Three-year-olds to follow for the 2020 Flat season

Ben Linfoot of the Sporting Life profiles a number of three-year-olds to follow once the Flat season gets up and running, including Classic prospects Albigna (Zoffany), Brentford Hope (Camelot) and Shekhem (Zoffany).

Albigna (Jessica Harrington)

She was most brilliant in the Prix Marcel Boussac, but, in truth, there were many signs last season that Albigna [ZOFFANY] had a touch of the superstar about her. As early as her debut she looked something out of the ordinary when getting up to beat Tango and her subsequent Group Two success in the Airlie Stud Stakes at the Curragh was another late smash and grab rubber-stamped with class. In season when below her best in the Moyglare, Albigna bounced right back to top form in Paris with an authoritative victory, one that proved she loved a bit of soft ground as well, while in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf she shaped like the best horse, unsuited by the tight turns of Santa Anita, finishing best of all. It’s with hope she gets to take her chance in a Guineas, whenever that might be, but wherever Jessica Harrington has to point her she is a filly to follow, with middle-distances likely to bring about further improvement, even though she’s far from devoid of speed.

Brentford Hope (Richard Hughes)

“The trainer has been going on about him for a while,” said Jamie Spencer, straight after he jumped off Brentford Hope [CAMELOT] at Newmarket last October. “I text my agent and asked him to get me on him as Hughesy had been banging on saying he’s got a good one.” By the looks of it, a good one he has got. A very good one. Brentford Hope couldn’t have been more impressive on his sole racecourse appearance so far. It was a 10-furlong Newmarket maiden and there were likely several slow horses in behind, but Brentford Hope cantered all over them before sprinting away for a brilliant and effortless success. He’s by Camelot out of a Raven’s Pass mare and looks to have pace as well as stamina. An exciting prospect.

Shekhem (Dermot Weld)

The Beresford Stakes at the Curragh has a strong tradition of producing top-quality three-year-olds. Nijinsky, Sadler’s Wells, Azamour, Sea The Stars, St Nicholas Abbey, Capri, Saxon Warrior and Japan all won the Beresford at two and the last four named were trained by Aidan O’Brien. He won it again in 2019 with Innisfree who went on to be second to Kameko at Newcastle [Gr.1 Vertem Futurity] on his final start at two. The son of Galileo could have easily made the list but I was really taken by the effort of the runner-up at the Curragh, Shekhem [ZOFFANY], who might just develop into a really useful three-year-old for Dermot Weld. He got warm before the Beresford and was way too keen early on, but he went down fighting by a neck in the style of a horse that wants to race. If he learns to settle better he can go far – in both senses of the phrase – as on pedigree he should get a bit further, as well.

Courtesy of, April 7th