116p Campanelle and Lucky Vega
Lucky Vega was an impressive winner of the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh, travelling strongly before sprinting clear in the final furlong to win by three-and-a-half-lengths.
There are some big names on the roll of honour for that Group 1 since the turn of the century, but only Johannesburg, George Washington, Mastercraftsman and Air Force Blue ran to a higher level than that achieved by Lucky Vega.
He should continue to be hard to beat, with the Middle Park Stakes reportedly up next.
Jessica Harrington’s charge is joined at the head of the rankings by Campanelle, who is the highest-rated two-year-old filly after her Prix Morny success at Deauville, where she made all the running to land the spoils by two lengths.
Trained in the US by Wesley Ward, she seems sure to go on improving and has plenty of options in the autumn, including the Cheveley Park Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.
114p Pretty Gorgeous, Supremacy
The last five renewals of the Debutante Stakes before this year had all gone the way of subsequent Group 1 winners, and Pretty Gorgeous looks well up to that level herself after putting some useful rivals to the sword in the latest running, beating Shale by two-and-a-half lengths.
Not yet the finished article, she should have even more to offer and will take plenty of beating in the Moyglare Stud Stakes back at the Curragh on Irish Champions Weekend.
Supremacy should also prove capable of making his presence felt in Group 1 company, such was the impression he created in winning the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood.
The timefigure and the style suggested it was well worth taking a positive view of his effort, seeming to show much-improved form on his third start to win by four lengths.
There is some stamina on the distaff side of his pedigree, but he looks speedy and would seem another obvious candidate for the Middle Park.
Method has won both starts to date, notably showing smart form to land the Rose Bowl Stakes at Newbury on the last occasion.
His debut success at Doncaster also had plenty of substance to it – the runner-up Fev Rover (107) has since won a Group 2 at Deauville – and Method rates an exciting prospect, who is likely to have some of the top two-year-old races on his agenda in the autumn.
112p Master of The Seas
Master of The Seas is also unbeaten in two starts, taking a big step forward from his debut to follow up in the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last time.
That form is proving solid, and, with further improvement on the cards, he will be a big player when attempting to provide Charlie Appleby with a third successive win in the National Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend.
111p Chindit, Minzaal
The Listed contest won by Chindit at Ascot could hardly have worked out better, with the second, third and fourth all winning next-time-out.
Chindit was well on top at the finish, too, identifying him as one to take seriously wherever he lines up next, with the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster reportedly being considered.
Minzaal is likely to be aimed at the Middle Park after his stylish victory in the Gimcrack Stakes at York, just needing to be pushed out after tanking into contention to win readily by two lengths.
He’s come a long way in a short space of time and is likely to go on improving, with no need to go further than 6 furlongs given how much speed he’s blessed with.
* The Flat Racing Editor of Timeform swung by Paddy Power’s weekly podcast From the Horses Mouth to give us the skinny on the best two-year-olds they’ve seen this season so far.
How do you reach your Timeform ratings?
When you are dealing with inexperienced horses, it can be quite difficult to know where to pitch things. With the two-year-olds, you rely quite a lot on the historical data. Trainers tend to be creatures of habit, in that they tend to run the same kind of horses in the same types of races.
So, when you get a horse that comes out and wins one race, you can compare it quite well with previous runnings of the same kind of race. That gives you a good pointer to start out. The time angle comes in then and you can do comparisons of what the horse has done in winning this race against the other races on the card.
Sometimes it can look impressive as a result, sometimes less so. If a horse has done a good time performance you are going to inclined to rate the race a higher. If the time doesn’t compare well, you would be more likely to rate the race lower. After that it’s a case of seeing how it works out and learning from that. If the race works out well you put the form up and if it doesn’t, you pull it down. It’s all learning as you go really.
So who is the best you’ve seen this season?
Campanelle is really impressive and it is nice to see these American two-year-olds holding their form and progressing well. She was really impressive at Royal Ascot and she has taken her form up another notch since then. In terms of the Timeform figures, she is now the joint-highest rated two-year-old at 116P. She’s got the same figure as Lucky Vega, who caught the eye when winning the Pheonix Stakes at the Curragh. Canpanelle has done it against the boys in France and if she does come back to Europe from the States, you’d imagine she’ll be back against the fillies in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket towards the end of September.
She sets a really good standard for the rest to aim at.
Any dark horses who can improve?
If you look at those that are towards the head of the Timeform ratings at the minute, they are all the kind that look more likely to be your Middle Park Stakes or Cheveley Park Stakes horses – six furlong types.
Those that are perhaps going to be running in races like the Dewhurst Stakes, the more late-maturing types, you are reliant on them to come through later.
For example, Battleground is Aidan O’Brien’s best two-year-old at the moment, but he’s only rated 110p as it stands – which is pretty low. It’s quite interesting to me how few two-year-olds Aidan O’Brien has that look potential stars at the minute.
The next highest one we’ve got for him behind Battleground is Military Style at only 103p and that’s a strange scenario to have with Aidan O’Brien. However, you just know that there must be a load of his that are going to be suited by 7 furlongs and a mile this year, and a mile-and-quarter or a mile-and-a-half next year.
They are just going to be bumping up their racing up later on and it is just a case of when we get to see them really.
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