Andrew Balding Stable Tour 2020: The three-year-olds
In the first of a three-part series, the Betway ambassador reveals all you need to know about his three-year-olds ahead of the new Flat racing season.
We’ve got a very strong team this season and, in any other year, would have plenty on the go around now.
However, we’ve got to wait for a resumption to racing before we can get them going properly, as we don’t want them to boil over before the season begins.
We haven’t pressed the button with any of our two-year-olds at this stage and will bring them in to work later than usual, so we don’t really know where we are with them at the moment.
However, here’s everything you need to know about all the three-year-olds in our stable…
It was encouraging to see him win his only start to date when scoring easily at Kempton in February.
He’s always shown us that he’s got ability and he’s come on since that victory, too.
He’s currently on the backburner until we know more about the schedule, but he’s one of many three-year-olds that we’re looking forward to getting going.
This horse is a nice type and another one for us to look forward to.
He was fourth in two competitive-looking races at Ascot and Goodwood before getting off the mark at Chester over 7f. We then stepped him up to 1m2f at Newmarket in the Zetland where he finished a good third.
Another smart horse that I think we’ll have some fun with this season.
He was second at Kempton in March this year when doing all his best work late on, so will probably move up in trip as the season progresses.
I think he’ll end up staying 1¼m and that is when he’ll come into his own.
Fox Duty Free
This horse is still a maiden, so the plan will be to win a maiden or a novice race before moving up the ranks.
He ran well on his first start at Newbury before slightly disappointing in the Convivial at York on his second start, which is a race that has since worked out well. He was then runner-up at York on his last start.
I’m confident he’ll be winning races this term.
Group One Power
He’s two from two, winning well at both Kempton and Lingfield this year.
We don’t quite know what he’s achieved, but you can only beat what is in front of you and he’s done it both times he’s been asked. He should keep on improving and make a nice horse in time.
She’s a progressive filly who I really like. She’s got plenty of ability and will likely start in a maiden or a novice this term.
She was seventh on her debut at Goodwood and improved from that run to finish a good second back at Goodwood three weeks later. We’re hopeful she’ll stay 1¼m this season, too.
Kameko is obviously the one who is carrying a lot of our hopes this season. It’s great to have a horse of his calibre to go to war with and the 2000 Guineas – whenever that may be – will be his first target.
He was great last year, ending his season by winning the rearranged Group 1 Vertem Futurity Stakes at Newcastle in November.
He’s a big, strong horse who we’ve always hoped would make a better three-year-old, and he’s wintered well. We’ve just started to pick up his work and we’re excited to get him back out again.
This is another smart horse to keep on the right side of.
He’s a progressive colt and followed up a good second on debut with victory in the valuable Sales race at Doncaster. That race looked very competitive on paper and it was good to see him win in the style that he did.
It’s always nice to have horses for Her Majesty The Queen and it looks as though she’s got a couple of good ones with us at the moment.
It’s no secret that we thought a lot of this horse as we started him off in the Chesham at Royal Ascot. He didn’t really feature in a strong-looking race that was won by Pinatubo, but he’s still good.
He’ll start in a maiden or a novice race and will keep progressing.
This filly isn’t the biggest, but she’s got an enormous stride and a massive heart and that’s where her class comes from. She’s brave and kept improving last term and won a Group 2 for us.
I think what will be key is whether or not she can manage to stay a mile, and we’ll give her every chance to this season.
It’s fair to say that Symbolize was unlucky in the Windsor Castle. He was drawn in the middle when all the action came down the stand side. With that in mind, he ran very well to finish fourth.
He then ran a very good race at Newbury behind Golden Horde in the Richmond, but sadly picked up a slight injury which kept him off the track after that.
We’ve been pleased with him since he’s been back in and he’s another to look forward to.
This is another of Her Majesty’s horses and, similar to King’s Lynn, we think he’s another lovely prospect.
He absolutely bolted up at Kempton and I’d like to think he’ll stay as far as 1m6f in time. He’s the type who will keep on improving with racing, too.
He has won his last two starts well and is a big, strong horse.
We’re pleased with him and he’ll be plenty of fun. We don’t know what he’s achieved so far, but we’ll step him up and he’ll find his level.
Via De Vega
He won very well on his first start at Sandown when he made plenty of ground in the final furlong to get on top in a strong-looking novice race.
We took him to France for his next start where the ground was bottomless, and he just didn’t go through it properly. For that reason, I’m inclined to put a line through that run.
He’s done very well physically and we still have high hopes that he’ll make into a proper Group horse.
CHAD YEOMANS' ONE TO WATCH: HOLD FAST
It’s fair to say that Andrew has a really powerful team this season, and his three-year-olds are the most exciting bunch I can remember him having.
While there are obvious Group horses to look forward to in Kameko, Via De Vega and Punctuation, to name but a few, I’ve gone for one who I think has gone slightly under the radar.
Hold Fast was seventh in a competitive maiden on her debut at Goodwood and followed that up with a good second, splitting two smart colts in Volkan Star and Oslo back at the Sussex racecourse three weeks later.
Winning a maiden should be a formality and I’d be surprised if she doesn’t gain some black type before the end of the season.
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