem.
In late October, Fares Kodiac was a little disappointing in another conditions race at Newcastle, running 3 ½ lengths fourth of 8 behind Concierge.
He got back to winning ways on his last start of the year, defeating Brandy Spirit by a neck, at Chelmsford, in mid-November.
All of Fares Kodiac’s races have taken place over six furlongs so far and it looks like he will stick to this trip or maybe step up to seven next year.
Roma Bangkok was only seen the once in 2018 and made a very favourable impression.
The son of Mount Nelson, won a Chelmsford contest in late August, by 1 ½ lengths from previous winner Federal Law and future winner Felix.
He could be anything and should stay 1 ¼ miles in 2019.
Oliveto, a son of Wootton Basset, should be winning races, after running a neck second of 11, to Global Hero, at Wolverhampton, on his only start, in late October.
Dark Miracle, a son of Mukhadram, ran mid-division on debut, but showed ability to finish 2 ¾ lengths second of 13 to Honest Albert, at Kempton Park, in late October. Courageux is another to keep an eye on for 2019.
Phoenix Of Spain was a big performer for Charlie Hills in 2018, but this is a yard with strength in depth.
Khaadem finished 11 lengths third of 9 to the exciting Calyx, on his Newmarket debut in June.
The son of Dark Angel was not beaten again.
He won a Newmarket contest in August, by an emphatic 3 ¾ lengths from Aquanura.
Khaadem then headed to Doncaster’s St Leger Festival for a conditions race, beating Swissterious by 1 ¼ lengths.
Khaadem does not hold any Classic entries but should stay a mile well and looks a smart prospect.
Dark Jedi was highly tried in 2018, suggesting Hills thinks a lot of this son of Kodiac.
He was a winner on debut, beating Leroy Leroy by a nose at Ffos Las, in mid-August.
Ten days later he ran a fine race in the Listed Stonehenge Stakes at Salisbury, finishing 1 ¾ lengths second of 6 to Kuwait Currency.
A month later he ran well when ½ a length second of 11 to Lariat, at Ayr.
Hills sent Dark Jedi to France for his final start, in the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere, on Arc Day, at Paris-Longchamp.
It proved maybe a step too far and Dark Jedi was never a real factor, coming home last of 6 behind Royal Marine.
Dark Jedi is clearly well regarded and will be an interesting prospect in 2019.
Breath Of Air looks another exciting horse, who represented his sire Bated Breath well during 2018.
He was a well beaten sixth of 8 to Flashcard on debut, at Salisbury, in mid-August.
Breath Of Air got off the mark in late September at Newbury, beating subsequent Horris Hill Stakes winner Mohaather, by an emphatic 3 ¾ lengths. That form now looks very solid.
He had one more start, in the Listed Doncaster Stakes, in late October, finishing 4 ½ lengths third of 9 to San Donato.
Breath Of Air is out of a Gone West mare and should stay a mile in 2019.
Mutawaffer is another son of Kodiac, who made his mark in the first half of the season.
He finished two lengths fourth of 10 to Blown By Wind, on his Ascot debut in May.
Later that month he landed a Goodwood contest by 2 ¼ lengths from Shaybani.
Mutawaffer lined-up in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, in late June, but ran deplorably, finishing 21st of the 28 runners, behind Soldier’s Call.
He was seen out just once more, coming home 3 ¼ lengths second of 6 to Good Luck Fox, at Sandown Park, in early August.
Being out of a Royal Applause mare, Mutawaffer is likely to stick to sprinting next year.
Glory Fighter was an early season two year old and spent most of his season contesting Pattern races, a mark of his ability.
The son of Kyllachy ran 1 ½ lengths second of 10 to Dave Dexter, on his Newbury debut in April.
He then claimed the scalp of Soldier’s Call, beating him by 1 ¼ lengths at Lingfield Park, in early May.
The following month Glory Fighter was not disgraced in the Group Two Norfolk Stakes, finishing 7 ½ lengths seventh of 10 to American Shang Shang Shang.
In late July, Hills again highly-tried his charge, sending him to Deauville for the Group Three Prix de Cabourg. Glory Fighter was not seen to best effect, coming home 8 lengths fifth of 6 to Comedy.
A month later, he was disappointing in the Listed Roses Stakes at York, running 7 ½ lengths 8th of 11 to Well Done Fox.
Those Pattern races were tough assignments and as mentioned, reflect the regard in which Glory Fighter is held. He looks an out and out sprinter and could improve at three.
Qutob remains a maiden after three runs, but performed admirably on each occasion, showing plenty of ability to win races.
The son of Acclamation finished a short head second to James Street, at Nottingham, on his debut in early August.
A couple of weeks later he returned to that venue to finish a length second of 10 to Converter.
Qutob rounded off his campaign by finishing 4 ¼ lengths third of 8 to Jonah Jones, at York in mid-October.
He should stay around a mile and could make up into a useful handicapper.
Other Hills runners to note for next year include: Motagally, Nubough, Punjab Mail, Penrhos and Scottish Blade.
2018 was a superb year for Newmarket trainer David Simcock, who enjoyed Group One success with French 1,000 Guineas winner Tepal and top flight success with Lightning Spear and Desert Encounter.
Whilst Simcock did not have many juvenile colts ready to tackle pattern company in 2018, there are plenty who showed promise that they will shine in 2019.
Spanish Mission had two starts on the Chelmsford all-weather, late in the autumn.
The son of Noble Mission made a promising debut when 2 lengths third of 8 to Red October, in late October.
Spanish Mission returned to the Essex venue in early November to beat Massam by 3 ½ lengths.
He could well improve when stepped up in trip as a three year old.
Woven shaped well on debut to finish 4 lengths fourth of 12 behind Louis Treize, at Newcastle, in late July.
In early September, he stepped up to 7 furlongs at York, landing a contest by a nose from Estihdaaf.
The pristinely-bred Raakib Alhawa was thought highly-enough of, to contest the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy.
A son of Kingman, out of the Sea The Stars mare Starlet, he won on debut, when beating Dashing Willoughby, by a neck, at Newbury, in September.
He then headed to Doncaster, but inexperience counted against him at this stage, as he trailed in 10th of the 11 runners, behind Magna Grecia.
Raakib Alhawa should get further than a mile next year and should not be dismissed on that second effort.
Universal Order was seen out just the once in 2018, but made a winning start.
The son of Universal, landed a Newcastle maiden in September by a head from Dancin Boy.
He is out of a Raven’s Pass mare and should stay 1 ¼ miles next year.
Wiretap ran well on all three starts, without getting his head in front.
The son of Charm Spirit ran fifth of 7 to Legends Of War, at Yarmouth, on debut in late May.
He was not seen out again until September, when finishing a head second of 11 to Millions Memories, at the Norfolk course.
In late October, he again put up a good effort when 2 ½ lengths second of 9 to Turjomaan, at Newcastle.
Wiretap presumably had an issue which kept him off the track at the height of summer, but his performances in the autumn showed him to have plenty of talent. He should acquit himself well next year.
On breeding, Durston is likely to excel with time, so anything he achieved at two was perhaps a bonus.
The son of Sea The Moon ran 5 ½ lengths third of 6 behind West End Charmer, at Bath, in mid-October.
In early November, he headed to Nottingham and ran a belter when 1 ¾ lengths second of 16 to Surfman.
Durston is out of a Hernando mare and should be effective at least up to 1 ½ miles next year. He is an interesting prospect and one open to any amount of improvement.
Other Simcock runners to keep an eye out for in 2019 include: Delachance, Desert Land, Omnivega and Vexed.
Ralph Beckett is perhaps not best known for his sprinters, but might have a useful one in the gelding Dave Dexter.
The son of Stimulation was a Newbury winner on debut, in April, beating Glory Fighter by 1 ½ lengths.
In early May, he headed to Ascot for a useful novice contest, running 1 ¾ lengths third of 10 behind Blown By Wind.
Just a week later, Dave Dexter contested another hot novice race back at Newbury, finishing 4 ¼ lengths fifth of 9 to Irish Rover, on his first attempt at six furlongs.
After a break of a couple of months, Dave Dexter returned in July in a nursery, running 3 ¾ lengths fourth of 9 to Buckingham.
Dave Dexter had another break and in mid-September, dropped back to five furlongs to land a Chester nursery by a head, from Blyton.
Sticking to five furlongs paid dividends again, as Dave Dexter won the Listed Roseberry Stakes, in heavy ground, at Ayr, beating Vintage Brut by a neck.
Beckett sent his charge up to York in October, for the Listed Rockingham Stakes over six furlongs. Again, this did not seem to suit Dave Dexter, as he finished 4 ½ lengths second of 10 to old rival Vintage Brut.
At the end of October he ran his most disappointing race, trailing in last of 9 behind San Donato, in the Listed Doncaster Stakes, over six furlongs.
Dave Dexter won his three races over 5 furlongs and seems to be pure speed. He should be up to Listed class next season and his stamina could stretch out to six furlongs.
The beautifully bred Fearless Warrior showed tremendous potential and consistency during 2018.
The son of Sea The Stars, out of a Kingmambo mare, ran third of 10 behind Good Fortune, on his debut, at Lingfield Park in July.
He returned there the following month and was 7 ¾ lengths third of 8 behind the useful Kuwait Currency.
Fearless Warrior stepped markedly up in trip for his next start, over 10 furlongs, at Kempton Park, in late September. He got off the mark with a neck victory over Just Hubert.
Beckett kept the colt to 10 furlongs for his final start of the year – and his turf debut, in a Newmarket nursery, in late October. He ran well to come home a length second of 9 to Skymax.
Fearless Warrior ought to have plenty of stamina and holds an Investec Derby entry. Given Beckett’s record at Lingfield Park’s Epsom trials day, it would be no surprise to see this colt line-up in the Derby Trial next May.
Another Derby entry in Beckett’s stable is Sam Cooke, who did little wrong in his three starts in 2018.
The son of Derby winner Pour Moi, ran well on debut to come home 1 ½ lengths second of 11 to Artois, in a Kempton Park contest, in early September.
Later that month he went down by just a neck, when second of 9 to Ticklish, at Lingfield Park.
Sam Cooke lost his maiden tag on his turf debut, at York in October, beating the useful Felix by 1 ¾ lengths.
All three of Sam Cooke’s races took place over a mile and being out of a Peintre Celebre mare, he should appreciate 1 ½ miles plus.
A third Derby entry for Beckett is the intriguing colt Brasca.
This son of Nathaniel, showed promise on debut, when 4 ½ lengths second of 4 to Desert Friend, at Leicester, in September.
Brasca stepped up to 10 furlongs for his only subsequent start, landing a Chelmsford contest by ¾ of a length from Waterfront, in early November.
He is out of a Green Desert mare and the Nathaniel influence should see him stay well and improve with time in 2019.
The Archipenko colt Nivaldo, goes into 2019 with an unblemished record.
He landed a Ffos Las contest in mid-September, by 2 ¾ lengths from Aspire Tower.
Nivaldo followed-up, with a 1 ¾ lengths victory over Silent Hunter, at Kempton Park, in early November
He is out of a Rock Of Gibraltar mare and should stay 10-furlongs well next year.
Stormwave is another unbeaten Beckett colt with a bright future.
The son of Dalakhani will improve with time and trip and holds an Irish Derby entry.
That looked realistic based on his only start, when beating Artistic Language by 2 lengths, over a mile, at Salisbury, in early October.
There should be lots more to come from him.
Other Ralph Beckett horses to watch out for in 2019 include: Guildhall, Derby entry Copal and Top Top.
Andrew Balding has a big string to go to war with in 2019.
Bye Bye Hong Kong was perhaps the pick of the juvenile colts.
The son of Street Sense ran well on his debut, at Newmarket, in August, finishing 2 lengths third of 9 to Red Bravo.
He got off the mark just over two weeks later at Windsor, beating Lady Cosette by an impressive 2 ¾ lengths.
That earned Bye Bye Hong Kong a marked step up in class as he contested Doncaster’s Group Two Champagne Stakes, in mid-Septenber.
Whilst finishing fifth of the six runners, he was only 6 ½ lengths behind the year’s leading colt, Too Darn Hot.
Bye Bye Hong Kong had one more start, in Newmarket’s Group Three Tattersall Stakes, in late September.
He stayed on well to fight out the finish with Arctic Sound, finishing a length second of 7.
Bye Bye Hong Kong proved in defeat that he is a Group class contender and being out of a Tiznow mare, should stay 10 furlongs next year.
After running a promising fourth of 9 behind The Paddocks, at Newbury, in May, Happy Power proved a very useful colt.
After a break, he returned to action in late August and the son of Dark Angel landed a Hamilton maiden by 2 ¾ lengths from Triple Distilled.
Balding returned his charge to the Scottish venue a month later and he was far from disgraced in finishing 1 ½ lengths third of 10 to East.
He ended his campaign with a second victory, taking a Doncaster nursery in late October, by an emphatic 3 ¼ lengths from Beat Le Bon.
Happy Power is out of a Selkirk mare, so a mile should be within his compass.
Flashcard did very little wrong in three starts and looks a terrific prospect for next year.
The gelded son of Fast Company won twice at Salisbury, firstly beating Dirty Rascal by 1 ¼ lengths in mid-August.
He followed up there with a length defeat of John Betjeman, just nine days later.
In September, Balding sent Flashcard to the Curragh for a valuable sales race. He ran a belter to come home ½ a length second of 18 to the smart Barbill.
Flashcard races in the Kennet Valley silks carried so well by Magical Memory. With that grand campaigner sidelined through injury, Flashcard could be another more than useful sprinter.
Never Do Nothing ran with great credit on debut, to finish 3 ½ lengths third of 11 behind Meringue, at Kempton Park, in August.
The son of Casamento did not look back after that.
He won a Thirsk contest in late August, by 2 lengths from Wolf Prince.
Never Do Nothing followed-up with a neck defeat of The Great Story, at Pontefract, in late September.
He has no major entries, but could develop into a very useful horse and should stay a mile.
Fox Tal certainly made his mark during 2018.
The son of Sea The Stars ran ½ a length third of 7 to Group Three winner Arctic Sound, on his Sandown Park debut in early July.
Later that month, he won a minor contest at Ffos Las, by a head from Sir Ron Priestley.
A month later, Balding sent Fox Tal to Salisbury for the Listed Stonehenge Stakes, a race he often targets with his better juveniles.
He ran a fine race to finish 2 ¾ lengths fourth of six behind Kuwait Currency.
Fox Tal had one more race in 2018, running a brilliant race in the Group One Criterium de Saint-Cloud, in late October.
He finished a length third of 9 to the filly Wonderment, on his first attempt at 10 furlongs.
Stamina should be Fox Tal’s forte, as he is out of a Sadler’s Wells mare. He holds a Derby entry and is no forlorn hope.
Landa Beach is another Derby entry, who made his presence known on his only racecourse appearance.
The son of Teofilo landed one of those informative back-end Newbury maidens by a neck from Apparate and 13 other rivals.
He is out of a Nayef mare and could be anything.
Similarly, Bell Rock looked a very useful horse when winning a back-end Newmarket maiden, with lots of well-bred youngsters in behind.
That came in late October, when the son of Kingman defeated King Of Ademar by 1 ¾ lengths.
Bell Rock should be effective between a mile and 10 furlongs next year and should have more victories in him.
Rectory Road is another who fits into the could be anything category.
The gelded son of Paco Boy ran away with a Kempton Park contest in mid-November, slamming Cafe Espresso by 6 lengths.
With no Classic opportunities, one wonders if Rectory Road might be aimed at the All-Weather Championships on Good Friday.
Other Balding horses to remember include: Bangkok (who got within a neck of Sangarius on debut and was in the first four in all three starts), Lariat, Good Birthday, Raise You, Hero Hero, Edinburgh Castle and Sea Sculpture.
Boitron was certainly a leading juvenile from the Richard Hannon string in 2018.
Well Done Fox was another standard bearer throughout the year and the son of Acclamation ran 10 times in all.
Fifth on debut, Well Done Fox then ran Rumble Inthejungle to a neck, at Salisbury, in mid-May.
He got off the mark at the same venue, on his third start, beating North Korea by 2 ¼ lengths in late May.
At Royal Ascot, a month later, Well Done Fox was 5-lengths 8th of 28 to Soldier’s Call, in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes.
In early July, he won the Listed Dragon Stakes at Sandown Park, by ¾ of a length from Life Of Riley.
Another defeat at the hands of Rumble Inthejungle, in the Group Three Molecomb Stakes followed, but Well Done Fox landed the Listed Roses Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival in late August, beating Deia Glory by ½ a length.
Evidence of his improvement came in the Group Two Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster, in September, when he was a fine 2 ¼ lengths second of 9 to Soldier’s Call.
He put up arguably his best performance next time out, when 1 ¼ lengths second of 14 to Sergei Profokiev, in Newmarket’s Group Three Cornwallis Stakes, in early October.
Well Done Fox had one more start, when a well-beaten 11th of 12 behind the brilliant Bulletin, in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint, at Churchill Downs, in early November.
Well Done Fox is an out and out sprinter and we can expect to see him lining up in Pattern races like the Scurry Stakes next year.
Dirty Rascal, another son of Acclamation, was second on his first four starts, before finally getting off the mark with a length defeat of Grandstand, at Windsor, in early September.
Ten days later he ran a superb race in a valuable sales race at Doncaster, finishing ½ a length second of 22 to The Great Heir.
He had his third start in September in a Newbury nursery and showed no ill effects from his busy campaign, beating Lihou by 2 ¼ lengths on his first attempt at seven furlongs.
Dirty Rascal had one more start in the Group Three Horris Hill Stakes, at the same track, in late October.
He ran 11 ½ lengths fifth of 8 to Mohaather.
One could see Dirty Rascal starting off in something like the European Free Handicap at Newmarket and seven furlongs looks likely to be his optimum trip.
Stable mate Watan, got the better of Dirty Rascal on debut, beating him by 2-lengths at Glorious Goodwood, in late July.
The son of Toronado ran well in the Group Three Acomb Stakes on his next start, coming home 1 ½ lengths second of 8 to Phoenix Of Spain.
He then took on the best in the Group Two Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in September, finishing a remote fifth of 6 behind Too Darn Hot.
Watan took a big drop in class on his final start of the year at Leicester, in late October. It proved a simple job for him as he readily beat Dazzling Dan by 3 ¼ lengths.
Clearly Hannon thinks plenty of Watan, having pitched him into good company as a juvenile. He holds an Irish Guineas entry and it would be no surprise to see him lining up in a Classic trial next spring.
Kuwait Currency was another colt that seemed to take high order among Hannon’s juvenile colts.
The son of Kitten’s Joy was tailed off on his debut at Newmarket’s July Meeting, but a month later showed that to be not his true ability, as he slammed Global Warning by 6 lengths at Lingfield Park.
Later in August he won the Listed Stonehenge Stakes at Salisbury by 1 ¾ lengths from Dark Jedi.
Kuwait Currency’s final two starts were in Group One company; firstly he ran 8 ½ lengths fifth of 7 to Too Darn Hot, in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket.
He was perhaps over the top when not showing in the Vertem Futurity at Doncaster, in late October, trailing in last of 11 to Magna Grecia.
Kuwait Currency is clearly well-regarded and on paper should excel at 10 furlongs and beyond, despite holding an Irish Guineas entry.
Leroy Leroy proved most consistent.
The son of Compton Place, was fourth on debut and then second on his next three starts, perhaps the pick of these was his 1 ¾ lengths second of 7 to Art Du Val at Sandown Park, in early August.
He got off the mark at the fifth time of asking, when landing a Doncaster nursery in mid-September, by 2 ¼ lengths from Big Baby Bull.
Hannon then stepped Leroy Leroy up in class for the Group Two Grand Criterium, at San Siro, in late October. He finished 4 ½ lengths sixth of 7 to Mission Boy.
Leroy Leroy should stay a mile well in 2019 and should win more races.
Floating Artist disappointed on his final start, but showed plenty of promise prior to that run and is bred to improve at three.
The son of Nathaniel, beat Fox Premier, by 1 ¼ lengths on his debut at Goodwood, in late August.
A couple of weeks later he headed to Haydock Park for the Listed Ascendant Stakes, on heavy ground, running a fine race to finish 2-lengths second of five to Great Scot.
Hannon then sent Floating Artist to the Group Three Tattersalls Stakes at Newmarket, a race he has a good record in, which is perhaps a mark of the high regard this colt is held in.
He didn’t live up to that faith on the day, running 7 ¼ lengths sixth of 7 behind Arctic Sound.
Floating Artist is out of a Pivotal mare and should come into his own from 1 ¼ upwards next season.
Riviera Nights looked a smart colt as the season progressed.
The son of Kingman ran 1 ¾ lengths third of 9 to Sparklealot, on his Leicester debut, in early August.
Towards the end of that month he ran in a hot Newmarket contest, finishing 5 ¾ lengths third of 11 to the very smart Jash.
He got off the mark when defeating Barbarosa by 3-lengths at Brighton, in September.
At the end of September he made it back-to-back victories when beating Dark Thunder by 2 ¾ lengths in a Ripon nursery.
Riviera Nights is out of a Pivotal mare and should be at his strongest over a mile. There should be more races to win with him.
Walkinthesand looked a very useful colt on both his starts, at Sandown Park.
The son of Footstepsinthesand, ran a super race to be a short head second of 10 to Rajinsky, in late August.
The following month he returned to Esher, looking an improved colt as he beat Good Fortune by 2 ¼ lengths.
Further improvement can be expected of Walkinthesand, who is out of an Alzao mare. He should stay a mile comfortably, possibly further.
Urban Icon won both his starts, but we never saw him after June, to gauge just how good he might be.
The son of Cityscape, landed a Windsor contest by 3 ½ lengths from Even Keel, in late May.
He beat the same horse, by exactly the same margin, when following-up at Salisbury in June.
Urban Icon could be anything and it is interesting to see that he holds an Irish 2,000 Guineas entry.
Pesto took time for the penny to drop but looked above average on his final start.
The son of New Approach ran down the field in a Newbury contest, won by Group One winner Advertise, in May.
A little over two months later he returned to action over 7-furlongs, finishing 3-lengths fourth of 9 to the smart Beatboxer, at Sandown Park.
Pesto got off the mark in early August at Leicester, beating Massam by an authoritative 4-lengths.
He is out of a Piccolo mare and should get a mile in 2019.
Flying Dragon is from the first crop of War Command.
He made his debut in France for Matthieu Palussiere, running second at Chantilly in early July, before being sold and sent to Richard Hannon, at the end of August.
Flying Dragon ran ½ a length third of 13 to Catan, at Ffos Las, on his British debut in early September.
Two weeks later he got off the mark at Sandown Park, beating Damon Runyan by ¾ of a length on his first
attempt at a mile.
Hannon stepped Flying Dragon up in class and trip for his final start of 2018, in the Listed Zetland Stakes, over 10-furlongs, at Newmarket, in early October.
He ran disappointingly, to finish a long last of six behind Norway.
Flying Dragon should get 1 ¼ miles well in 2019 and there could be more to come, given his stop-start juvenile year.
Motakhayyel made only one start in 2018 and that wasn’t until November.
But it was worth waiting to see the son of Heeraat, who landed a Lingfield Park contest by a neck from Kodiac Pride.
On breeding, Motakhayyel looks a sprinter and he should be at his optimum at 6 or 7-furlongs.
Other Hannon horses to consider in 2019 include the ultra-consistent Beat Le Bon, two-time winner He’Zanarab, Masaru (a son of Lethal Force who impressed on debut but then disappointed at York), Motafaawit (a winner on debut and placed on both other starts), Fox Power (only once out of the money in six starts), Fox Champion (second on debut, before winning a minor Kempton contest) and King Of Change (second on both starts at two).
Owen Burrows had a relatively quiet year but has some super prospects going into 2018.
Chief amongst those is Dawaam, a son of Kitten’s Joy, who won his only start at two.
He beat subsequent winner Khuzaam, by 1 ¼ lengths, at Lingfield Park, in late November.
Dawaam holds a Derby entry for next year, but on pedigree, might struggle to stay that far. Even so, he could be very smart at up to 10-furlongs.
Other Owen Burrows horses to keep an eye out for include: Ustath (second on his first two starts), Badayel (beaten just a head by Equal Sum, on his only start), Muraad (a promising third on his only start) and Almokhtaar (a promising fourth to Humanitarian on debut).
Roger Charlton had a quieter year than in 2017, but still had some useful juveniles in his ranks.
Catan was well beaten on debut, but won two of his next three starts.
The son of Oasis Dream ran seventh of 9 to the useful Bye Bye Hong Kong, on debut at Windsor in late August.
He learned enough from that debut to beat House Of Kings by a neck, at Ffos Las, in early September.
Later that month, Catan was third of 14 to Fintas at Chelmsford, but only beaten ¾ of a length.
Catan was back to winning ways on his final start, when defeating Startego by an impressive 7 lengths at Brighton, in early October.
He is out of a Shirocco mare and should improve for at least 10-furlongs, next season.
Momkin had a good year and showed consistency.
The son of Bated Breath ran well on debut to finish 2-lengths third of 9 to Forseti at Salisbury, in late June.
He got off the mark with a head defeat of Beat Le Bo0n, in a good Newbury contest in July.
Momkin had one more start, when a head second of 7 to Palavecino, at Ffos Las, in late August.
We didn’t see Momkin again, so presumably there was an issue.
Being out of a Raven’s Pass mare, he should stay a mile and could have plenty of improvement to come.
Headman was not seen until November, but quickly developed into a very useful colt.
The son of Kingman, got off the mark on debut, when landing a Newcastle contest by an impressive 3 ¾ lengths from Repaupo, in early November.
Just under three weeks later, he dropped to 7-furlongs at Kempton Park, coming up just short as he ran two-lengths second of 13 to Zakouski. Time might tell that to be very good form.
Headman is out of a King’s Best mare and should be at his prime over a mile next year.
Great Bear is an intriguing horse who was not seen until November but looked useful.
He is impeccably bred; a son of Dansili, out of Irish Oaks winner Great Heavens.
Great Bear beat Copal by ½ a length at Wolverhampton, in mid-November.
He holds a Derby entry and could be absolutely anything. He will thrive the further he goes.
Lovers of Juddmonte will have been keen to see Tempus on the racecourse and he ran with real promise on his only start.
The reason for his affection is his breeding; he is a son of Kingman, out of the brilliant Sir Henry Cecil filly Pasage Of Time.
Tempus had his only start of 2018 at Nottingham, in early October. He ran on well to finish a head second of 10 to Star Safari.
Tempus should be at his optimum over 1 ¼ miles next year and could develop into a smart horse over time.
Other Roger Charlton horses to bear in mind in 2019 include: Mubariz (a Derby entry who showed big improvement on his last start of the year), Thorn (who like Mubariz, took time to find his way but impressed on his final start of 2018), Total Commitment (also well beaten on his first two starts, before winning), Qarasu and Creationist.
Advertise might have been the star turn in Martyn Meade’s juvenile crop of 2018, but he had some useful other performers.
Confiding, a son of Iffraajj, made his mark on debut, when beating Almurr by a length, at Newbury, in mid-June.
Clearly well-regarded, Confiding was next seen in the Group Three Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, giving a good account of himself by finishing 3-lengths third of 12 to Dark Vision.
He had his final start of the year in early September, in the Group Three Solario Stakes at Sandown Park, finishing 7 ¾ lengths third of 6 to Too Darn Hot.
Confiding holds an Irish Guineas entry and Meade will have left more to work on in 2019. He could well be a horse who can pick up a Group race in France, where Meade has enjoyed plenty of success.
Others to keep an eye on include: Headland, King Ademar (who showed promise on both starts, notably when second to Bell Rock in a Good Newmarket maiden), Phosphor (who holds an Irish 2,000 Guineas entry), Cadre Du Noir (who holds a Derby entry) and Technician (another Derby entry).
Michael Bell’s juvenile team was led by that brilliant filly Pretty Pollyanna.
Among the colts, Allmankind, a Derby entry, showed plenty of promise.
The son of German Derby winner Sea The Moon, finished mid-division, in a good Newmarket July Festival maiden, won by Al Hilalee.
Allmankind headed to Yarmouth in early Augus, running 2 ½ lengths second of 7 to Dutch Treat.
A month later, he ran 2 ¾ lengths third of 10 to future Breeders’ Cup winner Line Of Duty, at Goodwood.
He got off the mark when winning a Chelmsford maiden by an emphatic 6-lengths from Caplin, at Chelmsford, in early October.
Allmankind is out of a Sadler’s Wells mare and will be in his element over middle distance trips.
Nuremberg won his only start and could be anything.
The son of War Command landed an Ascot contest by 1 ¾ lengths from Glory, in mid-July, but was not seen again.
Clearly he has had issues and it is hard to know how good this gelding is. He is out of a Selkirk mare and should stay 1 ¼ miles.
Eightsome Reel, owned by Her Majesty The Queen, won his only start in mid-November.
The son of Iffraaj, won a Wolverhampton contest by a nose from Gantier.
He should by most effective over a mile next year.
A week later, Bell unleashed another Royal debutant at the same track, in the shape of Youthful.
The son of Shamardal beat Fortissimo by a nose.
He is impeccably bred, being out of a Cape Cross mare and should also be very useful over a mile.
Eagles By Day remains a maiden after a solid debut.
The son of Sea The Stars, ran 1 ½ lengths second of 10 to Alnadir, at Nottingham, in early October.
Eagles By Day is out of a Golan mare and should stay well. He has a Derby entry and could be very interesting if he has progressed next spring.
Other Bell inmates to remember include: Master Brewer (twice a winner at two, including in France), Regular, Emirates Empire (a Derby entry), Dubai Philosopher and Dehradun.
James Tate came close to a major Classic victory with Hey Gaman in 2018, underlining the progress of his yard.
Among the two year olds, Name The Wind looked a nice prospect when winning his only start.
The son of Toronado, beat Buffalo River by a neck at Kempton Park, in late September.
He is out of a Dansili mare and should be effective over a mile.
Among Tate’s other prospects for 2019 are: Attainment, Fields Of Athenry, Power Link and Intuitive.
Archie Watson’s stable continues to build in quality, with Soldier’s Call looking a leading candidate for top sprinting honours next year.
Nate The Great was another standard bearer for the yard.
The son of Nathaniel beat Flint Hill on his debut at Carlisle, in early June.
He ran a blinder in the Listed Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot, finishing a neck second of 11 to Arthur Kitt.
A month later, Nate The Great returned to Ascot for the Listed Winkfield Stakes, finishing 2 ¼ lengths third of 6 to Victory Command.
Watson stepped his charge up to a mile in late August, for Salisbury’s Listed Stonehenge Stakes. Nate The Great ran 3-lengths fifth of 6 to Kuwait Currency.
In late September, he stepped down in grade and was much the best horse in a minor Musselburgh contest, beating Mister Chiang by 3 ½ lengths over 9-furlongs.
Nate The Great had one more start, in Newmarket’s Listed Zetland Stakes of 10-furlongs. He ran a super race to finish 1 ¼ lengths third of 6 to Norway.
Nate The Great got better the further he went and clearly has a touch of class. He is out of a Dubawi mare and should be at his best over middle distances.
Other Watson horses to consider in 2019 include: the ultra-consistent Fognini, who won three times and was never out of the money in seven starts over 6-furlongs, three-time winner Show Out, who ended his year with a Listed success in the Prix Zeddaan at Deauville, Federal Law (who ended up at the Breeders’ Cup), two-time winner Felix The Poet, Julius Limbani and Kheros.
Karl Burke had another sensational season, with the filly Laurens becoming a Classic winner and multiple Group One winner.
True Mason proved a consistent performer who was highly-tried in 2018.
The son of Mayson ran fifth to Marie’s Diamond on his debut in April and then ran well the following month, to finish 3-lengths third of 10 to Woodcote Stakes winner Cosmic Law, at Carlisle.
True Mason got off the mark in good style when landing a Nottingham content in mid-June, by 3 ½ lengths from Autumn Splendour.
In July, Burke sent his charge to Maisons-Laffitte, for the Group Two Prix Robert Papin. True Mason put up arguably his best performance of the season, running a length third of five to the top class filly Signora Cabello.
He met that filly again a month later, in the Group One Prix Morny at Deauville, again running well to finish 4 ¾ lengths third of 9 to Pretty Pollyanna and Signora Cabello.
In September, True Mason took part in the Group Two Mill Reef Stakes at Newbury, putting up another solid effort to finish 2 ¾ lengths second of 8 to Kessaar.
True Mason’s last start of the year came in the Group Three Cornwallis Stakes at Newmarket, where he dropped back down to five furlongs.
The race was perhaps a little too sharp for him at the end of a busy campaign, as he came home 7 ¾ lengths 8th of 14 to Sergei Profokiev.
True Mason’s pedigree defines him as a sprinter; he is out of a Primo Dominie mare. He could well shape up into a Commonwealth Cup contender and could be dangerous when the ground comes soft, with races like the Haydock Sprint Cup an obvious target.
Swissterious at times showed patches of excellent form, which fully justified his crack at the Group Three Acomb Stakes.
This son of Swiss Spirit was well beaten on debut at Nottingham, in may, but then had a break.
He looked a different proposition on his return in a minor Wolverhampton contest in early July, finishing a length second of 11 to Water Diviner.
Swissterious got off the mark at Doncaster, later that month, with a commanding 4-length defeat of Summer Moon.
That set him up for his York bid and he was far from disgraced in finishing 6 ½ lengths fifth of 8 behind Phoenix Of Spain.
In September, Swissterious took his place in a conditions race at Doncaster’s St Leger meeting, running another belter to finish 1 ¼ lengths second of 7 to the exciting Khaadem.
His form tailed off after that and he ran poorly in Redcar’s Champion Two Year Old Trophy and again at Newcastle, in late October.
Swissterious showed plenty of ability before then and it may be that he was simply over the top. Being out of a Teofilo mare, he ought to stay a mile well in 2019.
Other Burke runners to keep an eye out for in 2019 include: Absolutio, Mardle and Self Assessment.
It was a quiet year for Jim Bolger, with Guaranteed among his best juveniles.
The son of Teofilo was highly-tried, having run second to Klute on his debut at the Curragh, in early July.
He returned there just under three weeks later, to beat Mount Tabora by a head.
From then on, Guaranteed ran in Pattern races, finishing a remote fifth to Anthony Van Dyck in the Group Two Futurity Stakes and 7-lengths last of seven to Japan, in the Group Two Beresford Stakes.
However, Guaranteed picked-up on those performances to run a length second of 10 to Coral Beach, in the Group Three Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown, in late October.
A week later he returned to the Dublin venue and won the Group Three Eyrefield Stakes by ½ a length from Masaff.
Guaranteed has Irish Guineas and Derby entries and should be able to put his experience to good use. There is a question mark over whether he is quite up to Group One standard but it would be no surprise to see Bolger run him in a Derby trial in the spring.
Bold Approach was only seen twice in 2018 but looked a useful colt.
The son of Dawn Approach made a winning debut at Leopardstown in late May, beating California Daddy by 1 ¼ lengths.
Bolger was content to bide his time and the colt was not seen for two months, eventually lining up in the Group Three Tyros Stakes, a race often selected for some of Ireland’s best juveniles.
Bold Approach ran well, but was no match for Anthony Van Dyck, finishing 4 ¾ lengths second of 5, although in fairness, the strength of the horses he beat that evening, might be open to question.
We didn’t see Bold Approach again, presumably he had a setback, but he holds Irish Guineas and Derby entries.
Given his inexperience, he should have a lot more improvement to come and could be Bolger’s best shot at a Group One success from a three year old colt in 2019.
Other Bolger horses to note include: Cruciatus, Girolamo and Son Of Beauty.
It was another good year for Ger Lyons, who has a number of promising horses for 2019.
These include the consistent Inverleigh, who after winning on debut, ran 1 ¼ lengths second of 10 to Lethal Promise, in the Listed Blenheim Stakes, at Fairyhouse, in late September.
Inverleigh ran another solid race in the Listed Star Appeal Stakes, at Dundalk, in early October, coming home 3 ¼ lengths third of 6 to No Needs Never.
Inverleigh should stay a mile next year, being a son of Excelebration, out of a Fast Company mare.
Lyons welcomed horses from Juddmonte in 2018 and among these, Zander showed useful ability.
The son of Oasis Dream ran well on debut when 4 ¼ lengths third of 9 to Copia Verborum, in a
Curragh maiden in early June.
In late July he ran a little disappointingly in a Down Royal maiden, with 4 ½ lengths fourth of 5 to No Needs Never, although that colt turned out to be Listed class.
Zander made no mistake three days later at the Galway Festival, landing a maiden by 1 ¼ lengths from Wargrave.
He had one more start in a Listowel nursery in early September, finishing ¾ of a length second of 6 to Mount Tabora.
Zander is out of a Zamindar mare and should stay a mile in 2019.
Pythion dead-heated with Howling Ridge, on his debut, in a Leopardstown maiden, in late July.
The son of Olympic Glory was not seen for another two months, but was aimed high in the Group Two Beresford Stakes at Naas, finishing 4 ¾ lengths 6th of 7 behind Japan.
He holds an Irish Derby entry and being out of a Nayef mare, should get the trip. He could well be one for something like the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial next spring.
Other Ger Lyons’ horses to watch out for include: Giga White and Kafu.
Joseph O’Brien’s yard ends this year’s comprehensive two year old colts’ review.
O’Brien enjoyed another magnificent year with Latrobe winning the Irish Derby and Iridessa landed a first English Group One in the Fillies’ Mile.
Among the colts, No Needs Never made his presence felt.
The son of No Nay Never ran ½ a length second of 13 to Invasion Day, in a Cork maiden in May.
He then found the Coventry Stakes too much at that stage of his career, coming home 21st of the 23 horses, behind Calyx.
In late July, No Needs Never stepped up to 7-furlongs to land a Down Royal maiden by ½ a length from Cruciatus.
He was not seen out again until Doncaster’s St Leger meeting in September, when he ran well in a valuable sales race to finish 1 ¾ lengths fourth of 22 to The Great Heir.
No Needs Never landed Dundalk’s Listed Star Appeal Stakes in October, beating Old Glory by 1 ¾ lengths.
On his final start, he contested the Group Three Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown, in late October, coming home 5 ¼ lengths fifth of 10 to Coral Beach.
No Needs Never is out of a Cape Cross mare and should stay a mile next year. He holds an Irish 2,000 Guineas entry.
Another son of No Nay Never, Eagle Song, took time to find his way.
He was relatively anonymous in his first three starts, before finishing ¾ of a length second of 7 to Mohawk, in a Cork maiden in mid-June.
After disappointing at the Curragh in August, he ran fourth to Recon Mission, at Fairyhouse, the following month.
Those runs stood Eagle Song in good stead as he landed a Dundalk nursery in early October, by 2 ¼ lengths from National Guard.
He followed-up at the same venue two weeks later, beating Vhagar by 2 ¼ lengths.
Eagle Song looked progressive as the year came to an end and being out of a Danehill mare, he could go on to prove Pattern class in time, perhaps up to a mile.
Arcturus was another to progress with time.
The son of Fast Company finished 5th of 8 behind Cosmic Horizon, at Roscommon, in early September.
He seemed to learn from that and ten days later won at Listowel, beating Sachoandvanzetti by ½ a length.
A month later, he was the convincing winner of a Leopardstown nursery, defeating Harvest Bow by 1 ½ lengths.
Arcturus should stay a mile, being out of a Pivotal mare. He might well be up to Pattern class.
Dom Carlos proved a useful early season colt and showed plenty of speed.
The son of Gale Force Ten made little impression on debut at Navan in May, but a few days later ran 3 ¼ lengths fifth of 13 to Indigo Balance, in a Curragh maiden.
He returned to the Curragh in early June and looked a very useful colt when beating Evasive Power by 4 lengths.
Dom Carlos had one more start, finishing an excellent 2 ¼ lengths third of 28 to Soldier’s Call, in the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot.
We didn’t see Dom Carlos again, but his final start suggests that he could be a useful sprinter in 2019.
Another Joseph O’Brien who could make an impression in 2019, is Millswyn, who holds English and Irish Derby entries.