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TEN TO FOLLOW
Welcome to the BHA Ten to Follow, where we pick ten promising horses to keep your eyes out for throughout the 2010 Flat season.

You can also follow our selection's progress here throughout the year.

In the Jumps season 2009/10 we picked 15 winners from 30 races at a strikerate of 50% and a £1 level stakes profit of +£9.64....a great year, can we top that on the flat?

Visit horsetracker and enter these horses names to keep track of when they are running!

Story so far
Runs: 15
Wins: 3
Places: 3
£1 Level Stakes (win only): -£7.00

BATED BREATH
Trainer: Roger Charlton
Owner: Mr Khalid Abdulla

What we said: Despite holding entries in some top class 2 year old races last season, the nicely-bred Bated Breath lived up to his name in making connections wait until mid-April of 2010 to make his racecourse debut.

He appeared in a 6 furlong Pontefract maiden which he won in some style after making headway to join the leaders turn into the straight and quickening clear over a furlong out. His action suggests he would not mind quicker ground than he encountered.

He may well be suited by further in due course and could be a very smart horse who may be seen in some of the better mile handicaps throughout the season.

The story so far:
Date Course Distance Race Class Position Odds £1 Level Stakes
7th June Pontefract 6GF Mr Wolf Sprint Handicap Class 3 1/9 4/6F +£0.50

BURJ NAHAR
Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor
Owner: Godolphin

What we said: Saeed Bin Suroor enjoyed a 32% strike rate with his 2 year old runners in 2009 and finished second only to Sir Michael Stoute in terms of the number of Pattern and Listed winners trained, so Godolphin appear to have a lot to look forward to this summer.

One of the most visually striking winners of the whole season was Burj Nahar’s debut over a mile at Nottingham in November. Sent off at 8/11 favourite this beautifully bred colt easily dismissed his 14 opponents and is one of the most exciting unexposed horses to look forward to this year.

Bred to appreciate middle distances expect to see him reappear in one of the Derby trials in the spring, and from there the world is his oyster.


CYGNET
Trainer: Luca Cumani
Owner: Lady Milford Haven & The Honourable Mrs Steel

What we said: Cygnet was a horse that a lot of people were looking forward to in 2009; however, injury restricted him to just one run which came in a 10 furlong handicap at Yarmouth in September.

Considering his inexperience combined with it being his first run for eleven months, he did well to make headway near the end to finish 2nd to Agilete.

Sent off a 7/4 favourite on his seasonal reappearance in a 10 furlong handicap at Nottingham in April he was only 9th, but rated 85 it is likely that there is more improvement to come and Cygnet could well be seen in some of the better middle distance handicaps this summer.

The story so far:
Date Course Distance Race Class Position Odds £1 Level Stakes
13th May Newmarket 10GF Handicap Class 3 9/10 8/1 -£1

DARLEY SUN
Trainer: Saeed Bin Suroor
Owner: Godolphin

What we said: The staying division has been dominated by Yeats for the past few seasons, so his retirement after winning his third Ascot Gold Cup leaves the way open for a new star stayer to emerge.

After finishing 2nd to Askar Tau in the Doncaster Cup in September, Darley Sun rounded off his season in style by taking the Cesarewitch. Although he was 12lb ‘well in’ he managed to achieve a 5 length victory over a field of mostly older horses.

He has thrived since being stepped up to staying distances and has not been out of the first 2 in his last 5 runs.

Having been purchased from David Simcock’s yard he will run in the blue of Godolphin this season, and another year older he should put up a bold showing in the Cup races this summer.

The story so far:
Date Course Distance Race Class Position Odds £1 Level Stakes
27th May Sandown 16GF Henry II Stakes Group 2 3/9 2/1F -£1
17th June Ascot 20GF Ascot Gold Cup Group 1 9/12 12/1 -£2

DOCTOR ZHIVAGO
Trainer: Mark Johnston
Owner: Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Al Maktoum

What we said: Doctor Zhivago cost 150,000gns as a yearling, but did not see a racecourse until December 2009 when running in a mile maiden at Southwell.

Unsurprisingly, he ran green until the penny dropped and he got stronger as the race progressed keeping on well inside the final furlong to reel in long time leader Master Leon, and record a 2 length victory.

He then beat Purple Gallery in a Southwell handicap in February before finishing 13th of 16 in a valuable sales race at Newmarket in April.

He looks a scopey type who should flourish into a smart three-year-old this season. His two wins have come over a mile but he may be worth another try over further in due course.



The story so far:
Date Course Distance Race Class Position Odds £1 Level Stakes
15th May Newbury 10GF London Gold Cup Class 2 3/15 25/1 -£1
5th June Epsom 10GF Vincent O'Brien Handicap Class 2 12/12 7/1 -£2

LONDON STRIPE
Trainer: Sir Michael Stoute
Owner: Mr Takashi Watanabe

What we said: No trainer trained more British Pattern or Listed race winners in 2009 than Sir Michael Stoute, but he is equally adept at handling unexposed horses in handicaps and London Stripe appears to be just that type.

Sent off a 9/1 chance for a mile maiden in October he ran well for a long way, and travelled nicely, running on one paced inside the final furlong to finish fifth behind the more experienced Dancing David (subsequently 4th in the Racing Post Trophy).

He dropped back to 7 furlongs next time at Yarmouth, and was sent off at odds on. Despite being niggled along from halfway he responded well and was made to fight all the way to the line by Mass Rally (twice a winner since), but held on by a half length.

For a horse currently rated 83 he holds some eye catching entries, but will probably start in handicap company and he looks the just the type of horse his trainer excels in getting the most out of.

The story so far:
Date Course Distance Race Class Position Odds £1 Level Stakes
2nd May Newmarket 10GS Handicap Class 2 1/8 5/2F +£2.50
17th June Ascot 12GF Handicap Class 2 2/18 5/1 +£1.50

OVERDOSE
Trainer: Jozef Roszival
Owner: MIKO Racing-Zoltan Mikoczy

What we said: Hungary might not seem the most obvious country for one of the most talked about horses in Europe to be trained, but neither was Spain where Equiano was based before winning the 2008 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. That race is one of Overdose’s main targets this year.

Off all last season through injury ‘Dozi’ or the ‘Budapest Bullet’ is unbeaten in 12 races by a total winning distance of 104 lengths.

Whether that should be 13 races is still open to debate, following the annulled Prix de L’Abbaye in October 2009, which was re-run later that day after a false start.

This summer he will take on the best from Europe and the southern hemisphere for the title of Europe’s Champion Sprinter.

He is due to make his long-awaited comeback at Hoppegarten in Germany on 9th May where he should be partnered by Belgian born/French based Christophe Soumillon who is scheduled to ride him this year.

Providing he comes through that test his next target could be the Achilles Stakes at Haydock on 29th May en route to Royal Ascot, and possibly folk-lore.


PRINCIPAL ROLE
Trainer: Henry Cecil
Owner: Mr Khalid Abdulla

What we said: Henry Cecil had his best season for 10 years in 2009 training 63 winners.

Midday was one of his flag bearers and he looks to have a number of potentially high class fillies this season as well including Timepiece and Kithonia.

Another on that list is Principal Role who made her debut in a mile maiden at Yarmouth in October. Despite giving ground away at the start and running green she took the race from the more experienced Tomodachi in a time that was 2.25 seconds quicker than the other division of the split race.

She was 3rd on her 2010 seasonal debut behind Music Show in the Nell Gwyn but that 7 furlongs was perhaps on the sharp side as she looks a scopey filly who will appreciate a step up to middle distances.

The story so far:
Date Course Distance Race Class Position Odds £1 Level Stakes
2nd May Newmarket 10GS Pretty Polly Stakes Listed 4/8 11/8F -£1
14th May Newbury 10GF Fillies Trial Listed 1/7 3/1 +£2
17th June Ascot 12GF Ribblesdale Stakes Group 2 4/11 4/1 +£1

ST NICHOLAS ABBEY
Trainer: Aidan O'Brien
Owner: Mr Derrick Smith, Mrs John Magnier, Mr Michael Tabor

What we said: The 2009 Flat racing season will live long in the memory thanks in no small part to Sea The Stars’ performances.

After making it three wins from three races when winning the Racing Post Trophy St Nicholas Abbey was given an official rating of 124- to put that into context at the beginning of 2009 Sea The Stars was rated 112.

The form of the Racing Post Trophy is already holding up, as Elusive Pimpernel, who was unbeaten beforehand and was second at Doncaster, took the Craven on his seasonal reappearance.

Horses that complete the Guineas/Derby double are uncommon but it could be a case of London bus syndrome if this exciting colt lives up to expectations, which could rekindle talk of the elusive Triple Crown last achieved by Nijinsky in 1907.

St Nicholas Abbey’s breeding suggests middle distances should suit, but possessing such a devastating turn of foot it will be interesting to discover what the optimum distance is for this hugely exciting colt.

The story so far:
Date Course Distance Race Class Position Odds £1 Level Stakes
1st May Newmarket 8GF 2,000 Guineas Group 1 Classic 6/19 EvensF -£1

TOTAL GALLERY
Trainer: Stan Moore
Owner: Coleman Bloodstock Limited

What we said: When taking the 2009 Prix de L’Abbaye, Total Gallery became the first 3 year old to win the race since 1997.

His trainer has always held him in high regard and stated afterwards that "...there won’t be anything to beat him next year."

Whether that proves to be true remains to be seen, especially with the Hungarian superstar sprinter Overdose set to return from his enforced lay off in 2009 and the expected invasion of top class sprinters from outside Europe at Royal Ascot.

However, Total Gallery rounded off 2009 with a good sixth against some crack southern hemisphere sprinters in the Hong Kong Sprint in December, and being another year older it is to be hoped that he will put up a bold showing in all of the top sprint races this summer.

The story so far:
Date Course Distance Race Class Position Odds £1 Level Stakes
1st May Newmarket 5GF Palace House Stakes Group 3 6/12 13/2 -£1
22nd May Haydock 5GF Temple Stakes Group 2 5/9 8/1 -£2
15th June Ascot 5Gd King's Stand Stakes Group 1 11/12 9/1 -£3
19th June Ascot 6GF Golden Jubilee Stakes Group 1 18/24 50/1 -£4

BONUS SUPERSTAR!
Alongside your ten to follow, we have picked out a potential world star. She may not race much in Britain, but watch out for this horse on the world stage this year....
DARYAKANA
Trainer: Alan de Royer Dupre
Owner: His Highness the Aga Khan

What we said: In 2008 the Aga Khan’s Zarkava won the Arc de Triomphe, taking her unbeaten record to 6 races before being retired to stud.

Her owner looks to have another potential star filly in the shape of Daryakana who made it 5 from 5 when taking the Grade 1 Hong Kong Vase in December beating a field of older, more experienced horses, including Youmzain who has finished 2nd in the Arc de Triomphe for the last three years.

Daryakana has shown herself to be adaptable when it comes to ground conditions and whilst it remains to be seen whether she will be seen in Britain this summer, she will take all the beating in the best middle distance races that she contests, and it would be no surprise if she was to emulate her former stable companion at Longchamp on the first Sunday in October.


Previous years...

2009/10 Jumps
Races: 30
Wins: 15
Places: 4
£1 Level Stakes Profit: +£9.64

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