With the thrills and spills of the jump racing season now drawing to a close in Britain and Ireland, attention will now turn to the 2023 flat racing season which promises to be another big year in the ‘Sport of Kings’.
Many of flat racing’s equine superstars are now being put through their final paces before they make their first foray onto the turf to do battle in some of the most prestigious events in the world of sport.
Below are ten flat-racing superstars to keep your eye on for the campaign ahead.
Master Irish trainer, Aidan O’Brien, will feature heavily on this list, and first up is his star staying filly, Emily Dickinson. The stamina-laden four-year-old is one horse that has already shown her hand in 2023, easily winning a Listed contest at Navan. Although it is early in the season, she is already a 3/1 favourite in the horse race odds for the Ascot Gold Cup.
Little Big Bear
With the horse racing results showing four wins from five starts to date, including a Group 1 at the Curragh in August, it is little surprise that Little Big Bear was the highest-rated two-year-old last season. A very talented sprinter, Aidan O’Brien has made the surprise decision of naming him as a possible runner in the 2000 Guineas to start the season.
Despite having just two starts to date, Dermot Weld’s Tahiyra is the current 3/1 ante-post favourite for the 1000 Guineas. The beautifully-bred filly was a maiden winner on debut at Galway and was an extremely impressive winner of the Group 1 Moyglare Stakes on just her second start. A big season could lie ahead.
Another filly with just two starts that has a date with the 1000 Guineas is the Karl Burke-trained, Electric Eyes. She was beaten in the Rockfel Stakes at the end of last season, but she looks like one that can improve rapidly this season and is definitely one to watch.
One of the most consistent horses of the 2022 season, My Prospero is another horse to watch in his 4y0 campaign. Trained in Britain by William Haggas, My Prospero was close to recording two Group 1 wins last year, and with a little more improvement likely, it could be a big year ahead.
Heading back to Aidan O’Brien’s amazing team, we find another powerful Classic contender, Auguste Rodin. A clear favourite for this year’s Derby, he has just one blip on his record and finished last season with an impressive first Group 1 win. He is likely to be a big contender in all of the Classics this season.
Another top performer from the yard of William Haggas, Educator is not quite at the level of other horses on this list. That could be about to change in 2023, however, as he has huge untapped potential that could see him reach the top table of flat racing this season.
One of the elder statesmen on the list, Kinross had an exceptional campaign last year, winning half of his eight races, including two Group 1 races. He is versatile towards trip and ground, and he will have a strong chance of winning whatever races he may be targeted at.
Highfield Princess is a filly that seems to be continuing to improve with the more racing she does. Trained by John Quinn, the now six-year-old racked up a sequence of three top-level wins last year, and she is likely to continue her impressive career as a sprinter in 2023.
It may be a little surprising to see a horse with just one start to his name here, but the Charlie Appleby-trained Imperial Emperor has the potential to announce himself on the world stage in a big way in 2023. Currently, the second favourite for the Derby, the big bustling three-year-old is another that could make his mark in this season’s Classics.