Hayley Turner shares her hopes and dreams for the 2020 season (when it finally resumes!)
With a further three week lockdown announced yesterday, we are sadly not going to be racing until the end of May at the earliest. I have picked out two horses that I can’t wait to be riding when we resume and two horses that I’d love to ride!
Beauty Choice didn’t make his debut until quite late on into his two year-old career where he finished 5th under Stevie Donohoe. I then rode him at Doncaster on his 2nd start where he finished a very close 2nd in a very hot race behind a well-backed horse of Roger Varian’s. I was really impressed with how he travelled through the race and we were a tad unfortunate as we won our duel with the third only to be done in the last 100 yards by the winner. The form of that race has worked out really well – the 5th (Brunch) won comfortably at Newcastle on his next start and Ed Walker’s Bold Suitor who finished in behind has gone on to win three races in a row. The race rode like a good one and I think Beauty Choice will be a decent horse to go to war with this season
Beauty Choice seen here finishing 2nd to Magnetised at Doncaster
LADY LIGHT, a 3yo filly in training with Michael Bell
Lady Light is perhaps the horse I’m most excited about riding when racing finally resumes. She was really impressive first time out at Yarmouth when she burst clear late on to win by four and a half lengths. She is bred to be very useful with plenty of speed in her pedigree. She cost €850,000 and is by Showcasing and out of a mare called Bird Key who is the dam of Tasleet who was a very fast sprinter for William Haggas who won the Group 2 Duke Of York Stakes. Although she was beaten on her second start in a listed race, she pulled hard that day on very soft ground so it was no surprise she didn’t quite get home. She has given me a fantastic feel over the winter and I can see her being very useful over six and seven furlongs this season.
Of those horses that I’d love to be riding, the obvious horse would be Pinatubo who swept all before him last season for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin. However, with the flat season shaping up as it is, I think he might be at a disadvantage to some of the more late maturing types. We don’t know yet if the Guineas will be run at all or when they’ll be and that could work against him. One horse that really caught my attention was WALDKONIG from the John Gosden yard. He only made his debut at Wolverhampton in December but that should not put you off at all. John Gosden has a habit of starting his best horses out in lesser contests on the all-weather, Enable and Jack Hobbs were two that did similar, and he could hardly have been more impressive that day. He swept to the front in a couple of strides off the bend and put the race to bed just like that, winning by an eased-down 9 lengths in the end. He is by Kingman who is a sire that can do no wrong and is a half-brother to last year’s Arc winner Waldgeist. He has plenty of size too so I can see him progressing a huge amount this year.
A half-brother to Arc winner Waldgeist, Waldkonig burst onto the scene at Wolverhampton in December
The other horse that I’d love to be riding on the flat is GOSHEN. Everyone saw what happened to him at Cheltenham in the Triumph Hurdle! He showed a serious engine that day and it’s incredibly exciting that they are going to campaign him back on the flat too. He looked really progressive last year in his two starts, winning by a combined 21 lengths. He will start the season off a mark of 88 which should give them plenty of scope to campaign him how they want. I see they have earmarked the £1m Ebor as a target for him but he’d need to go up at least 15lbs to get in but he looks to have every chance of doing that!
Goshen who was the unluckiest loser at the Cheltenham Festival is being aimed at the £1m Ebor Handicap in August