On the eve of the season's first Classic, Chris McGrath picks 7 lesser lights it will pay to follow
1 ABLE MASTER
Has joined a young trainer who has made his name by upgrading recruits from other stables, and this looks another which can benefit from the transfer to Yorkshire -- despite a poor run in desperate ground at Ripon the other day. Very well treated now, he looks ready for a return to seven furlongs.
2 Cape Classic
Won only one of his first four handicaps last year but none the less suggested he will surpass his rating this time round, not least as he is a half-brother to one which flourished with maturity. Given a strong pace over six furlongs, he can win a big handicap.
Disappeared after midsummer but has been working well this spring and conforms luminously to a familiar profile for connections, as one sure to reward their patience by coming of age. Has still only had two starts outside maiden company, set plenty to do against Nathaniel at Royal Ascot and just caught out when again second at Goodwood.
4 High Jinx
Beaten in both handicaps to date, including on his reappearance at Doncaster, but that was over 10 furlongs and this son of High Chaparral, out of a sturdy German line, is guaranteed to relish longer distances. Could not be in better hands.
5 Lyric Street
No trainer could be too optimistic of getting more out of a horse than Luca Cumani, but this gelding has changed stables with an air of unfinished business. After solid groundwork over 10 furlongs on his first couple of starts at three, he failed to live up to expectations when stepped up to 14 furlongs -- a distance that he had seemed to crave on both pedigree and running style. Could yet turn over a new leaf.
Light campaign at two was all positive, as was his return in a handicap at Doncaster, meeting traffic on his way through from the rear before closing fast into midfield. That was his first start at 10 furlongs and represented only the tip of the iceberg in terms of his potential for middle distances, as a son of the slow-maturing Arc winner, Rail Link.
From a stable going places, this well-bred colt looks sure to win races after qualifying for a mark in three maiden spins at two. Admittedly he might have started rather lower than 80 had he not shown quite so much of his hand in the last of them, but the way he flew home after the winner had gained first run left no doubt of his ability.