Spanish racing received an enormous boost last week when the Gran Premio de Madrid recovered its Listed status for 2022 and hopefully this can be the first step to raising the profile of racing in Spain to where it once was. The 5 Classics in Spain are all run at La Zarzuela in Madrid and having looked through the horses registered in training for 2022, there are some nicely bred types to look out for this year. There are plenty of Spanish horses who make successful raids across the Pyrenees into France, especially in the South at courses like La Teste and Dax, so some thorough research into those trained in Spain can bare fruit. Most UK bookmakers will offer betting into the weekend racing in Spain, so there is an angle here to be exploited. With that in mind I’ve had a look through some of the more exciting Juveniles who are due to make their debuts in the coming weeks.
The Grey Gatsby x Alyssandre (Oasis Dream)
A daughter of Irish Champion Stakes and Prix du Jockey Club winner The Grey Gatsby, Akira comes from a good family which includes G2 Prix Corrida winner ARMANDE. Her dam Alyssandre made a promising start to her career when she finished 2nd on debut at Deauville for Stephane Wattel in 2014 but failed to train on. 2 of her progeny have reached the track and both have run their better races in the early stages of their career, so there is a good possibility that Akira may well prove to be quite precocious. Her pedigree would suggest that a trip between 1600-2000m should be her ideal and she is a nice type to look forwards to.
Noozhoh Canarias x Good Morning Star (Shirocco)
If there is a Stallion to put Spain on the Map then it is likely to be Noozhoh Canarias. 2nd in the Jean-Luc Lagardere as a juvenile, he won the Premio Torre Arias in Madrid before going on to be a creditable 6th in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in 2014 behind Night of Thunder, Kingman and Australia. He has made a good start to his career as a Sire and connections will be hoping that Clifford can build on that in 2022. A son of Good Morning Star, who was a 97 rated race mare trained by Mark Johnston who won the Cheshire Oaks in 2012. She was precocious as a Juvenile, as was her dam Hollow Ridge who won on debut. With a lot of speed in the pedigree from his Sire and on the Dam’s side, Clifford could be just the type to make a fast start to his career in Spain.
Estidhkaar x Queensbrydge (Dutch Art)
A daughter of Estidhkaar, LADY MCQUEEN is out of Queensbrydge, who won twice for Robyn Brisland and reached a peak rating of 88, finishing 4th behind The Last Lion in the Group 3 Sirenia Stakes at Kempton in 2014. The grand-dam Meydan Princess also won at 2 before adding the Listed October Stakes as a 3-year-old when she was trained by Jeremy Noseda. She finished her career in the US, winning a Handicap at Del Mar for James Cassidy. Most of her pedigree would suggest that she should be fairly precocious, though it is surprising that she didn’t make the track as a juvenile, but there is enough on her page to suggest she can make her mark when she does make her debut.
SAFO DE MILITENE
Nathaniel x Aspasia de Mileto (Hurricane Run)
J M Osorio
The final horse to look out for is probably more of a long term project. A daughter of Nathaniel out of a Hurricane Run mare, she is likely to need a decent trip to show her best form but SAFO DE MILITENE has a nice pedigree for Spanish racing. Her dam, ASPASIA DE MILETO won her first 2 starts in Madrid in 2010 and went on to place in the Listed Prix de Liancourt at Paris Longchamp for Carlos Laffon-Parias. Her best trip was around 10-furlongs and she seemed to appreciate a better surface, which should make her ideally suited to the turf tracks in Madrid and San Sebastian.