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Newmarket trainers select the three horses to watch from their yards



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After a pandemic-enforced two-year absence, Racing Ahead returns with plenty of tips, pointers, advice and analysis.

But what do those running the yards in and around Newmarket think? Are they waiting to unleash some potential stars of the future? Is an old favourite shaping up for a return? And who has wintered particularly well?

Here, six HQ handlers reveal three horses under their guidance that they believe are ready to make an impact on the Flat in 2022.

James Ferguson is expecting a big year from El Bodegan. Picture: Mark Westley
James Ferguson is expecting a big year from El Bodegan. Picture: Mark Westley

JAMES FERGUSON

1) El Bodegon: “He won us a Group 1 last year and is a star of the stable. He’s done well throughout the winter and we have some big targets for him this year.

“He’s entered into The Derby and that is the main aim. It would be great if we can get him there.”

The trainer feels Mise En Scene is good enough to win Group 1 races. Picture: Mark Westley
The trainer feels Mise En Scene is good enough to win Group 1 races. Picture: Mark Westley

2) Mise En Scene: “She’s entered into the 1,000 Guineas after winning a good Group 3 for us last year.

“We’ve always believed she’s bred to be a better three-year-old and from what we’ve seen this winter that is playing out.

“The aim for her is to earn the Group 1 tag because she’s good enough and deserves it.”

3) Oceania Legend: “He’s two from two this winter after winning at Newcastle. He’s making progress with every run and we are hoping Royal Ascot is the target for him.”

James Ferguson enjoyed a successful 2021 season. Picture: Mark Westley
James Ferguson enjoyed a successful 2021 season. Picture: Mark Westley

STUART WILLIAMS

1) Desert Dreamer: “We’ve entered her into the 1,000 Guineas and that’s really exciting for our yard.

“We’ll see how she works leading up to that and whether or not we think she’s going to stay, but that is Plan A at the moment.”

2) Shanko: “He won in December and January before finishing second at Kempton.

Desert Dreamer has an entry for the 1,000 Guineas. Picture: Tracy Roberts
Desert Dreamer has an entry for the 1,000 Guineas. Picture: Tracy Roberts

“We’re fairly hopeful that there is more progress to come and if we could aim for something like a five-furlong handicap at Royal Ascot, that would be fantastic.”

3) Wyvern: “He has done well on the All-Weather this year but then struggled in the Kentucky Derby trial at Kemptom.

“He was drawn on the outside and was just a little keen, but we think a lot of him.

“We’ll see where we go next but we’ll probably look for those high value handicaps for three year olds, somewhere like Newmarket or York.”

Newmarket trainer Stuart Williams, who operates out of Diomed Stables on Hamilton Road. Picture: Mark Westley
Newmarket trainer Stuart Williams, who operates out of Diomed Stables on Hamilton Road. Picture: Mark Westley

ALICE HAYNES

1) Mr Professor: “He is an obvious one for me to put forward as he was the yard flag bearer in our first year training, winning the Listed Silver Tankard up at Pontefract.

“He ran some nice races at the Dubai Carnival and we’re hoping he can pick up another stakes race this year – ideally he will be our first Group winner! The owner has also sent us a couple of very nice two-year-olds to look out for.

2) Josies Kid: “The three-year-old Ardad gelding won a nice handicap at York at the back end of his two-year-old season and he’s done really well from two to three.

Mr Professor was Alice Haynes' stable star last year. Picture: Mark Westley
Mr Professor was Alice Haynes' stable star last year. Picture: Mark Westley

“He looks a real speed-ball and we’d be confident he can continue to progress the way he’s developed physically.

“I’d be happy to look overseas for him if the right opportunity was available.”

3) Gemini Star: “I think I have a really nice group of two-year-olds for this season, and this is a lovely, precocious filly for a first-time owner.

“He looks to have a nice prospect on his hands as she’s doing everything well and I look forward to seeing where she could end up.”

The trainer is hoping for a successful 2022 campaign. Picture: Mark Westley
The trainer is hoping for a successful 2022 campaign. Picture: Mark Westley

HARRY EUSTACE

1) Ancient Times: “He won a couple of times last year over six furlongs. We deliberately kept him at that but we feel he’ll be effective over five furlongs as a four-year-old.

“We think he’ll be competitive in those sprint handicaps on Saturdays.”

2) Postwick: “He only ran once last year at Wolverhampton. He finished sixth but showed a lot of promise that day.

Harry Eustace is looking to build on his early success within the training ranks. Picture: Mecha Morton
Harry Eustace is looking to build on his early success within the training ranks. Picture: Mecha Morton

“We think that as a three-year-old we could be looking at some of the staying handicaps this season.”

3) Belhaven: “A three-year-old that ran twice last year and has done very well. We need to get a third run into her and then it will depend on her mark. We’ll be looking to start her over seven furlongs and go from there.”

JAMES TATE

1) Garden Paradise: “She’ll be going over a mile and a half and we feel she’s progressed into a decent middle distance filly.

James Tate could send Garden Paradise to the Park Hill
James Tate could send Garden Paradise to the Park Hill

“It’s exciting because there are lots of options open to her this year, like the Park Hill. She’ll probably start out in a Listed race at France in May.”

2) Royal Aclaim: “A three-year-old that won just once last year but she beat a Group 1 and Group 3 winner that day a Newcastle.

“She suffered a little injury after that as we were getting ready for Royal Ascot, but we think she’s going to be a pretty smart filly this year.

“She’ll probably start in a novice over five or six furlongs and then we’ll look at some of the big sprints.”

James Tate is hoping some of this year's string can follow in the hoofprints of stable stars Invincible Army left and Hey Gaman. Picture: Mark Westley
James Tate is hoping some of this year's string can follow in the hoofprints of stable stars Invincible Army left and Hey Gaman. Picture: Mark Westley

3) Ocean Wave: “She’s a nice, big homebred filly who has won on her last two starts. She had a little niggle after that but we have high hopes for her and there are plenty of black type races out there.

“She’ll be going over a mile and a quarter. She’s rated 80 at the moment, so we’ll enjoy winning a couple of races with her before firming up plans.”

JOSEPH PARR

1) Kalmunda: “A nice horse that we got from Tattersalls at Newmarket. He’s been finding his work increasingly easy, he’s got some good attributes and we have some real high hopes.

Joseph Parr has 'high hopes' for Kalmunda this year. Picture: Mark Westley
Joseph Parr has 'high hopes' for Kalmunda this year. Picture: Mark Westley

“It’s hard to say how good he can be because he’s only two years old, but initially we thought he would not be ready until June or July, but because of the progress he’s making we may see him earlier.”

2) Enthused: “A really nice horse that won over a mile and four furlongs at Catterick last year. We feel that he can get a bit further as well.

“It will be tough, but he could be suited for something like the Ebor.”

3) Aljaryaal: “Another stayer that has come in from Owen Burrows. He’s had a busy winter so will have a bit of a break for a while but we think we’ve found the key to him.

“He’s a good stayer and if we can get him up to a rating of 80 then I think the Northumberland Plate consolation race could be a good race for him.”