- Lookaway, King Of Steel, and Ylang Ylang are amongst the top picks for 2024
- Frankie Dettori previously won Champion Stakes at Ascot with King of Steel
- Trainer Neil King pips Lookaway to be a star in 2024, alongside Vandeek
Steve Ryder and Chris Baker pick out their superstar horses to follow in 2024, including King Of Steel, Monty’s Star, Lookaway, and Stage Star.
Steve Ryder’s horses to follow
Stablemate City Of Troy could be aimed at the Triple Crown so this son of Minding looks set to be campaigned at a mile, with the French and Irish 2,000 Guineas and the St James’s Palace Stakes obvious early-season targets. He won all three starts last season, concluding with an impressive five-length victory in the Group One National Stakes at the Curragh.
Won three of her five starts as a juvenile and looks a leading contender at middle-distance trips next season, with the Oaks her likely main target. She relished the step up in trip in the Group One Fillies’ Mile on her last start at Newmarket and can be a flag-bearer for her sire Frankel in 2024.
King Of Steel
The Amo Racing colt looks sure to lock horns with Auguste Rodin on multiple occasions next season but could prove an even better horse in 2024 if he fills into his frame. Amo’s new retained rider David Egan will certainly look forward to partnering him. King Of Steel has the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and Coronation Cup as likely targets before aiming to retain his Champion Stakes crown.
I Am Maximus ridden by Paul Townend win The Boyle Sports Irish Grand National Chase
I Am Maximus
This quirky Willie Mullins-trained gelding won the Irish Grand National on his first start for owner JP McManus in April, defied double-figure odds to win the Grade One Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse on his reappearance in December and was fourth in yesterday’s Savills Chase. A tilt at the Aintree Grand National will be on the cards but he deserves a chance to compete in open Grade Ones in 2024.
Trained by Henry de Bromhead like his half-brother Monalee, this son of Walk In The Park is expected to reach lofty heights over fences in 2024. He beat stablemate Hiddenvalley Lake in a Grade Three Novice Hurdle at Clonmel last season and made an encouraging chasing debut at Fairyhouse over an inadequate trip behind Corbetts Cross and Three Card Brag. He is entered in a beginners’ chase at Punchestown over three miles on New Year’s Eve, no doubt prior to being aimed at the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival this year, ahead of a Gold Cup campaign the following season.
Chris Baker’s horses to follow
An impressive victory in the Group One Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket capped a fine juvenile campaign for the Simon and Ed Crisford-trained Vandeek. That was a second consecutive top-level success for the unbeaten colt, after he also won the Prix Morny in France. Connections seem likely to target a sprint campaign in 2024, with his main aim reported to be the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
John and Thady Gosden have introduced several of their future stars on the All Weather and recent Lingfield winner Kaleidoscope looks to be another very exciting prospect. By Kingman and out of a Group One winner, she is certainly bred to be top class and it was a smart debut performance. Classic glory will be the ultimate dream and she features in the antepost markets for the 1,000 Guineas and the Oaks.
A Royal Ascot winner on the Flat, Burdett Road has since made an excellent start to his hurdling career and is one of the leading contenders for the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. There is a feeling that he will be at his best on a sound surface, so his impressive performance in a Grade Two juvenile hurdle at Cheltenham in November can be upgraded as it came on rain-softened ground.
Lookaway is pipped to be a star in 2024 as trainer Neil King is singing his praises
King Of Steel was ridden by Frankie Dettori when he won the Qipco Champion Stakes at Ascot
Trainer Neil King says Lookaway could be the best horse he’s ever had. A point-to-point and dual bumper winner, he endured a tricky start to his hurdling career but has since won three times by a combined distance of more than 40 lengths and was last seen finishing second in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle. More success over the smaller obstacles is likely before a possible novice chase campaign later in the year.
Although last season ended in disappointment at Aintree, Stage Star returned to action by justifying favouritism in the prestigious Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham.
The winning margin would have been even more emphatic had he not almost come down at the final fence. The way he regained momentum to power up the hill demonstrated that he is a very good horse. Already a winner at the Festival (Grade One Turners Novices’ Chase), the Ryanair Chase is his likely spring target.