Chaldean developed into one of the best two-year-olds around last season, improving at a rate of knots after opening his account at the second attempt over the same course and distance which the Greenham is run. He was well backed on the back of that success to follow up in the Acomb Stakes at York and he confirmed himself a force to be reckoned with when defeating the same rival he had at York by an even bigger margin in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster next time.
Chaldean took his form up another notch when notching a first Group 1 success in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket on his final start. In the absence of Little Big Bear and the supplemented-then-withdrawn
Mill Reef winner Sakheer, it was an open renewal, but Chaldean’s willing attitude and uncomplicated style of racing once again shone through, soon sent into the lead and staying on well in the closing stages.
He sets the standard on form now that Noble Style will reportedly miss the race and this should set Chaldean up perfectly for his 2000 Guineas bid.
Hurricane Lane looks to get back to winning ways
Hurricane Lane was most progressive as a three-year-old, recording five wins from his seven starts over trips ranging from a mile and a quarter to a mile and three quarters. He won the Dante at York before finishing third in the Derby at Epsom and recorded his first top-level success in the Irish Derby at the Curragh, giving his trainer Charlie Appleby an Anglo-Irish Derby double.
Hurricane Lane found plenty in the closing stages that day after it looked like the runner-up had flown, suggesting he would stay even further, and he confirmed that impression when landing a second classic in the St Leger at Doncaster (he also won the Group 1 Grand Prix de Paris in between). Hurricane Lane ran a blinder when a close third in a soft ground Arc on his final start that season, having every chance in the final furlong but caught by one coming from further back and only losing second place on a head-bob.
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He suffered a setback which delayed his return last season and he looked rusty when a beaten favourite in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, but was unable to build on that effort on his only other start last year when beating only one rival in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud.
Ease in the ground appears to be important for Hurricane Lane, so that is a possible excuse for his latest effort, and he impressed in a racecourse gallop at Newmarket on Tuesday. This looks an ideal starting point for him and he will be the one to beat under conditions he should relish.
Bridestones looks a smart prospect
Bridestones has an excellent pedigree – out of unbeaten two-year-old mare White Moonstone, who won the Fillies’ Mile – and she could hardly have been more impressive when making a winning debut over a mile at Yarmouth last season. The ones with experience in that novice event didn’t set an exacting standard and Bridestones looked a cut above her rivals, travelling fluently before being produced to lead approaching the final furlong and sealing the deal with a sharp turn of foot in the closing stages.
The Gosden yard have used that race to introduce some smart types in the past, notably Frankly Darling, Fanny Logan and Mehdaayih, so that bodes well for her future and, while her pedigree suggests she will excel over middle distances later this season, it may be telling that she is set to make her return over seven furlongs. She didn’t look short of speed on her debut, though, so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and she has the potential to go right to the very top this year.
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