As the 2021 Flat season draws to a close, with the prestigious British Champions Day at Ascot bringing an end to this thrilling campaign that has been full of surprises, now seems like the perfect time to look ahead to next year and take a look at some of the horses who could make a name for themselves on the flat.
Several two-year-olds have caught the eye this season and have the potential to have a good year in 2022, but we have narrowed it down to just a handful of horses who we think will be in contention in the biggest and best Group 1s. So, read on as we take a look at four horses to watch next year…
Luxembourg has been raced just twice so far in his two-year-old season, with the Futurity Trophy Stakes later this month, a contest he is the heavy favourite to win in the horse betting, set to round off his year. The Aidan O’Brien-trained horse has been impressive thus far though, with a debut win in a Median Sires Series Race at Killarney back in July before backing that up with a Group 2 win in the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh in September. It is still early days, but Luxembourg is already being tipped to win next year’s Epsom Derby and the St Leger, whilst he is also in contention for the 2,000 Guineas. He is certainly one to watch.
Another horse who has had a fantastic two-year-old season, Native Trail won a Maiden Stakes at Sandown on his debut in June before landing the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at the Newmarket July Festival. The big wins have just kept coming for trainer Charlie Appleby and his number one jockey William Buick, as the pair won the Group 1 Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh last month. His season has just kept getting better, as Native Trail landed the Darley Dewhurst Stakes back at Newmarket, where he was the odds-on favourite. The Appleby-trained horse is the early favourite for the 2,000 Guineas and the Irish edition of the race at the Curragh, whilst he could be in with a shout at the Derby if his good form continues.
It wouldn’t be a list of horses to watch without one from John and ThadyGosden’s yard and the horse we have picked out is Inspiral. The two-year-old is another yet to be beaten in her inaugural season, winning a Maiden Fillies’ Stakes at Newmarket with Robert Havlin in her saddle back in June. Frankie Dettori has taken the reins since, winning the Listed Star Stakes at Sandown in July before making it three successive victories with a Group 2 triumph in the May Hill Stakes at Doncaster last month. Inspiral rounded her two-year-old season off with a fourth win in the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket, and is already heavily fancied for the Epsom Oaks and both the English and Irish editions of the 1,000 Guineas.
It hasn’t been the maiden season that O’Brien probably envisioned forTenebrism. The two-year-old suffered a setback after winning her debut outing at Naas in March, where she beat GaireOsArd over the line by almost four lengths, and she wasn’t seen on the track again until the Cheveley Park Stakes last month. Even O’Brien was surprised to see Tenebrism win the six-furlong race on her return from 14/1, and it’s a victory that saw her move into second favourite for the 1,000 Guineas. The two-year-old could head stateside for the Breeders’ Cup, with her Irish trainer claiming he ‘would be delighted to go.’