The “next generation” term has been proving a millstone around the neck of tennis players aspiring to topple Federer and Nadal off their perches and there is a regular worry aired about whether the junior England stars will ever gain enough first-team football to fulfil their potential.
At least in racing, there is always the glorious certainty of a fresh intake of young prospects to enjoy for the next season or so, with this week’s Cambridgeshire meeting at Newmarket providing some notable launchpads.
The initial signs have been good for the 2018 Classic crop, with such as Too Darn Hot, Sangarius and Quorto all in contention for the Darley Dewhurst Stakes.
In the coming days, could we see a few more colts and fillies exciting enough to see Flat fans through the winter? Here are a few to consider.
When: Tattersalls Stakes on Thursday
Trainer: Roger Varian. Classic odds: 33-1 (2,000 Guineas, Derby)
Well-found in the betting against a rival who had already shown distinct promise, he was an encouraging winner ahead of another race-fit rival in a novice at Ascot just over a fortnight ago.
Has Dewhurst and Futurity entries but, with Andrea Atzeni already jocked-up, it looks as if Varian considers this a useful stepping stone at this early stage.
Classic prospects: A way off, but not unrealistic
It is questionable whether any unraced horse can ever be worth 2.6 million guineas but that’s what he cost at Book 1 of Tattersalls last year.
The reason is because Prince Eiji comes from one of the finest racing nurseries in the Meon Valley Stud in Hampshire, out of Pretty Polly and Prix Jean Romanet scorer Izzi Top, whose blue-chip family can be traced back generations.
Whilst half-brothers Dreamfield and Willie John showed promise without yet taking that further step forward, the base level is there.
His sire, Dubawi, is having a revival this season and it offers hope that, much like Varian’s former star Kingston Hill, he might have enough of a mixture of speed and stamina for a Guineas and a Derby.
When: Shadwell Rockfel Stakes on Thursday
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Odds: 5-1. Classic odds: 40-1 (Oaks)
Has fitted in four starts since her debut at the end of June, breaking her duck at Galway and looking as if she might be a little out of her depth in the Debutante Stakes at the Curragh.
However, she got much closer to Skitter Scatter in the Moyglare, making eye-catching progress into third.
Classic prospects: Bred for the job
Surprisingly, a Ballydoyle filly is yet to really jump out of the pack and this race, which has produced Classic winners Finsceal Beo and Just The Judge over the past decade or so, could be the best fit for an individual who ought to enjoy the strong test of the Rowley Mile.
Her sister, Hydrangea, had not achieved a whole lot more at this nascent stage and turned out to be tremendously versatile, winning Group Ones between a mile and 12 furlongs.
When: Juddmonte Royal Lodge Stakes on Saturday
Trainer: John Gosden
Classic Odds: 33-1 (2,000 Guineas) 40-1 (Derby)
Now two-from-two and several of those in behind Beatboxer on his debut at Sandown, when jockey Rab Havlin described him as being “80 per cent fit”, have broken their ducks since.
Could hardly have won more easily the next time at Haydock. Encouraging that the current forecast is dry as, with his American pedigree, he might not want the ground too soft.
Classic prospects: Stiff competition from within his own stable
This year’s champion Roaring Lion and a certain Frankel feature on the Royal Lodge roll of honour and with stablemate Too Darn Hot likely to sit this one out, it is interesting to see that $650,000 purchase Beatboxer is Gosden’s only other entrant.
Although sire Scat Daddy is known for bestowing speed on his progeny, Beatboxer has already won over a mile and ought to have plenty of options. His largely dirt pedigree gives a degree of uncertainty at this stage.
When: Juddmonte Cheveley Park Stakes on Saturday
Trainer: Michael Bell. Odds: 5-4. Classic odds: 10-1 (1,000 Guineas)
Watch what our experts made of the Prix Morny?
Has been the outstanding European filly so far, taking a giant step forwards in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes and proving her point by beating the prolific Signora Cabello in the Prix Morny.
Missed the Moyglare to stay closer to home and, though one of 16 left in, deserves her position as a short-priced favourite on what she has achieved.
Classic prospects: Hold fire
On her efforts so far, she deserves to head the ante-post Guineas betting, but that is a different question to whether she will win.
Speedy fillies such as Natagora and Special Duty have completed the Cheveley Park-Guineas double but the extra two furlongs have found out many others.
Her breeding is all speed through her sire Oasis Dream and neither of her siblings got a mile, either. Perhaps the Commonwealth Cup will be more her forte.
When: Juddmonte Middle Park Stakes on Saturday
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien. Odds: Evens. Classic Odds: 8-1 (2,000 Guineas)
The sectionals crew loved his debut victory at the Curragh at the end of last month and he returned a week later to repeat the trick in the Group Three Round Tower Stakes.
An undeniably exciting talent for a yard who won the race last year with US Navy Flag.
Classic prospects: Remains to be seen
One of the leading lights from first-season sire sensation No Nay Never, bred by the Coolmore associated Camas Park, Lynch Bages & Summerhill from Godolphin mare Seeking Solace, a fair middle-distance performer herself.
O’Brien has stated that there is a “good chance” that he will see out a mile in time but this remains to be seen.
At this stage he looks more one to enjoy for the here and now rather than being a cast-iron Classic hope and he might need to follow up in the Dewhurst over a furlong more to assuage some of those concerns.
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