Declan Rix

Declan Rix has three more juveniles to add to your ATR Tracker from the Class of 2020 series, before British racing's resumption on Monday.

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With British racing finally getting the go ahead to resume tomorrow, Monday June 1st, for this week’s piece I thought it would be good to cover the remaining stables from the “Class of 2020” series.

At a time when little information and news was being relayed to media and fans about the stars of the show, due to the cancellation of racing, this body of work was a must-read throughout. Stable tours generally tend to cover three-year-olds, older and better-known horses - leaving out the unraced, under-developed and fast-maturing freshmen. Here, however, we got an insight from 18 trainers on their future stars and their views were much-appreciated and intriguing.

Eighteen British and Irish yards have been covered, apart from the juvenile lodgers of Charlie Fellowes, Jamie Osbourne and Andrew Balding. We will go through those yards now in the fourth and final instalment in what has been a search for precocious, early season juvenile runners, and hopefully winners.

If you missed the first three pieces done covering some of the top yards in Britain and Ireland, you can get those views below:

GOLDEN BEAR (Charlie Fellowes – see full 2yo tour here)

Trainer’s quote: "He is a small sharp sprinter type. He galloped last week and came alive – he had previously been a bit lazy in his homework but he relished going quicker and definitely seems more than capable of stepping up now. I would say that a couple of more pieces of work and he will be ready to go sooner rather than later."

Judging by Charlie Fellowes’s above comments, Golden Bear is going to be a real juvenile type, based on size. While the son of Kodiac seemingly lacks physically, his trainer’s comments were interesting, especially noting that the horse has "come alive” since his work has been upped into the quicker paces.

Golden Bear’s sire is obviously a strong, classy influence on precociousness, but his dam, Golden Flower, didn’t lack too much in that department either. She made her career debut as a juvenile in mid-July. A quick filly who competed over five and six furlongs, Golden Bear is likely to want no more than six furlongs, judging on pedigree.

Golden Flower herself was by Royal Applause and from a quick and early family. She is a full-sister to Habaayib, the former Ed Dunlop inmate and Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned filly, who was a seriously precocious and classy juvenile. In 2009, she won the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Golden Bear is the fifth foal from his dam, whose has produced two winners from three, of her stock that have hit the track. Full siblings Harswell and Mutawaffer were both above average at their peak, especially the latter.

With the pedigree and trainer’s comments suggesting Golden Bear is worth following this season, he’ll have had a good career if he can better what Mutawaffer achieved in his juvenile campaign, ratings wise.

ALONE TIME (Jamie Osborne – see full 2yo tour here)

Trainer’s quote: "She is a Gigginstown filly and a home bred from the first crop of Mehmas. She is pretty sharp and is not an early foal but is very strong. She is taking her work and she will run in June and she is quick."

Jamie Osborne gave us a quintet of juveniles from his stable, and interestingly, all five are by first-season sires. Progeny by Bobby’s Kitten, Vadamos, Twilight Son and Coulsty were included, but unsurprisingly it was a chestnut filly by Mehmas that just got the nod.

The sire, Mehmas, we have already discussed in this four-part mini-series when Joseph O’Brien’s Magnanimous got the nod from his Piltown trainer’s string.  

The dam, as ever, is not as well-known, but we can go into a bit more detail about her now. Foaled in 1996, I think it’s fair to say My Lass is now getting on but in her pomp she was rated as high as 92 (potentially flattered by that mark) in a 12-race career that yielded a sole victory. There is nothing outstanding in her own pedigree but her new career as a broodmare has been highly successful.

Of her ten foals that have hit the track, six have managed to win at least one race, with the likes of Mac Love (by Cape Cross), Club Oceanic (by Cape Cross) and Donny Rover (by Excellent Art) having fine careers, that especially the case of ten-time winner Mac Love.

Four of the dam’s five winners all manged to win at two – some obviously more precocious than others – and now with Mehmas injecting serious precociousness into the page, Alone Time sounds like she will be running and hopefully winning soon.

IMPERIAL FORCE (Andrew Balding – see full 2yo tour here)

Trainer’s quote: "He is a Camacho we bought at the Sales for 72,000gns out of Tattersalls Book 2. He is strong and precocious and showing a bit of speed and he is not far off a run."

What stood out from Andrew Balding’s tour was how much quality he has going forward in the juvenile department. Some horses with big pedigrees might be ones for later in the year, but his words are worth a read. Quite a few will go into your tracker, I would imagine.

For this piece, Dance At Night (by Dark Angel) and Tactical (by Toronado) in the end missed out to Imperial Force; an early May foal who made 72,000 Guineas at the Tattersalls Book 2 Yearling Sale last year. Not bad, given his sire Camacho stood for €7,500 at Yeomanstown Stud in the year he covered Imperial Force’s dam, Cafetiere.

Camacho is maybe a stallion not as well-known as Kodiac, Dark Angel et al, but he made a winning start to his own juvenile career in mid-July when trained by Sir Henry Cecil. He was by top-class stallion in Danehill and out of Arabesque. The Juddmonte Farms-bred horse comes from a quality family and is a half-brother to another sire in Showcasing.

Camacho is a decent source of precocious horses, but not on the same level as, again, the likes of Kodiac and Dark Angel, but Imperial Force’s dam lends a helping hand in this department given she debuted in late March in her own racetrack career.

From a quick family, Cafetiere is a half-sister to Group 3 juvenile winner Percolator. While she didn’t reach the heights of her classy sibling, when rated 77 at her highest, her own pedigree is full of winners.

Moreover, in her new career, the daughter of Iffraaj has produced two foals with both winning on the track and showing above average ability; Anniemation (by Acclaimation) and Marboot (by Showcasing).

With Imperial Force making nice money at the sales, you can be sure, physically, Balding has something to work with. He is clearly catching his trainer's eye at home and with a sound pedigree bolstering the visuals, we may see this son of Camacho in the winners' enclosure shortly.

Declan Rix
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