The 2016 Flat campaign is over following high-class juvenile action at Newmarket, the Curragh and Doncaster in recent weeks, with plenty of clues stored up ahead of next year’s Classics.
We’ve identified three at double digits that catch the eye this far out:
As one of only three horses to have had warm 5/1 favourite Rhododendron behind him under rules, courtesy of a 25/1 Group 1 Moyglare Stakes shocker last time out, this Joseph O’Brien fillies’ chances are obvious.
Intricately won twice and finished third twice in four juvenile runs, with losses to Rhododendron and her fellow Ballydoyle hotpot Promise To Be True totalling less than 3l.
With brother Donnacha surely keen to stick with Intricately after tasting Group 1 success, the O’Brien boys putting it up to dad Aidan during Joseph’s first full season as a trainer would make some story.
Richard Hannon junior won the 2000 Guineas during his first Classic weekend in 2014 with 40/1 shot Night of Thunder, so such a scenario isn’t without precedent.
If the recent run of rank outsiders taking this continues then tipping up the Grand National will prove an easier task, with the aforementioned Night of Thunder and 14/1 Galileo Gold two of the past three 2000 Guineas winners.
Favourite Gleneagles was hardly on his own at 4/1 last year either, so current favourite Churchill – winner five times since third on debut including the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes earlier this month – cannot be contemplated at miniscule 6/4 odds.
That may mean the value lies with Rivet, whose ‘co-trainer’ Maureen Haggas suggested the impressive Group 1 Racing Post Trophy winner will be targeting a Guineas next summer following success at Doncaster.
Rivet may have finished fifth of seven at Newmarket in the Dewhurst, but the entire field was split by little more than 5l on that occasion, so hardly a blowout.
Certainly not enough to rule Rivet out after his Donny win. 16/1 looks too big.
Two of the past six Dewhurst winners took the laurels at Newmarket nine months later, but just two horses in the past quarter of a century have gone onto score at Epsom in June, with neither trained by O’Brien senior.
Churchill heads the market here too at somewhat more generous 6/1 odds, but while romantics will see the Galileo colt as a betting panacea, destined for Triple Crown glory, it doesn’t usually work out that way.
Ballydoyle stablemate Capri swerved the Dewhurst and will go into the next campaign off the back of three consecutive wins since a credible second on debut, including against beaten Racing Post Trophy favourite Yucatan last time out. He looks a fine alternative.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.