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Juveniles Begin to Make Their Mark on Flat Season
02/07/13

As we venture into July, the Classic picture for 2014 is gradually beginning to take shape as the juvenile division of British flat racing has thrown up some notable performances and with Royal Ascot still fresh in the mind, we take a look at some of the two-year-olds who have caught our eye so far in 2013 and are worthwhile following through the summer and in to the key two year old champion races in the Autumn.

War Command
© Caroline Norris

War Command

Over the five days of the Royal meeting, racing fans were treated to some memorable performances but there were two of the young brigade that produced arguably the most visually impressive displays of the week with War Command storming to success in the Coventry Stakes, whilst Kiyoshi was mesmerising when romping to an emphatic Albany Stakes victory.

The former may have been labelled the Aidan O’Brien second string heading into the Coventry but by the time Seamie Heffernan asked the Ballydoyle inmate to quicken in the closing stages to speed clear of a decent field to win by six lengths, it was soon apparent he that the son of War Front was a potential O'Brien star of the future. and that forced bookmakers to cut him significantly for the 2014 2000 Guineas and the Irish Raider is best-priced 7/1 for the Newmarket Classic next year.

Kiyoshi
© Caroline Norris

Kiyoshi
Going into the Albany Stakes a couple of days later it was the Richard Fahey-trained Sandiva that was attracting all the money for the Group Three prize but his reputation was well and truly vanquished by the Charlie Hills-trained Kiyoshi, who careered clear of her in the final furlong and despite running across the track in the final few strides still went on to win by over three lengths.

Betfred were quick to react like all the bookmakers and the odds of the daughter of Dubawi were slashed to become the 9/1 market leader for the 1000 Guineas, whilst Sandiva was slightly eased to 20/1 for the event that will be one of the highlights of the early part of the 2014 season and is sure to be an intriguing renewal, as more star fillies throw their hat into the ring.

Clive Brittain’s victory jig was one of the sights of the Royal meeting as the veteran trainer celebrated Rizeena’s victory in the Queen Mary Stakes and the Iffraaj filly certainly put her Classic credentials on the line with a sublime burst of late speed to career clear of her rivals and she was duly cut to 16/1 in the latest betting for the 1000 Guineas and is just another star of the two-year-old division at this stage.

Away from Royal Ascot, John Gosden’s Kingman was an impressive winner of a Newmarket maiden contest and the Invincible Spirit colt is one for the notebook after that late June victory, whilst the aforementioned O’Brien is sure to have a strong battalion of Classic contenders for the 2014 season and Stubbs and Coach House could fly the Irish flag along with War Command.

Berkshire
© Caroline Norris

Berkshire
The Epsom Derby antepost betting is also beginning to hot up and O’Brien’s Australia showed signs of encouragement when second on debut at the Curragh after he fluffed the start, whilst Paul Cole’s Berkshire is another prominent in that betting after his Listed Chesham Stakes victory caught the eye and he is sure to improve as he matures and steps up in distance as the season progresses.

Of the two year olds that have yet to see a racecourse this season, there is already a big reputation surrounding the Peter Chapple-Hyam trained Hydrogen who is by Galileo and a half brother to 2007 Derby winner Authorized on his Dam side. Boasting some impressive entries already, he is certainly one to watch out for.

Another unraced juvenile worth keeping an eye for is called Zarkash, who is trained by Alain Royer Dupre in France and is the son of duel Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe parents (and 11 Group One wins between them), Sea The Stars and Zarkava. The eagerly anticipated racecourse debut is sure to come under much scrutiny but if the youngster inherits a fraction of ability on breeding, he'll be an exciting prospect.
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