The flat season has flown by, and we are into the last leg of the top juvenile races before the cold sets in for the Winter. We have seen some performances that yield champion status already, while some areas have a more muddied outlook on it at the moment. It’s always a risk predicting how a two-year-old will fare next season given many factors, but here is a two-year-old who could pay dividends next season.
Two-year-olds to Follow for Next Year
Every season it is expected that the major yards, Gosden and O’Brien to name two, would be right at the cream of the crop. However, in the fillies’ division the label falls to rookie trainer Patrick Prendergast and his star two-year-old, Skitter Scatter.
The fact that she is still in double figures for the 2019 1000 Guineas is somewhat an insult to many, justifiably so as well. The daughter of much-loved sire Scat Daddy has rarely put a foot wrong this season, progressing vastly on each start.
The real progression started in the Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown, where she annihilated a field containing some of the highest regarded juveniles in Ireland this season.
Naturally she stepped up to group two and one action and again, pulverised her opposition. The latter result was a crowning moment with a ready two-length success in the Moyglare Stud Stakes on Irish Champions Weekend, where her beaten rivals have franked the form since.
The fact that makes this even more impressive was that she made her debut in late March, and has been on the go all season.
Prendergast decided against running her in America at the Breeder’s Cup to save her for next year’s classic campaign, and that could be the most defining decision of her career.
She has been the standout superstar of the juvenile fillies’ division without a doubt, and with the lack of a star older filly next year too, Skitter Scatter could scoop many prizes at the top level.
Many people are adamant in the fact that if she was trained in Ballydoyle and not by Prendergast, she would already be hailed a champion two-year-old. But, in effect that doesn’t even matter, as she very well could go under the radar and is definitely a horse to follow next season.
Sticking in Ireland with the next juvenile to follow, it’s a different Prendergast trainer this time as the veteran handler, Kevin, looks to have another smart prospect on his hands in Madhmoon.
The Sheikh Hamdan-owned two-year-old improved rapidly on his previous form when landing the normally informative group two juvenile race at Leopardstown on Irish Champions weekend with ease.
That race has been won by classic winners, including Australia, in the past and Madhmoon could well potentially step up to that level.
He may not be seen for the rest of the season, but Madhmoon shaped as though middle distances would be his forte, and with the 2019 Derby market currently slightly muddied, Madhmoon could go into next year as Ireland’s leading Derby hope.
It wouldn’t be an article about two-year-olds unless Aidan O’Brien had a two-year-old to follow on it. And just like Skitter Scatter, another filly in Fairyland could prove to be a very useful horse next season too.
After succumbing to the respiratory illness that struck the Ballydoyle yard in the summer, Fairyland returned with a gutsy display to win the Lowther Stakes at York.
Punters questioned the form of that race, but she enhanced the form further when again producing another gutsy display to land the group one Cheveley Park Stakes from The Mackem Bullet, who also finished second behind her at York.
While it may not have been the most visually impressive performance, Fairyland stepped up to the plate on the big day when she needed to, and her toughness could prove her to be in tough stead.
While the aforementioned Skitter Scatter looks to be a more sparkling Guineas horse, Fairyland will prove hard to beat if she turns up at Newmarket too. But if the experiment over a mile doesn’t work,
Fairyland might well be a hot prospect for the Commonwealth Cup, and could be a horse to follow over the sprinting distances.