Combine Strong Suit with some wild cards

As the new Flat season gets under way, Chris McGrath nominates 10 horses to follow, from Dordogne to Montparnasse


Alben Star (trainer: Richard Fahey)

3-y-o Clodovil colt; form 116-

The only horse in their stable last season whose work compared to its unbeaten Group One winner, Wootton Bassett. Won a maiden and nursery on his first two starts, and easily pardoned first defeat as warm favourite at York next time. Quite apart from the much softer ground, he was hampered twice and found to have pulled muscles on his return home. His first target is a valuable sprint handicap back at York.

Circus Clown (Jim Goldie)

6-y-o Vettori gelding; 65495-6/

Almost looks too good to be true, but could prove a cashpoint on four legs in weak handicaps. Having shown little for his previous trainers, he has flourished over hurdles for his new yard this winter, beaten only once in three starts. He has soared up the weights, but can return to the Flat with a prehistoric rating that makes him eligible even for 0-50 handicaps.

Dordogne (Mark Johnston)

3-y-o Singspiel colt; 13-

First-time-out winners from this stable can be pretty exceptional, and this one smashed his way past a couple of decent types on his debut at Goodwood in September, opening up by four and a half lengths. Dropped to a mile for his only subsequent start, and just lacked the toe to go with two smart prospects. Could prove useful over longer distances.

Fulgur (Luca Cumani)

3-y-o High Chaparral colt; 231-

Laid solid foundations when still a raw physical specimen at two. Second on his debut, he remained too green next time but got it all together stepped up to a mile at Newbury. Guaranteed to prosper as he strengthens and his stamina is drawn out. Could be one for the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot.

Izzi Top (John Gosden)

3-y-o Pivotal filly; 2-

Has a top-class staying pedigree, out of a smart half-sister to Opera House and Kayf Tara, and showed huge promise in a Doncaster maiden last autumn, failing by only half a length to catch a better fancied stablemate, while spared a demanding ride on her debut. Could be fast-tracked to an Investec Oaks trial this spring.

Kepler's Law (Sir Mark Prescott)

3-y-o Galileo gelding; 0996-

Conforms to his stable's standard model, backward when hastily qualifying for a mark in maidens at two. Past experience guarantees a very different animal in middle-distance handicaps. His genes blend class with deep reserves of stamina and he starts off with a rating of just 57.

Montparnasse (Kevin Ryan)

4-y-o Montjeu gelding; 476115358-

Changed hands after a steady first campaign for Brian Meehan, winning two handicaps and subsequently suggesting more than once he had still more to offer. Has been gelded, and trainer has a good record with horses from other stables. One to watch in the big staying handicaps.

Recession Proof (John Quinn)

5-y-o Rock Of Gibraltar gelding; 215/500-

Has made tremendous improvement over hurdles, winning the Totesport Trophy and then fifth in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Festival. Will be well treated when he switches codes, after another start over timber first, at Aintree next week.

Strong Suit (Richard Hannon)

3-y-o Rahy colt; 1132-

At 25-1, a very fair each-way alternative to the red-hot Frankel in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas. Long considered best of his stable's prolific juvenile division last term, he impressed on his Newbury debut and then burst through traffic to get up in a photo at Royal Ascot. Failed to settle when worried out of a Group One at the Curragh, and easily forgiven Middle Park defeat in the testing conditions. A mile on fast ground could still confirm him to be top-class.

Yaseer (Marcus Tregoning)

3-y-o Dansili colt; 21-

Most only had eyes for Carlton House, runaway winner of a Newbury maiden last October, but the colt who crept into a distant second also has a future. From Sheikh Hamdan's very best family, he readily landed short odds in a Kempton maiden during the winter, a modest race on paper but one that has since produced four winners. A rating of 85 gives his trainer plenty of options.

Turf account

Nap

Prince Apollo (4.20 Musselburgh) Raised 6lb for narrow success at Lingfield on his debut for Gerard Butler, but had given the other principals a lavish start and this well-bred animal remains well treated on the form he showed in France in his youth.

Next best

Artic Night (4.0 Newcastle) Worth another chance, despite failing to convert promise in maidens into instant handicap success at Ayr last time, perhaps just failing to get home over three miles in demanding conditions.

One to watch

Yours (Kevin Ryan) Earned a low rating in maidens but promised to make it count when dropped in trip for her handicap debut at Catterick on Wednesday, no chance after rearing at the gate but flying into midfield late.

Where the money's going

Roderic O'Connor is 8-1 from 10-1 with Coral for the Qipco 2,000 Guineas.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind the scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

C# Algo-Developer (BDD/TDD, ASP.NET, JavaScript, RX)

£45000 - £69999 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Algo-Develo...

Senior Data Scientist (Data Mining, Apache Mahout, Python,R,AI)

£60000 - £70000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: Senior Data Sc...

Data Scientist (SQL,Data mining, data modelling, PHD, AI)

£50000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: Data Sci...

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone