A Group 1 winner in the saddle, Fran Berry has swapped his breeches for his microphone in recent years. And as we head into the meaty part of the flat season Fran shared his ten horses to follow for the season ahead.
Mehnah posted a very good run to finish second in a Leopardstown Guineas Trial on just the second start of her career and, on that evidence, she would look a definite contender for the Irish 1,000 Guineas. That Leopardstown run was just her first on grass and, having been drawn wide, she did extremely well to finish second. She could be an exciting filly for Kevin Prendergast this year.
Taipan caught my eye in the Ballysax on just his second start. He could shape up into something like an Irish Derby contender for Jessica Harrington. He’s quite a heavy-topped horse so I don’t know if Epsom would suit but he’d be a definite contender for the Irish Derby.
Ken Condon’s filly, Teresa Mendoza, is another filly I really like. She showed smart form at two and it will be interesting to see what route Ken goes with her this season. Will she be a sprinter or a mile type filly? I’m not sure, but she could be very good either way.
Thunder Moon has been my idea of the 2,000 Guineas winner for a while. He was electric in the National Stakes at the Curragh and ran a super race in the Dewhurst when the ground was not to his liking and on a day where there was a stands’ side bias. He had to make his run in the middle of the track and his effort to finish third can definitely be upgraded. Given we are likely to get fast ground at Newmarket, I think he will run a big race and could develop into a top miler for Joseph O’Brien this season.
Joseph has a couple of others that will be worth keeping onside this season. The first of which is Federal, who won in good style last July. When one wins first time out for Joseph, they are usually quite smart, and Federal could be an interesting one this season.
My Generation is the other. She was a ready winner of a Listed race at Dundalk where she never came off the bridle and a line can be drawn through her run in the Guineas Trial at Leopardstown as she got no luck in running.
Queen’s Speech was ultra impressive when winning on testing ground at the Curragh last November and she has a similar profile to her well-touted stable companion Santa Barbara and it will be interesting to see where she fits in for Aidan O’Brien.
Her stablemate High Definition would be my idea of the Derby winner. His performance in the Beresford, coming from nearly last to pick up Monaasib, was extremely impressive and he devoured the ground inside the final furlong with that long stride of his. He’s a worthy Derby favourite and I can’t wait to see how he has developed.
Another one of Aidan's, Interpretation, is a potential improver. He's still a maiden but he's by Galileo out of a nice French Aga Khan family and he's very interesting.
Rosa Woodsii is another potentially smart filly for Ger Lyons. She is a surefire winner of her maiden and she could improve throughout the season.
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