Today's racecards

Our team of writers pick out their horses to follow for the 2013 Flat turf season

By Ben Coley, Ben Linfoot, David John, Ian Ogg, Will Hayler.   Last Updated: 26/03/13 10:59am

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Harvard N Yale (far side) goes down fighting in the Haynes Hanson and Clark Stakes.

Harvard N Yale (far side) goes down fighting in the Haynes Hanson and Clark Stakes.

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Our team of writers pick out their horses to follow for the 2013 Flat turf season.

Our team of writers pick out their horses to follow for the 2013 Flat turf season.

Big Break

Form: 311-

Trainer: D K Weld

The Khalid Abdullah silks have been sported with great credit over the years for Dermot Weld by Famous Name but following his retirement, the owner and trainer have an instance replacement in his full sister. A winner of two out of two following a third on debut at Galway, her victories have been notable for the scintillating turn of foot she has displayed. It is this quality that marks her out from the rank and file and she looks sure to make a mark at a very high level this season. Her form to date has been on ground on the easy side of good but her most potent weapon will be seen to an even greater effect on a faster surface. She has the 1000 Guineas on the agenda at Newmarket as her first major target and is a hugely exciting prospect. (DJ)

Chil The Kite

Form: 612-611461-

Trainer: H Morrison

His three wins last season included a Listed success in France and saw his handicap mark rise from 86 to 104 at the end of the campaign. That rating will obviously restrict his opportunities to a certain extent but this son of Notnowcato looked far from the finished article in 2012, hanging markedly on a couple of occasions, but he matured as the season went on which bodes well for further progress. Versatile with regard to underfoot conditions, he should win plenty more races at around a mile. (IO)

Glorious Protector

Form: 6-

Trainer: Ed Walker

Sir Michael Stoute's Telescope has been the talking horse of the winter as far as the Derby is concerned. The Galileo colt was 16/1 for the Epsom Classic following his victory in a hot maiden at Newmarket last September but has halved in price following reports of excellent progression at home. Watching that maiden back it's clear he is a horse to follow in the coming months, but have a look at the horse finishing sixth, too, Glorious Protector. This was the son of Azamour's first and only start as a two-year-old and he showed signs of his inexperience by racing keenly early on, but he made good headway over a furlong from home and was only beaten five lengths at the line. The form is looking extremely strong with Soviet Rock, who finished a neck ahead of him, winning next time, while two of the horses he beat, Personable and Autun, were second and first respectively on their subsequent starts. Ed Walker reports that he has done very well over the winter, 'making into a big strong colt', and he will be aimed at a maiden in April before hopefully going onto bigger and better things. (BL)


Form: 2-

Trainer: B J Meehan

On first inspection, a Newbury maiden won by a 50/1 shot, with 28/1 Granell in second and another 50/1 chance in fourth might not look like a race to use as a guide to the future. However, the surprise winner followed up off an opening handicap mark of 80 and the runner-up, who looked badly in need of the experience throughout, is surely one to watch out for. Given plenty to do by Richard Mullen, he really warmed to his task late on and having had to work his way through a crowded pack it's an experience which should serve him well. We're used to seeing horses from Brian Meehan's yard improve from first to second starts and any such progress made by Granell should make him a player in maiden company, after which it'll be interesting to see whether the handicapper is as generous as he was with the winner. (BC)

Harvard N Yale

Form: 2122/45-

Trainer: J Noseda

Classics rather than handicaps looked on the agenda for this handsome American-bred colt when he took a Newmarket maiden at odds-on in August 2011. The same race had been won by a number of future stars in previous renewals, including none other than Frankel. But he was twice turned over at odds-on subsequently, including in the Haynes Hanson and Clark Stakes at Newbury, and hopes that he would quickly be able to get back on the right track were dashed early last year when injury kept him off the track until August. When he did eventually return, he was far too keen for his own good first time out at Goodwood and looked fast on his way to being filed in the 'disappointing' tray, but there was far more promise to be taken from his final start in a big field at Ascot where he was trapped wide throughout from a bad draw but still managed to stay on strongly for fourth in a hot handicap. Entered in the sales the following month, connections had a change of heart having evidently taken heart from the promise he showed at Ascot and he was withdrawn. At one stage, Jeremy Noseda had hoped to get Harvard N Yale into the Kentucky Derby field. It's too late for that now, but all is not lost with this four-year-old. (WH)


Form: 41-

Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute

Trained by Sir Michael Stoute, this son of Danehill Dancer really impressed me in landing a Leicester maiden on his second start last season and can continue to progress throughout his three-year-old campaign. The way in which he finished his race over seven furlongs that suggests not only that there's plenty more to come, but that such improvement is likely to be found over trips in excess of a mile. Second-guessing which way his trainer will go isn't easy but the closing mile and a quarter handicap on Craven day at Newmarket could be ideal. Hillstar falls perfectly into the ratings bracket with a mark of 83 and his trainer has tended to target the contest with a well-treated horse of whom he expects very good things. Wherever we see him next, Hillstar strikes me as a horse capable of winning at least one handicap on his way to better things. (BC)


Form: 3223-

Trainer: R Charlton

The son of Oasis Dream had a fairly lofty reputation last season but four runs in fairly useful maiden company failed to see him get his head in front. The fact he went off at no bigger than 9/4 suggests his efforts were not quite up to expectations but I would be very surprised if we have seen the best of him on the racecourse. He did have a tendency to be a little keen in his races but a gelding operation over the winter will hopefully help concentrate his mind. He can put last year's experience to good use and win a maiden before making up into a nice handicapper at around a mile. (DJ)

Race And Status

Form: 13-

Trainer: Andrew Balding

This son of Raven's Pass made a striking impression on debut at Newbury last September, winning division II of the Wedgewood Estates Maiden Stakes in the style of a smart performer. He travelled really strongly and showed good acceleration on his way to a comfortable success, prompting Andrew Balding to pitch him in the Tattersalls Millions 2yo Trophy on his next start. Beaten into third by the right horses at Newmarket, his performance was one to take much encouragement from. A half-brother to Dunboyne Express, this expensive yearling looks to have the tools to progress into a useful horse with another big Tattersalls race at the Craven Meeting a possible early-season assignment. (BL)

Squire Osbaldeston

Form: 3-

Trainer: Sir H Cecil

It is to the same Newmarket maiden that Harvard N Yale won in 2011 that I turn for my second selection. Whispers of retirement for Sir Henry Cecil were scotched by the great man last year and, true to his word, the master trainer is back for another year - even without the benefit of having wonder-horse Frankel in his stable. He has reduced numbers slightly and this will be a tougher campaign, even with Frankel's various siblings still in the team, but there are a number of interesting maidens in his care and Squire Osbaldeston is high up among them. Third on his only start at two in 'the Frankel/Nathaniel race', he was far from fully wound up for that contest and learned so much that Cecil opted to put away for the season rather than taking him back to the track. However he has already been spotted doing well on the gallops in recent weeks, looking to have done particularly well over the winter. It's very early days but he'll be ready for racecourse action soon enough. The Feilden Stakes at Newmarket's Craven meeting could be a possibility, but an ordinary maiden should be a formality. (WH)

Slade Power

Form: 21-12118-

Trainer: E Lynam

A highly regarded sprinter who has been carefully campaigned by Eddie Lynam who has restricted this four year old to just seven starts over the last two seasons. The son of Dutch Art has won four of those, including a pair of Listed races, and signed off the campaign with a midfield finish in the Group Two Champions Sprint Stakes suggesting that he can more than hold his own in Pattern races in a notoriously open division. He's expected to come into his own this year so should be busier and it would be no surprise to see him emulate the same connections' Sole Power and pick up a Group One prize. (IO)

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