But Ian Heit­man be­lieves other Derby bets make more sense than Saxon War­rior

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Ian Heit­man picks out his ju­ve­niles to star next sea­son


The final Group 1 of the year in the UK saw Ai­dan O’Brien break Bobby Frankel’s record of 25 Group/Grade 1 wins in a year when SAXON WAR­RIOR won the Rac­ing Post Tro­phy un­der Ryan Moore at Don­caster on Oc­to­ber 28th.

Hav­ing equalled the record on Champions Day at As­cot a week ear­lier,O’Brien sad­dled four run­ners at Don­caster,Saxon War­rior, THE PEN­TAGON, SEAHENGE and pace­maker COAT OF ARMS. Saxon War­rior was the 13/8 favourite to main­tain his un­beaten record and pro­vide O’Brien with an eighth win in the race. There was strong sup­port for VER­BAL DEXTERITY from the Jim Bol­ger yard who was backed into 5/2 sec­ond favouritism with ROAR­ING LION also bid­ding to re­main un­beaten at 8/1.

With a cou­ple of pace­mak­ers in the con­test, there was a strong pace to the race with all barVer­bal Dexterity trav­el­ling well. Saxon War­rior trav­elled very well and took the lead with two and a half fur­longs left to go closely fol­lowed byVer­bal Dexterity who de­spite not go­ing well in the early part of the race made progress and had ev­ery chance with two fur­longs to go. Roar­ing Lion made good progress on the out­side of the field and took the lead from Saxon War­rior over a fur­long from the fin­ish but hung left with 150 yards to go, Sax­onWar­rior kept on well un­der Moore to re­gain the lead with 50 yards to go,beat­ing Roar­ing Lion by a neck with The Pen­tagon run­ning on well to be third but never chal­leng­ing with Ver­bal Dexterity in fourth.

Sax­onWar­rior be­came the first Group 1 win­ner in the UK for his Ja­panese based sire Deep Im­pact who has sired plenty of top class run­ners in Ja­pan (3 Ja­pan Cup win­ners) and he was pro­moted to joint favourite for the 2000 Guineas and short­ened fur­ther as the ante-post favourite for the Derby. De­spite Deep Im­pact be­ing a stamina in­flu­ence, Saxon War­rior’s dam, Maybe, failed to win over fur­ther than 7f (5th in the Oaks) and whilst he will no doubt be cam­paigned with the Derby in mind, the 2000 Guineas might be Saxon War­rior’s best chance of a clas­sic win.The Pen­tagon is sure to stay the Derby trip based on his pedi­gree and the 10/1 avail­able about him win­ning the Derby is much more at­trac­tive than the 5/1 about Saxon War­rior.

Roar­ing Lion has im­proved with each run but his ten­dency to hang left (did so at Kemp­ton and New­mar­ket on his sec­ond and third starts) might have cost him a Group 1 vic­tory. He is clearly very tal­ented and will be aimed at the 2000 Guineas in May for which he is a 10/1 shot.

The Listed Don­caster Stakes over 6f which opened the Rac­ing Post Tro­phy card saw SPEAK IN COLOURS beat MUTAAQEB by half a length. Speak In Colours trav­elled strongly for An­drea Atzeni and made good progress to take the lead with a fur­long to go and he kept on well to give Marco Botti a sec­ond win in the race in the last three years. Mutaaqeb ran well on just his sec­ond start, keep­ing on well in­side the last fur­long and a half but un­able to get to the win­ner.There should be plenty of im­prove­ment from both colts over the win­ter and they should de­velop into use­ful sprint­ers at three.

Sand­wiched be­tween the Don­caster Stakes and the Rac­ing Post Tro­phy was a 7f nurs­ery which saw an im­pres­sive win for AL HA­JAR who recorded a very easy three and a half-length vic­tory off a mark of 88. De­spite the hand­i­cap­per putting Al Ha­jar up 15lb,he is one to fol­low in 2018 when he will be com­pet­ing in Listed/Group 3 races in the early part of the 2018 turf sea­son.

The first day of the two-day Rac­ing Post Tro­phy meet­ing saw three maiden races

for two-year-olds. MRS SIPPY im­pressed win­ning the one-mile fil­lies maiden, al­ways go­ing strongly for Jamie Spencer she was held up early on but made good progress through the field to lead a fur­long and a half from the fin­ish and only had to be pushed out to beat new­comer FICANAS by a length and a quar­ter with GUMRIYAH step­ping up on her de­but run to be third.Mrs Sippy will have no prob­lem stay­ing a mile and a quar­ter and should train on well from two to three.

BREATH CAUGHT was al­lowed an easy lead in the first di­vi­sion of the 7f maiden and he led all the way un­der Ryan Moore, eas­ily ac­count­ing for his nine ri­vals to get off the mark at the third at­tempt. Moore had to work a lot harder in the sec­ond di­vi­sion win­ning aboard AMPLIFICATION who just got the bet­ter of EPIC FAN­TASY in a very tight fin­ish.


As well as Don­caster on Oc­to­ber 27th and 28th,New­bury staged a two-day meet­ing, their final flat meet­ing on the year. As at Don­caster,there were plenty of two-yearold races over the two days. MIL­I­TARY LAW got the bet­ter of BLUE MIST (had a 3lb penalty for a de­but win) in­side the last 100 yards to win the first di­vi­sion of a one mile novice race, the pair two lengths clear of the third. Mil­i­tary Law had fin­ished well beaten on his de­but but de­spite still show­ing signs of green­ness in the pad­dock be­fore­hand, he trav­elled well in the race and saw off the chal­lenge of Blue Mist who ran very well in sec­ond.

Blue Mist’s trainer,Roger Charl­ton,went one place bet­ter in the sec­ond di­vi­sion when EX­TRA ELU­SIVE, a tall colt by Master­crafts­man, made a win­ning de­but, com­fort­ably beat­ing FIRST ELEVEN by two and three-quar­ter lengths with MAPPED run­ning well on his de­but in third.KASBAAN who fin­ished fourth,went out to his left from the out­side stall and did well to get as close as he did, beaten four lengths. He moved well to the start, and should have learnt enough to fig­ure on his sec­ond start.

PIC­TURE NO SOUND got off the mark at the fifth at­tempt for Richard Fa­hey in a 6.5f maiden when he beat GE­ORGE OF HEARTS, who raced keenly early on and didn’t quite see out the trip, by two and three-quar­ter lengths with SALUTE THE SOL­DIER, well backed sec­ond favourite run­ning a very promis­ing first race for Clive Cox in third.

The sec­ond day be­gan with the first di­vi­sion of a one-mile fil­lies novice in which RED STARLIGHT ran out a length win­ner from EX­PEN­SIVE LI­AI­SON with HAZARFIYA (1/2 sis­ter to Derby win­ner Harzand) run­ning well to be third. The sec­ond di­vi­sion,run later on the card,saw HIGHGARDEN make an im­pres­sive win­ning de­but for John Gos­den. Well sup­ported,she was al­ways trav­el­ling well for Frankie Det­tori and took the lead a fur­long and a half from the fin­ish, eas­ily

beat­ing SPIRIT OF PIPPIN,who ran on well from the rear, by two and a quar­ter lengths. Highgarden should stay a mile and a quar­ter next year,and this daugh­ter of Nathaniel should progress well over the win­ter.

The fea­ture two-year-old race of the meet­ing, the Group 3 Horris Hill Stakes over 7f saw NEBO win his first Group race from seven at­tempts, beat­ing TAN­GLED by half a length with pace-set­ting MYTH­I­CAL MAGIC in third.De­spite there be­ing only six run­ners, there were two groups of three with the three that raced in the cen­tre of the track fin­ish­ing first, sec­ond and third. Of the three who raced more to­wards the stands side, ARCHIE McKEL­LAR fared best, only beaten a length and three quar­ters.Nebo has been con­sis­tent in Group com­pany all year,three sec­onds and a third, and drop­ping into Group 3 com­pany for the first time he recorded a first win since his de­but in May which was also at New­bury. He will have a Group 3 penalty in the early part of 2018 and might strug­gle to add to his two wins un­til the penalty no longer ap­plies in the sec­ond half of the sea­son.Archie McKel­lar has the scope to train on well and he should win a Group race next year.

13 fil­lies lined up for the Listed Radley Stakes over 7f with course and dis­tance de­but win­ner, MAG­NO­LIA SPRINGS the un­easy 100/30 favourite to main­tain her un­beaten record. She never looked like win­ning,held up in mid­field,she stayed on late but was never dan­ger­ous in sixth. HIKMAA ben­e­fit­ted from front run­ning SHEP­HERD MAR­KET hang­ing to the far rail in­side the last fur­long, tak­ing the lead with 100 yards to go and win­ning by three quar­ters of a length with EXPRESSIY run­ning on to be third. Hikmaa made it three wins from five starts and gave her trainer Ed Vaughan a first two-year-old Listed win­ner.Shep­herd Mar­ket would have won if she had kept straight and should have lit­tle trou­ble win­ning a Listed race next year.


The 2018 Breed­ers’ Cup Meet­ing took place at Del Mar,Cal­i­for­nia on Novem­ber 3rd and 4th with 13 Grade 1 races over the two-day meet­ing, four of which were for two-year-olds. The two turf races for two-year-olds on the open­ing day had a strong Bri­tish and Ir­ish pres­ence with five of the 14 run­ners in the Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies Turf and six of the 14 in the Ju­ve­nile Turf.

Hav­ing been forced to miss the Group 1 Fil­lies Mile,HAP­PILY was the 9/4 favourite to add to her Group 1 tally hav­ing won the Moyglare Stud Stakes and Prix Jean-Luc La­gadere on her two pre­vi­ous starts. Her sta­ble­mate, SEPTEM­BER, sec­ond in the Fil­lies Mile,and un­beaten RUSH­ING FALL were next in the mar­ket at 9/2. De­spite hav­ing a low draw, Hap­pily met plenty of trou­ble trapped against the rail around the tight Del Mar turf course and she was eased in the straight by Ryan Moore when her chance had gone, fin­ish­ing last of the 14. Septem­ber fared best of the for­eign raiders,fin­ish­ing strongly in the straight to be third but un­able to chal­lenge Rush­ing Fall who took the lead with a fur­long to go and ran on strongly to win for Chad Brown with Best Per­for­mance in sec­ond. Of the other UK and Ir­ish run­ners,NOWYOU’RE TALK­ING fin­ished sev­enth, JULIET CA­PULET raced promi­nently to the turn into the straight, fad­ing to be 11th and MADELINE was never bet­ter than mid­field and fin­ished 13th.

There was a much more open look to the bet­ting in the Ju­ve­nile Turf with Char­lie Appleby’s MASAR sent off the 4/1 favourite ahead of De­whurst run­ner-up MENDELSSOHN at 9/2.Ryan Moore used the low draw to his ad­van­tage this time aboard Mendelssohn, chas­ing the colt along to get a handy po­si­tion as the field went into their first turn.Three of the Euro­pean raiders were on the back foot right from the stalls, Masar, BECKFORD and RAJASINGHE were all slowly away and Beckford es­pe­cially was given plenty to do from the rear.SANDS OF MALI had plenty of pace and took the field along un­til he was headed by Mendelssohn in­side the last fur­long. Mendelssohn kept on well to win by a length from Un­tamed Do­main with Vot­ing Control in third. Beckford fin­ished well in the straight but never man­aged to chal­lenge in fifth.Masar kept on well to be sixth but never man­aged to chal­lenge, whilst JAMES GARFIELD and Rajasinghe were never in­volved in 10th and 11th re­spec­tively.

Mendelssohn gave Ai­dan O’Brien a 27th Group/Grade 1 win of the year, and he could be aimed at the Ken­tucky Derby in early May. He has much stronger cre­den­tials than the three run­ners O’Brien has had in the race in re­cent years,Master

Of Hounds the best placed fin­isher, 7th in 2011, but Mendelssohn is bred to be ef­fec­tive on the dirt and it will be in­ter­est­ing to see how he is cam­paigned in the early part of 2018.

The two races on the dirt for two-yearolds at­tracted just one over­seas raider, dual Group 1 win­ner, U S NAVY FLAG in the Ju­ve­nile. He had the pace to lead un­til two fur­longs to go and weak­ened out of con­tention fin­ish­ing 10th of the 12 run­ners.Vic­tory went to another Chad Brown trained run­ner, Good Magic who ran on strongly in the straight to break his maiden at the third at­tempt win­ning by four and a quar­ter lengths.

Cale­do­nia Road won the Ju­ve­nile Fil­lies un­der Mike Smith,his 26th Breed­ers’Cup vic­tory.

Ear­lier on the main Breed­ers’Cup card, was a 5f Listed turf race which saw DECLARATIONOFPEACE lead right on the line un­der a hands and heels ride by Ryan Moore from SOUND AND SI­LENCE with OUT OF THE FLAMES fin­ish­ing well to be third and CORINTHIA KNIGHT in fourth. Declarationofpeace could eas­ily progress into a con­tender for the Com­mon­wealth Cup in 2018 although the O’Brien yard do have plenty of op­tions with Sioux Na­tion and U S Navy Flag if they fail to stay a mile.


The final meet­ings at New­mar­ket on Oc­to­ber 25th and Novem­ber 3rd and 4th saw plenty of two-year-old races with the Oc­to­ber meet­ing called two-year-old day de­spite an older horse fil­lies hand­i­cap be­ing the fea­ture race.

John Gos­den took the first two fil­lies races with WILD IM­PALA and TIM­PANI, Wild Im­pala record­ing a much quicker time on ground that was very quick for the time of year. A cou­ple in the sec­ond di­vi­sion looked well in the pad­dock be­fore­hand, FOR­WARD THINKER, fin­ished fifth, and DANCE ON THE DAY, fin­ished sev­enth. Both have the scope to progress over the win­ter and should have lit­tle trou­ble win­ning races.

14 lined up for a 7f novice race which should pro­duce plenty of win­ners. ELWAZIR was well sup­ported to get off the mark at the sec­ond at­tempt and de­spite hav­ing the lead against the stands rail, he was headed with 150 yards to go and faded to be fourth. He was a lit­tle edgy in the pad­dock and can win races if he is calmer in the pre­lim­i­nar­ies.QAYSAR took the lead from Elwazir but he couldn’t hold off the chal­lenge of KEYVICTORY who fin­ished well hav­ing been forced to switch to the out­side of the field to get a clear run and he took the lead close home to win by a length with MASAARR run­ning well to be third (Masaarr eas­ily won his sec­ond start at Lingfield on Novem­ber 18th,a one­mile novice by four and a half lengths). KeyVictory is a good-look­ing colt by New Ap­proach and he should de­velop into a Group per­former in 2018 for Char­lie Appleby and Godol­phin.

BRUNDTLAND be­came the sec­ond de­but win­ner on the card for Appleby and his 20th of the year when he won the 1m 2f maiden,beat­ing MAK­ING MIR­A­CLES by a length.This wasn’t a very strong race but Brundtland kept on well and can progress into a use­ful hand­i­cap­per.

The go­ing was still good to firm for the first day of the two-day Novem­ber meet­ing. MAGHAWEER got off the mark at the third at­tempt with an all the way win in the open­ing 7f novice,beat­ing PLUNGER who

had been off the track since mid-April by a length.EN­CRYP­TION fin­ished down the field in ninth but wasn’t given a hard time to qual­ify for a mark. Given 66 by the hand­i­cap­per and gelded since this run, there are hand­i­caps to be won over the next few months for En­cryp­tion.

ALWASIMYA was im­pres­sive win­ning the 6f Listed Bosra Sham Stakes for Si­mon Cr­is­ford, a sec­ond Listed win­ner in the space of a week for the yard who had DARK LIB­ERTY win in Hanover on Oc­to­ber 29th.Al­wsi­maya drew clear from pace set­ting IZZY BIZU in­side the last fur­long to win by three lengths with a length cov­er­ing the sec­ond to sev­enth placed horses.

Plenty of overnight and morn­ing rain saw the ground change too good to soft for the final days rac­ing at New­mar­ket in 2017. NAWASSI jus­ti­fied strong mar­ket sup­port to win the first di­vi­sion of the 7f novice fil­lies race for John Gos­den.Al­ways go­ing well in front for Jim Crow­ley she com­fort­ably beat REVALUE who was car­ry­ing a penalty for her last time out win at Kemp­ton. HATEEL ran on well to be third for Wil­liam Hag­gas, whilst RO­COCO made up ground late on hav­ing missed the break. She will cer­tainly know a lot more next time.

The sec­ond di­vi­sion saw another all the way win­ner, PER­FECT THOUGHT getting off the mark at the sixth at­tempt, with WORTHWAITING run­ning well in sec­ond for David Lani­gan and CLAS­SIC CHARM in third for Dean Ivory. AGROTERA im­pressed in the pad­dock be­fore­hand, but was never dan­ger­ous from the rear, fin­ish­ing sixth.

HA­DITH fol­lowed up her im­pres­sive Not­ting­ham win by win­ning the Listed Mon­trose Stakes over a mile, hold­ing off the chal­lenge of BARONESS in­side the last fur­long with AWESOMESUN run­ning on well to be third.Ha­dith has plenty of scope to train on from two to three and should be fig­ur­ing in an Oaks trial in the spring.


Kemp­ton’s all-weather track has pro­duced three track two-year-old track records in re­cent weeks. BOW STREET low­ered the one mile time on Novem­ber 7th when he beat PODEMOS who ran well from the front by two and three-quar­ter lengths with HIGHBROW run­ning on well to be third in the sec­ond di­vi­sion of a novice race. The first di­vi­sion went to OC­CUPY who over­came the widest draw to make an im­pres­sive win­ning de­but, eas­ily beat­ing BLAME CUL­TURE by two lengths.

Hav­ing had Oc­cupy win and Podemos run well 24 hours ear­lier, Ralph Beck­ett’s new­com­ers were well sup­ported in both di­vi­sions of the novice race for fil­lies. CELIDH’S HOUSE kept on well to be third be­hind ESPADRILLE who put her pre­vi­ous race­course ex­pe­ri­ence to good use by lead­ing all the way for Char­lie Appleby and Wil­liam Buick.

CECCHINI broke smartly from her stall one draw to lead all the way in the sec­ond di­vi­sion and low­ered the track record Bow Street had set a day ear­lier. She had too much for her 11 ri­vals and eas­ily beat the well sup­ported favourite, BUB­BLE AND SQUEAK (third run in 21 days and looked light) by a length and a quar­ter. Bub­ble And Squeak ran well again when sec­ond eight days later be­hind FLORA SANDES at Chelms­ford.

The final track record to be bro­ken was in the 7f nurs­ery when ELSAAKB got the bet­ter of LADY OF ARAN in a close fin­ish and break his maiden at the sixth at­tempt.

The Beck­ett yard had been suc­cess­ful ear­lier in the day at Not­ting­ham with another new­comer when KINAESTHESIA held off the chal­lenge of QAWAMMES in­side the last fur­long in a slowly run sec­ond di­vi­sion of a mile maiden. The form re­ceived a boost when sixth placed CORELLI won at Wolverhampton on Novem­ber 18th,getting the bet­ter of long­time leader Crav­ing close home. MY LORD AND MASTER trained by Wil­liam Hag­gas ran out a very im­pres­sive win­ner of the first di­vi­sion,lead­ing all the way and draw­ing clear with two fur­longs to go and eased down in­side the last 100 yards he beat his sta­ble­mate YOUNG RASCAL by six lengths.

The final turf meet­ing of the year at Don­caster on Novem­ber 11th be­gan with an im­pres­sive de­but win­ner for David Sim­cock when RAID beat Lady Willpower by two and a quar­ter lengths.


Mag­no­lia Springs

Nebo wins Horris Hill


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