The 2019 flat season was an entertaining one and brought a lot of exciting and talented two year olds but with the 2020 flat season starting in a couple of months we thought it would be a good idea to look at the now 3 year olds and see who the ones to watch are and look back over their first ever season as 2 year olds in 2019 where some of them performed very well winning group 1s and even went unbeaten. So without further ado, in no particular order lets take a look at the top 5 three year old horses who are already so good but still have a lot more potential to perform even better and become some of the best horses in Europe this year.
The magnificent Irish bred, Godolphin owned, Charlie Appleby trained colt, unbeaten Pinatubo is probably the best 3 year old in Europe and possibly the world at the moment after a great debut season in 2019.
Charlie Appleby couldn’t have asked for a better start to the season from him as he won his first two races; a novice and a conditions race. Those two winners would take him to Royal Ascot in June under jockey James Doyle which would see him win the listed Chesham stakes over Lope Y Fernandez by 3 and a quarter lengths. Pinatubo’s great win in Royal Ascot would earn him a place in Goodwood for the group 2 Qatar vintage stakes and at 6\4 favourite James Doyle would ride him to glory as he beat Positive by 5 lengths.
Pinatubo looked very impressive after Goodwood glory and racing fans were asking for him to run in a group 1 and their wish would come through in September as he would run in the Vincent O’Brien national stakes in the Curragh on champions day. William Buick would ride him for the first time as he was injured for Pinatubo’s other glory but the new rider didn’t trouble him as he left racing fans exasperated when he would win his first group 1 impressively by 9 lengths over Aidan O’Brien trained Armory at 1\3 favourite. After his first group 1 winner in the Curragh nearly a month later William Buick would ride Pinatubo in the famous Darley Dewhurst stakes in Newmarket and he would once again be 1\3 favourite and after running nicely along the middle throughout the race he would end leading the race inside the final furlong to cap off a great ride by beating Arizona by 2 lengths to win his 2nd group 1 at just 2 years old.
Pinatubo is clearly a great horse who is still unbeaten and looks like he has a very bright future ahead of himself as he looks set to probably attempt the 2000 guineas and the Derby this year and has the potential to possibly win the Arc in the next couple of years as well.
The American bred colt, owned by Khalid Abdullah and trained by Ger Lyons was arguably the best 2 year old in Ireland last year after winning 5 out of 5 including the group 1 Phoenix stakes in the Curragh overcoming an impressive team of horses from Aidan O’Brien’s BallyDoyle stables. Siskin impressed when he ran but didn’t run as much as racing fans would have liked him to as he was a joy to watch anytime he went out.
After winning his debut race an EBF race in Naas under Colin Keane Siskin was entered straight into the listed Marble stakes race in the Curragh and he was 11\8 favourite under Colin Keane once again and didn’t fail to impress after beating King Neptune by 2 and half lengths to win a listed race on just his second start. After winning 2 from 2 Siskin and Colin Keane were all set for the group 2 Gain railway stakes in the Curragh on Derby day and was well fancied at 4\6 favourite and he didn’t disappoint after coming home to beat Monarch of Egypt by 2 and a half lengths to win his first group 2 and looked likely to enter a group 1 soon enough. As expected a month later Siskin was declared for the group 1 Keeneland Phoenix stakes in the Curragh last August and Colin Keane would ride him once again and there was no doubt that Siskin would be the favourite again this time the heavy favourite at 10\11 and his only real expected contest was Monarch of Egypt and as expected the both of them battled it out for their first group 1 but it was to be Siskin’s day after beating Monarch of Egypt only just by 3 and 4 quarters lengths. In September Siskin looked all set to run int the Middle Park stakes in Newmarket and was ready to go in the stalls before unexpectedly knocking jockey Colin Keane off his back before being instantly withdrawn from the race which was very disappointing as King Abdullah’s racing manager Lord Teddy Grimthorpe said that it was completely unexpected ah he is one of Abdullah’s calmest horses.
The incident in Newmarket was obviously a set back for Ger Lyons and Siskin but the horse is still uneaten after he ran 5 wonderful races and is expected to hopefully run against some amazing horses hopefully including Pinatubo and Earthlight in the 2000 guineas in May which would be like a clash of the titans for racing fans.
The Irish bred and Godolphin owned colt trained by Andre Fabre in Chantilly, France in my opinion he was the best 2 year old in France last season after winning 2 group 1 races in just 5 starts.
The season started off very well for Earthlight after winning his first 2 races which were both condition races under Mickael Barzalona he was entered into the group 3 Darley Prix de Cabourg in Deaville just over a month after his debut. Mickael Barzalona gave him a good ride but he didn’t have to do much near the finish as Earthlight won the race by 4 lengths at 13\10 favourite. Andre Fabre was clearly impressed by his horse and gave Earthlight the tough task of his first group 1 in August as he would run in the Darley Prix de Morny in Deauville once again. Experienced French jockey Mickael Barzalona would get the leg up on Earthlight once again and as expected the horse got the job done once again winning his first group one but he was nearly beaten after just overcoming Frankie Dettori and Raffle Prize by a neck who ran a great race. In September Earthlight was declared for the group 1 Middle Park stakes in Newmarket under Mickael Barzalona once again and was all set for a tough clash against fellow group 1 winning horse Siskin and Earthlight was just fancied over the Ger Lyons trained horse at 11\4 favourite and got lucky in the stalls after Siskin never came out and was withdrawn because of the unseated rider but Earthlight didn’t seem to care anyway as he went on to closely beat Golden Horde to win his 2nd group 1 in just over a month.
Earthlight is clearly a very impressive horse who is still unbeaten and is hopefully all set to battle in a mouth-watering clash hopefully against Pinatubo and Siskin in the 2000 guineas in May.
The first of two fillies on this list bred in Great Britain, owned by King Abdullah and trained by Roger Charlton Quadrilateral is the horse on this list who has ran the least and shocked me more than the others.
Quadrilateral has only ran 3 times but she has impressed as she won her first 2 races nicely after winning her maiden by a neck over Mambo nights rode by Jason Watson in August and then just over a month later in September she would cruise past the post to win impressively by 9 lengths over Kalsara and she was rode by young jockey and 2018 English champion apprentice Jason Watson once again. Quadrilateral had obviously really impressed Roger Charlton and he surprised me when he declared her for her first group 1 the Bet 365 fillies mile in Newmarket in October in just her 3rd start but clearly it was the right decision as Jason Watson gave her a really good ride as she just beat Powerful Breeze by a head at 9\4 favourite to win her first group 1 in just her 3rd start which was completely amazing and outstanding.
After already winning a group 1 and unbeaten in just 3 starts Quadrilateral clearly looks like a great filly and has so much potential to win more group 1 races and at the moment she is heavily fancied for the 1000 guineas and the oaks in May and June respectively.
The last spot on this list was a tough call between the amount of good Aidan O’Brien trained colts including the likes of Wichita, Mogul, Armory, Arizona and Monarch of Egypt or Andre Fabre’s Victor Ludorum, or Jessica Harrington’s Albigna or finally Aidan O’Brien’s Love but Great Britain bred, H H SH Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa owned and Roger Varian trained filly Daahyeh came out on top after a great season.
Daahyeh started off her season very well winning on her debut in Newmarket under David Egan in a novice race before racing in the group 3 Albany stakes in Royal Ascot under David Egan once again in her second start and impressed when she would beat the 24 other horses in the race to win claim her first group 3 win. Less than a month after winning in Royal Ascot Daahyeh would just be beaten by a length by Raffle Prize in the group 2 Duchess of Cambridge stakes in Newmarket but Roger Varian and the racing community still had lots of faith in her because 2 months later she would run in her first ever group 1 the Moyglare stud stakes in the curragh on Irish champions day and be rode by William Buick for the first time and was put down as 13\8 favourite and she did impress in an intense battle with Aidan O’Brien trained Love and jockey Ryan Moore but she was just got the better of and came 2nd by 3 and a quarters lengths but she did impress and got loads of praise after the race but was still yet to win a group 1 or group 2. 12 days after just coming 2nd in the Moyglare stud stakes Daahyeh would run in Newmarket for the group 2 Shadwell rockfell stakes under jockey William Buick once again and as expected she won the race at 11\8 favourite by half a length over Stylistique which was a big boost for her and Roger Varian’s team as they were disappointed about the two 2nd finishes in a row but racing fans clearly think she is a wonderful horse who is capable of a big win because just over a month later she was declared for the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf group 1 race in Santa Anita in the United States of America. Daahyeh was heavily backed against a group of quality horses the best fillies around that age were competing for the big cash prize of $433,000 to the winning horse and Daahyeh under very experienced jockey William Buick for the 3rd time and they were surprisingly 7\2 favourites even after not winning a group 1 yet but William Buick gave her a great ride as she stayed on towards the middle of the pack throughout most of the race before bursting through but she just couldn’t catch up to the winner and just missed out on Breeders Cup glory by 1 and 1 quarters lengths to the 16\1 surprising winner Sharing.
Even though she is yet to have tasted group 1 glory Daahyeh in my opinion was one of the best 2 year old fillies last year even after a 2nd place finish in the Breeders Cup that is still amazing and it is unfortunate that she didn’t beat Raffle Prize in the Duchess of Cambridge stakes because if she did I think she would have won a group 1 by now but she is on the right track and she is hopefully set to run in the 1000 guineas and the oaks this year.
In the 2019 flat racing season there was clearly a lot of exciting young and hungry 2 year olds coming up but now they will hopefully be even better and stronger and the 2020 flat racing season looks to be a good one and hopefully some of those horses we looked at are ready to come up against each other in mouth watering crunch group 1 races.