The Tote Ten to Follow is in full swing for the 2020 Flat season and the all-important Transfer Window is opening from midday on Friday 14 August, and closing at 10pm on Tuesday 18 August next week.
Now is the time you could turn the season around with some crafty swaps, but it is also important to consider your top performing horses and ask yourself - have they run their course for the season?
Of course, if a horse has racked up lots of points for you so far, you might be inclined to keep them in because it is the polite thing to do when they’ve served you well. But the Ten to Follow competition is still a competition. With a big pot of cash in the main prize fund, along with £10,000 in monthly prizes for August and September up for grabs, it is time to be ruthless.
You might be surprised to see these names, but below are five horses which we think are ready to be replaced with some fresh blood:
Yes, Enable! John Gosden’s outstanding race mare is one of the most popular Ten to Follow picks and she is set for her fourth run and third victory in the Arc in October, which is a Bonus race. However, she was beaten in the race last year, is another year older now and with a stellar field lining up, she could just be vulnerable to fresher, up and coming talent. The fact she skips York in favour of a prep race at Kempton lessons her point-scoring ability further and with a very helpful 64.30 points already amassed, now could be the time to call a new name from the bench. Love, anyone?
Donnacha O’Brien’s dual-Group 1 winning Fancy Blue has won four of her five career starts to date, including the French Oaks and the Nassau Stakes last time out at Goodwood. Her remaining entries in the Irish Champion Stakes and the Arc leave no hiding places for the filly however and the rest of her season will be very tough if she tackles open company. She’s clearly top notch, but her overall speed figures aren’t out of the ordinary and all told, she may not be able to add more to her excellent 66.80 points tally so far.
Roger Teal’s Oxted has established himself as a top class sprinter, but as we know, horses take turns in winning these big Group 1 contests and perhaps now is the time to consider swapping him out. His July Cup win was excellent and he secured the Bonus points, bringing his total to 65.30 points for the season. The Sprint Cup at Haydock awaits next and it is an altogether more different test for the horse. The ground is more likely to be soft at Haydock than at most tracks and all things considered, he is a horse who might just have run his major point-scoring course for 2020.
Clive Cox’s Golden Horde enjoyed a superb day in the sun when landing the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, but he was all at sea in the July Cup, well held at Deauville last time and life won’t get any easier for this three-year-old as the season enters the twilight zone. Golden Horde has done a stellar job and remains a top class sprinting prospect, but he’s netted 60.45 points for his supporters and perhaps his job here is done.
Aidan O’Brien’s tough and classy miler has notched up a brilliant 70.15 points from winning the Queen Anne and finishing second to Mohaather in the Sussex Stakes. But he was lucky enough to take that runner-up last time out and others such as Moohaather, Kameko and even Siskin may just be improving past him a bit at this stage. He is hardy and consistent, but a tactical swap to the likes of Mohaather here could be a savvy shout, or even replacing him with a Bonus race target in another distance division.