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With the Tote Ten to Follow transfer window well and truly upon us, players will be faced with the conundrum of deciding which horses to swap out of their stable and which two new recruits they should bring in. While it’s always difficult to part ways with something that’s scored well for you in the first half of the game, it could prove to be a shrewd move, with last year’s winner subbing out two of his top three scorers at that time.

We go through the top five horses to date with our verdict on whether you should stick or twist.

Snowfall - 137.62 points

By far and away the season’s outstanding three year old filly. Pretty average as a juvenile, this daughter of Deep Impact has swept aside her rivals this season, the highlight of which was a record-breaking 16l romp in the Oaks. More bonus points came when she landed the Irish equivalent and a score of 137.62 points puts her top of the table for now.

The Yorkshire Oaks sounds like her next destination and she’s already odds on in many ante-post books. Tarnawa, if she runs, would set up a mouth-watering clash but would severely lack race fitness and you would have to fancy the 3yo to claim the minimum 25 points. More bonus points would be on the agenda after that, with a tilt at the Arc most likely. There aren’t too many horses in the game with a better chance of scoring 75 points+ in the races remaining.

Verdict: STICK

Poetic Flare - 130.55 points

What a season it’s been for Jim Bolger and it’s in no small part thanks to this fella. An excellent win in the 2000 Guineas secured 72 points while compensation points in the Irish equivalent and a brilliant win at Royal Ascot have sky-rocketed this horse to second in the list of top-scoring horses.

He potentially could go for the Irish Champion Stakes next - a race that is likely to attract a stellar field - while he also holds an early entry for the QEII on Champions Day at Ascot. The concern with him, however, is that as what little we’ve had of summer begins to turn into autumn, more rain will come. He’s been beaten on both his starts this season on soft ground including behind Mac Swiney in the Irish 2000 Guineas, who shouldn’t really be mentioned in the same breath as this one. Having run in six races already this season, we’re not sure how many points he has left in him.

Verdict: TWIST

Adayar - 129.75 points

We might have unearthed a special Derby winner this year. He followed up his classic win with victory in the King George, becoming the first horse to do the double since the legendary Galileo. A lethal cocktail of speed, stamina, power and balance, he by no means looked like the 3yo in the field, winning comfortably from the Longines Best Horse in the World, Mishriff, back in second.

His trainer Charlie Appleby, outlined a plan for him following that result, with a crack at the Group 2 Prix Niel up next followed by the Arc. Victory in both those races would result in a minimum of 70 points. If you were shrewd enough to pick him out at the start of the season, you’ve got to leave him in, but there’s a big decision to be made between him and Snowfall if you’re considering transferring both in.

Verdict: STICK

St Mark’s Basilica - 116.80 points

It’s possible that St Mark’s Basilica is the best 3yo colt between a mile and ten furlongs either side of the Irish Sea. He’s three from three this season, with wins in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains, Prix du Jockey Club and most recently the Coral Eclipse. There will be plenty keen to pick holes in the form of the latter, with a steady gallop and turning it into a bit of a sprint late on, but he did everything that was asked of him, travelling powerfully and picking up with a dangerous gear change.

For us, he’s arguably the must have horse out of the five at the top of the leaderboard. The Juddmonte is up next and that will likely precede a crack at the Irish Champion Stakes before, all being well, tackling the Champion Stakes at Ascot. Win all three and he’ll have claimed a minimum 150 points. If he does, there’s little doubt the winning stable will have him in their ranks.

Verdict: STICK

Hurricane Lane - 113.85 points

The only other centurion in the game and he looks likely to add a further 50 points to his tally in the St Leger. Currently a shade of odds against, current accepted thinking would suggest that only Adayar looks a real threat, and it’s highly unlikely he’ll turn up at Doncaster. An excellent winner of the Irish Derby, he’s another who is doing no harm to Frankel’s credentials as a sire this season.

However, victory in the St Leger would possibly call the curtain on his career as a 3yo and while he would be a live contender should he go for the Arc, there are other more obvious candidates. A terrific horse, but perhaps there aren’t quite as many targets for him as others on this list.

Verdict: TWIST

The Tote Ten To Follow Transfer Window opens at 11am on Monday 9th August and closes at 11am on Wednesday 18th August. Players are able to substitute two horses from their stable for replacements in this window.


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