Racing TV presenters and pundits Flat horses to follow

Sat 1 Apr 2023

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This time last year, our presenters and pundits picked out some beauties to follow on the Flat, headlined by Ed Watson singling out Derby winner Desert Crown on the back of a Nottingham maiden win, and Tom Stanley pinning his faith on 2,000 Guineas scorer Coroebus.

Gary O’Brien picked out Tuesday, winner of the Oaks at Epsom (13-2) and the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Two-time winners on the list included Inspiral (Jane Mangan), Duke De Sessa (Donn McClean) Samburu (Steve Jones) and Nahanni (Alex Steedman), while Star Of India (Fran Berry), Haveyoumissedme (Gordon Brown), Bashkirova (Richard Hoiles), Sacred Bridge (Lisa O’Neill) and Yonafis (John O’Connell) all got on the scoresheet once.

Our expert team of pundits and presenters have compiled a list of horses to stay on the right side of during the 2023 Flat season. Simply click on the horse’s name below and then the binocular icon. You can keep track of your horses are via the Racing TV Tracker page.


Horse: Bauhinia Rhapsody

Trainer: Ed Walker.

Bauhinia Rhapsody, an extremely good-looking son of Siyouni, had three runs last year and was learning with each start.

He’s now gelded and has wintered well, so I think he will win plenty of races this season.


Horse: Alexandroupolis

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien.

Galway racecourse has habit of throwing up some future stars in maidens and Alexandroupolis could well be one this year having shown a sharp turn of foot to burst through a bunch of horses to lead, and win going away on debut.

The form looks strong with the second just beaten in a Group One afterwards, and Alexandroupolis looks a play at the general 25-1 on offer for the Derby.


Horse: Gweedore

Trainer: Katie Scott.

Though hardly in the unexposed category, connections are predicting another good season for this nine-time winner.

Following a nice strike at Ayr in September, he has been nudged up to a mark of 90, but I hear he has come back in looking “better than ever”.

He will be kept busy over 7f and a mile, and is set to return to action at Musselburgh on Easter Saturday.


Horse: Lion's Dream.

Trainer: Mick Appleby.

We purchased Lion's Dream for The Horse Watchers at the Autumn Sales and have been delighted with his progress over the winter.

He finished an excellent second over an inadequate 7f on his reappearance, and is expected to build on that throughout the season.


Horse: Warning Sign

Trainer: Gary Moore.

A purchase from France where he won over ten furlongs. he was eye-catching in two runs over a mile for his new stable in the Autumn at Sandown and Goodwood.

Dropped a couple of pounds since, he is one to note in handicap company. A Lincoln entry was interesting, too.


Horse: Bluestocking.

Trainer: Ralph Beckett.

There are few better trainers than Ralph Beckett when it comes to handling fillies, and this well-bred daughter of Camelot is considered a high-class prospect.

Owned by Juddmonte, she wasn’t the quickest away on her debut at Salisbury in September and overcame traffic problems to win going away against the colts in a mile novice stakes.

Entered in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, she is considered more of an Oaks type – look out for her in a trial in the spring before heading to Epsom.


Horse; Great Max

Trainer: Alice Haynes.

He might not have won since making a winning debut as a two-year-old, but Great Max looks set for a good season.

Last year didn’t work out for him and he has left Irish trainer Michael O’Callaghan to join Alice Haynes. He’s also been gelded and he should finally fulfil his obvious potential.

Top handicaps around a mile should be ideal before returning to Group races.


Horse: Emily Upjohn

Trainer: John & Thady Gosden.

Desperately unlucky in the Oaks at Epsom, Emily Upjohn has shown us flashes of brilliance, culminating in that “wow” performance on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot.

This daughter of Sea The Stars is a huge physical specimen which would suggest she will improve with an extra year’s maturity, and the Gosdens know a thing or two about training older fillies!

She could be a Coronation Cup (unfinished business) / King George candidate this year. If settling in her races, she will be dangerous wherever she goes.


Horse: Rosscarbery

Trainer: Paddy Twomey.

Rosscarbery made serious progress last season, her first with Paddy Twomey, from winning her maiden at Dundalk in April to winning two Group Three races in the Summer. She was also beaten just a neck in the Group One Prix Jean Romanet in August.

She finished off last season strongly, and there is every chance that she can progress again this term. She stays a mile and a half well, she gets a mile and six furlongs, and she will be of interest in top-class races over middle distances.


Horse: Laurel

Trainer: John & Thady Gosden.

Laurel is a filly who featured on The Verdict after winning at Kempton on her second start. Her finishing splits were very impressive there, and it was no surprise that she was stepped up to run in the Group One Sun Chariot next time out on just her third start.

She travelled like the best horse there but was just not as well positioned as the winner but finished a very good second.

I believe she will win a Group One race this season, with fast ground and a mile being her optimum conditions. She is a most exciting prospect.


Horse: Operation Gimcrack

Trainer: Bryan Smart.

I interviewed Bryan Smart in September and asked for one horse for Racing TV members to follow. He revealed: "Operation Gimcrack is the one I'm most looking forward to. He's such a big, powerful horse that he is going to be more of a three-year-old. He's a classy son of Showcasing and I like him a lot." For more of Peter's free Notebook horses, click here.


Horse: Crypto Force

Trainer: John and Thady Gosden.

He has joined the Gosden yard after producing two seriously impressive performances last year, including winning the Beresford stakes on his final start.

He's got some eye-catching early entries and could be a serious force upped to ten furlongs this year.


Horse: Infinite Cosmos

Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute.

This daughter of Sea The Stars failed by a short head to reel in one with experience on her debut at Doncaster last Autumn but looks certain to leave that form behind.

Bred to relish at least 1m2f, a run of the mill maiden looks a formality on her way to playing a leading role in Group company before the year is out.


Horse: Tough Talk

Trainer: Ger Lyons.

This son of Kingman initially caught my eye beating Little Big Bear, and then again when finishing second to Blackbeard in the Marble Hill Stakes at The Curragh.

We haven’t seen him since then, but he is a fine big horse and is sure to train on to be a top-quality three-year-old.


Horse: Nostrum

Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute.

Looked a bit of a beast on debut before following up at Newmarket. He then, fairly quickly, reappeared in the Dewhurst and was held behind another Juddmonte colt in Chaldean.

Whilst there’s every chance they’ll be kept apart in the Spring, expect Nostrum to really progress this season. He’s a big frame of a horse who has apparently wintered well, and I’m hopeful he can win at the top level up to ten furlongs.


Horse: Hi Royal

Trainer: Kevin Ryan.

The Ebor and Ayr Gold Cup Festivals are two of Kevin Ryan's favourite fixtures of the season, so it stands to reason that he'd send only a highly-regarded prospect to both, with an eye firmly on their three-year-old campaign.

Hi Royal followed up a close third on debut in York's valuable Convivial Maiden, where he shaped like the best horse, with a smooth display upped to 1m at Ayr in September.

Entries in both the British and Irish 2000 Guineas are indicative of the esteem in which this son of Group One-winning miler Majestic Roi is held at Hambleton Lodge. But if his trainer's comments are anything to go by, it might be when tackling 10 furlongs when this "big horse with a lot of potential" really comes into his own.

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