SPRING is here and before you know it the biggest and best Flat meetings will be in town.
Think the Derby, Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood – we have five horses who should be big players when it matters.
High Definition – Aidan O'Brien
We start with an obvious one – but a horse you are surely going to here a lot about this summer.
Trained by the Irish maestro O'Brien, High Definition is already clear 9-2 favourite for the Derby and short enough for the 2000 Guineas, too.
Unbeaten in two starts last season, he's bred to be a star and is clearly in the right hands.
He'll likely head straight to the Guineas at Newmarket, if not connections may train him solely for the Derby. Either way, on paper he's the one they all have to beat when the Classics quickly come in to play.
Supremacy – Clive Cox
Cox might not get the ammo some of the big guns do on the level, but year after year, boy does he deliver.
He is as good as it gets with his juveniles and more often than not they kick on again at three. Golden Horde flew the flag last season and Supremacy looks tailor-made to fill that void.
He burned off his rivals in a thrilling Group 1 Middle Park at the end of last season and you can bet your bottom dollar Cox will be training him backwards from the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
That stiff six furlong sprint track will be perfect for him and jockey Adam Kirby. Keep a close eye on this speed king.
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Alcohol Free – Andrew Balding
With the retirement of Kameko, both Balding and Oisin Murphy will be hopeful of another X-Factor horse in their stable this summer.
Already a Group 1 winner at two, thanks to her win in the Cheveley Park Stakes, she is surely set to be a player in the 1000 Guineas.
The bookies have her as a general 16-1 shot for that race and as things stand she looks the main British hope heading to Newmarket.
Expect to see her in a Guineas Trial next month.
Saffron Beach – Jane Chapple-Hyam
We all love an underdog and Newmarket-based Chapple-Hyam could have avery smart horse on her hands.
Saffron Beach was backed at big odds when making a taking winning debut last year and built on that with a Group 3 win next time out.
She heads into her three-year-old campaign unbeaten in two outings and will surely be trained for the 1000 Guineas now. Her course form at Newmarket is a big plus in that regard and she looks more than just a dark horse.
She'll have to take on the might of the Irish, John Gosden and the usual faces, but from what she's shown on the track so far, there's no reason to suggest she can't ruffle a few more feathers this summer.
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Royal Champion – Roger Varian
Last up, a more left-field horse for the season ahead.
Royal Champion's winning debut seemed to go under the radar when he won a hot looking race at Newmarket towards the end of last season.
He put an experienced field to the sword in good style and in Roger Varian has a smart handler to map out a suitable campaign.
The bookies have him with dozens of others at 33-1 for the Guineas and the Derby at Epsom.
Keep an eye on his early entries and you may get a guide as to where his trainer thinks he's best-suited. He's one to watch and might go well in some serious races at juicy odds.
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