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The standout 2015 juvenile filly won at Leopardstown at the 2nd time of asking, before finishing runner-up to Ballydoyle in the Debutante Stakes and then reversing positions with her stablemate in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.
Then came her breathtaking performance in the Fillies Mile, at Newmarket in October. The likes of Nathra, Coolmore and Promising Run were put firmly in their place, with Minding 4.5 lengths to the good.
Aidan O’Brien’s inmate is favourite for both the Guineas and the Oaks. Minding was sired by Galileo and is out of a dam named Lillie Langtry.
This one may be a potential Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe winner, if she really comes good.
With William Buick on-board (as he was for all 3 of her races), Lumiere effortlessly won her debut outing with a 6-length defeat of Sharja Queen at Newmarket.
Stamina doubts were raised about Mark Johnson’s filly, when she was beaten by Besharah in the Lowther Stakes, but a return to Headquarters put those to bed.
Lumiere made all in the Cheveley Park Stakes and while a blanket could have been thrown over Illuminate, Besharah, Alice Springs and the winner, the Sharmadal-sired runner’s grit was admirable.
She’s amongst the favourites for both the Guineas and the Commonwealth Cup.
2nd in the Chesham Stakes, a short-head behind Suits You, Ballydoyle dropped back in class to shed her maiden tag at Newmarket in July.
Any suspicions that this outstanding-looking filly wasn’t up to the mark were quickly dispelled, however, when she beat Minding by a couple of lengths, in the Debutante Stakes.
Within a month, Minding looked a better prospect though. While Ballydoyle was only 3/4 of a length behind her stablemate, Minding won somewhat cosily.
Ballydoyle bid farewell to the 2015 campaign, with victory in the Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp, but previous winners do not have a great record as 3-year-olds in the UK.
She’s still one of the favourites, for both the Guineas and Oaks, but Aidan O’Brien’s other filly looks to have stolen a march on her.
#4 La Rioja
While Henry Candy’s charge avoided both Group 2 and Group 3 contests, as a juvenile, it was the manner of her victories in lesser races that really got the racing industry talking.
A 6-length defeat of Greenfyre, at Newbury, was followed by a 4.5 length victory over Richard Hannon’s Whatdoiwantthatfor in the Dick Poole Fillies Stakes at Salisbury.
“The only race she would have probably run in would have been the Cheveley Park Stakes, but she needed supplementing for that. She has a good future ahead of her.”, said Candy.
A tilt at the Guineas may be on the cards, although the Commonwealth Cup may be more within reach.
#5 First Victory
Out of a dam called Eastern Joy and sired by Teofilo, Saeed bin Suroor looks to have an absolute jewel on his hands.
The aptly named First Victory won on debut, proving half a length too smart for US raider Wholesome, at Newmarket.
She returned to the Suffolk racecourse to win the Oh So Sharp Stakes, at the expense of Alamode. Miss France won this 7f contest in 2013, before going on to win the Guineas as a 3-year-old.
Both the Guineas and the Oaks look likely targets, although she will need to progress further if she is to present the likes of Minding and Ballydoyle with a genuine threat.
#6 Polar River
Unbeaten in 3 starts, Polar River wasted no time in getting off the mark at a 6f race at Meydan.
Her other brace of outings also took place on the Dubai track. She easily beat Promising Run, in the UAE 1000 Guineas Trial, before going on to win the actual UAE 1000 Guineas in February.
Yet again, Godolphin’s Promising Run finished as a well-beaten runner-up (this time by 13 lengths) and it looks like they Congrats-sired juvenile is by far the most progressive of the pair.
Won the UAE Oaks, on her 2016 reappearance, although the field was only 3 horses strong and her victory was by less than a length.
A Richard Hannon-trained filly, sired by Zoffany and owned by Denford Stud, Illuminate won on debut at Salisbury in May. (beating stablemate Great Page).
She stepped up in class and won the Albany Stakes at Ascot, then made a name for herself by beating Besharah by a nose in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at Headquarters.
Illuminate tastd defeat for the first time, in the Cheveley Park Stakes. Lumiere finished half a length in front. Besharah and Alice Springs were a close 3rd and 4th.
A gruelling juvenile campaign was capped-off with a run in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, where she failed to place but was competitive.
Both the Guineas and the Commonwealth Cup will be in Hannon’s crosshairs.
Owned by the Aga Khan and trained by Dermot Weld, Tanaza is yet another Dubawi-sired filly with a big future in front of her.
Both of this juvenile’s wins have come at Leopardstown. She beat Minding on debut, by 2.5 lengths, then bested Aidan O’Brien’s Alice Springs in the Silver Flash Stakes.
Both of those superb horses finished ahead of her, in the Moyglare Stakes, as did their stablemate Ballydoyle.
Was last season’s Silver Flash winner just a flash in the pan? We’ll find out, when the 2016 campaign gets underway in Britain. She’s still regarded as a potential Oaks contender.
Aidan O’Brien will be giving this Galileo-sired filly 2 cheers, after a solid-enough juvenile campaign that never really hit the perfect note.
3rd on debut, at the Curragh, she was runner-up to Anamba when given every chance at Leopardstown.
She returned to the Curragh and shed her maiden tag in the Weld Park Stakes, then finished 4th in the Fillies Mile (7 lengths behind Minding).
Frankly, a little more was expected of this full-sister to Gleneagles. She may prove doubters wrong and become a Classic-winning 3-year-old, but others looked more promising in 2015.
However, with her pedigree (and O’Brien’s schooling), she will still be one to watch.
While John Gosden’s 2-year-olds certainly overshadowed by Aidan O’Brien’s, in 2015, He will take heart from the performances of the Iffraaj-sired Nathra.
She won her debut race, at Salisbury, like an old hand and then beat Alqubbah by 7 lengths in a 4-runner conditions contest at Newbury.
Only Minding proved too strong for her, in the Fillies Mile, with a sizeable gap back to both Hawksmoor and Coolmore.
Can this horse provide Gosden with his first 1000 Guineas victory, since Lahan in 2000?
#11 Turret Rocks
Turret Rocks had a busy juvenile season, which began with victory on debut at Gowran Park in June.
She was 3rd in the Silver Flash Stakes, 1.5 lengths behind Alice Springs and almost 3 lengths behind Tanaza.
Turret Rocks just failed to place in the Debutante Stakes, but still performed well and finished ahead of the classy Alice Springs.
Jim Bolger’s inmate then won the May Hill Stakes, before finishing runner-up to Ballydoyle in the Prix Marcel Boussac.
She looks to be Bolger’s best hope, in both the Guineas and the Derby.
This Sheikh Mohammed-owned German bay filly is trained by Ralph Beckett and was only seen once on the track as a 2-year-old.
Sired by Kamsin and out of a dam named Arpista (both German), she won by 3 lengths in a 1m contest at Nottingham and the form looks very reasonable.
2nd-placed Norse Magic finished runner-up, next time out at Newbury (behind John Gosden’s Chastushka), while 3rd-placed Purple Magic won her next race at Chelmsford City on the Polytrack.
Many punters feel that Beckett may have a Derby prospect on his hands and her 2016 reappearance is eagerly anticipated.
Tore-up the script, when beating the much-hyped Coolmore on debut at Leopardstown. Aidan O’Brien could have no real complaints, as his inmate was given every chance.
Anamba was then defeated by Coolmore, when the pair renewed acquaintances at the Curragh in the Weld Park Stakes. However, that was outing number 3 for the victor and Mick Halford clearly has a hot prospect on his hands.
Sired by Sharmadal and out of a dam calle Anamato, Anamba is owned by Godolphin. The Guineas looks the most-likely target.
#14 Even Song
Aidan O’Brien treated this Mastercraftsman-sired filly with kid-gloves, in 2015, only giving her a couple of outings in all.
She was slowly away, when debuting at Dundalk, but recovered and looked the best horse by the time the runners reached the winning post (Even Song finished 3rd, behind Lady Oak and The Yellow Bus).
She then won in very impressive style, at Leopardstown, beating Nudge by 3.5 lengths. She’s a Derby prospect, although O’Brien has no shortage of those.
Other horses sired by Mastercraftsman include Kingston Hill, The Grey Gatsby and Amazing Maria.
#15 Alice Springs
Unlike Even Song, Alice Spring faced a gruelling juvenile campaign which involved 7 races in 3 different countries.
She won on debut, at the Curragh, beating Jim Bolger’s Siamsaiocht by a couple of lengths. She was also victorious in the Tattersalls Millions 2YO Fillies’ Trophy, at Newmarket.
Between those wins came good performances in the Silver Flash Stakes, the Debutante Stakes, the Moyglare Stud Stakes and the Cheveley Park Stakes.
Alice Springs was runner-up in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf, on her final juvenile outing in October. She’s gained plenty of experience, but was she just a little overcooked in 2015?
Besharah also faced 7 outings in 2015 and won on debut at Ascot, over 5f. She was then sent by William Haggas to Windsor, where she beat Richard Hannon’s duo of Whatdoiwantthatfor and Ower Fly.
Both Acapulco and Easton Angel were too good for her, in the Queen Mary Stakes and she was unfortunate to be beaten by a nose in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes. Illuminate was the victor.
The Kodiac filly returned to winning ways, in the Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes, before defeating Lumiere in the Lowther Stakes.
However, both Lumiere and Illuminate got the better of her in the Cheveley Park Stakes. Besharah is a touch more exposed than others, but William Haggas may have a Commonwealth Cup contender on his hands.
#17 Beautiful Morning
Luca Cumani’s Galileo-sired filly didn’t pull up too many trees on her first outing and finished 4th, over 3 lengths behind Bint Al Reem, at Newmarket.
Owned by Jon Kelly, Beautiful Morning was then sent to York where she beat Very Talented by a length over 7f.
Her final race of the season was the Fillies Mile, at Newmarket. Held-up at the rear of the field, she came through the main body of the field fairly impressively, but found Minding, Nathra, Hawksmoor and Coolmore a little too quick for her.
She should gain a lot, from racing in that sort of company. Both The Guineas and the Oaks may tempt Cumani, as this filly looks a progressive sort.
#18 Best In The World
Another smart-looking Aidan O’Brien filly, sired by Galileo and out of Red Evie. The dam also foaled Found, winner of the Prix Marcel Boussac, the Royal Whip Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Turf.
Like Coolmore, this one has a tough name to live up to. She raced twice, as a juvenile, finishing half a length behind Rayisa in a 1m maiden at Gowran Park.
She then beat Dolce Strega (and Rayisa), in the Staffordstown Stud Stakes. O’Brien appears to want to keep his cards close to his chest, with this well-bred filly. She’s already receiving market-support for both the Guineas and the Oaks, though.
This chestnut filly was sired by Sea The Stars and is owned by Qatar Racing (the dam is Honorine).She’s trained by Sir Michael Stoute, who is overdue a good year.
Honorina put in just a brace of performances, as a juvenile. She was beaten by half a length, on debut at Doncaster. The winner was Bahaarah, who went on to win commandingly at Newmarket next time out.
As for Honorina, her 2nd and final 2015 encounter came at Kempton, on the Polytrack. She finished over 2 lengths behind the winner, Nemoralia, although that American filly went on to get 2nd place in the Frizette Stakes and 3rd in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
It will be interesting to see how she emerges as a 3-year-old. If Sir Michael has Classic ambitions for her, the Oaks looks the most likely goal.
Wesley Ward trains this enormous Scat Daddy-sired chestnut filly and she certainly threw her weight around in 2015!
3rd on debut, at Churchill Downs (USA), she had pundits going loco at Ascot when winning the Queen Mary Stakes by 1.5 lengths. Rizeena was the 2013 winner and she went on to win the Coronation Stakes in 2014.
Acapulco finished 2nd in the Nunthorpe Stakes, a couple of lengths behind Mecca’s Angel, in her final 2015 outing.
Ward has indicated that he fancies her chances in the King’s Stand Stakes, at Royal Ascot.