10 horses to follow in 2022
Who could be the stars of the track in 2022?
With all horses celebrating their birthday on January 1st we have taken a look at who could thrive on course this year as we pick out 10 horses to follow for 2022.
Some of our chosen 10 will be looking to get on the scoresheet at the Cheltenham Festival and you can follow their progress in Cheltenham tips, while don’t forget to catch a preview of the very best horse racing action each week in ITV racing tips.
Honeysuckle (Henry de Bromhead)
An obvious starting point in our horses to follow list is the reigning champion hurdler, Honeysuckle, who is odds on to defend her title at the Cheltenham Festival in 2022.
Henry de Bromhead’s superstar is unbeaten in 13 starts over hurdles and looked as good as ever when making her seasonal reappearance at Fairyhouse in November.
Partnered in all her races by Rachael Blackmore, she will aim to defend her Irish Champion Hurdle title at the Dublin Racing Festival next month before moving on to Prestbury Park, where the daughter of Sulamani will be looking for a third straight success at the Cheltenham Festival.
Discoveries (Jessica Harrington)
We head to Ireland once again for the first of our horses to follow on the Flat for 2022 and put our faith in Jessica Harrington’s daughter of Mastercraftsman.
Discoveries won three of her four appearances at two and the hopes are that this sister to Irish 1,000 Guineas and Royal Ascot scorer Alpha Centauri could develop into a Classic contender herself.
She was a comfortable winner of the Group One Moyglare Stakes at the Curragh on her final start last season and was always in control inside the final quarter of that contest.
Owned by the Niarchos family, she has been put in at 10/1 for the 1000 Guineas, while it is not out of the question that she could stretch out to a further distance later in the season.
Galopin Des Champs (Willie Mullins)
Having been tenderly handled in the early part of last season, this imposing son of Timos was brought expertly to the boil at the Cheltenham Festival, peaking supremely to saunter to an impressive win in the Martin Pipe.
He finished the 2020/21 campaign with a first Grade One victory when upped to three miles at the Punchestown Festival and could have the world at his feet following a breath-taking chasing debut at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival.
Willie Mullins knows a top-class chaser when he sees one and the six-year-old looks set to take the path trodden by Monkfish last term by running in the Flogas Novice Chase at the Dublin Racing Festival to tune up for Prestbury Park.
Already the red-hot 6/4 favourite for the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, supporters will hope he turns that Grade One into a procession, before developing into a Gold Cup candidate when tried in open company later in the year.
This is well worth 5 minutes or so of your time. 😍
🐴 The chasing debut of five-year-old Galopin Des Champs, having signed off last season with wins at Cheltenham and Punchestown. What a magnificent prospect he is. pic.twitter.com/b9ibwtPQmu
— Racing TV (@RacingTV) December 28, 2021
Constitution Hill (Nicky Henderson)
Another top-class prospect who could shine at the Cheltenham Festival, Constitution Hill confirmed the potential he showed on his Rules debut with a blistering display in the Tolworth Hurdle.
Already a Grade One winner in 2022, he obliterated a respectable cast to scorch clear in the rain-sodden Sandown turf and record an emphatic 12-length victory.
Having proven his versatility by winning by virtually the same margin on good to soft and heavy ground, he now looks set to take his place in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle to kick off the Cheltenham Festival.
There his opponents could include his highly-regarded stablemate Jonbon and last year’s Champion Bumper winner Sir Gerhard.
Racing fans could be in for a treat if he is switched to fences in the autumn, with the way he stands off his hurdles and clears the obstacles with precision suggesting he could develop into one of our horses to follow for many years to come.
Luxembourg (Aidan O’Brien)
It is hard to find a horses to follow list without a Ballydoyle representative and the strapping son of Camelot, Luxembourg, is this year’s chosen one.
Unbeaten in three starts at a mile in his two-year-old season, he is one who is sure to stay in the opening Classic of the season, the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
He is 6/1 for that Rowley Mile event, but he may not be seen at his very best until extending to the Derby distance of 1m4f and it is no surprise to see Aidan O’Brien’s charge chalked up as the 4/1 favourite for the Epsom showpiece.
Still relatively green when comfortably taking the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster in November, he looks to have plenty of development still to come and his master trainer is sure to eke out every ounce of his enormous potential.
Escaria Ten (Gordon Elliott)
Although pulled up in the Irish National when last seen, it may be worth putting a line through that Fairyhouse effort and focusing on his third in the National Hunt Chase at last season’s Cheltenham Festival.
Sent off the 11/4 favourite for that 3m6f Grade Two, he came home in third behind high-class duo Galvin and Next Destination and having looked the winner two out, was only headed after the last.
The form of that race has an electric feel, with Galvin the 5/1 second favourite for the Gold Cup and some of the other beaten horses advertising the race well this term.
Having mostly excelled over staying distances so far in his career, there could be plenty more improvement to come and there could be any amount of mileage in a current rating of 151 considering stablemate Galvin now has an official figure of 167.
That should enable the McNeill family-owned eight-year-old to head to Aintree with a nice racing weight and he appears to have the perfect profile for the race.
Yet to be sighted on track this term, he is expected to return in the Thyestes Chase on January 27 and connections will be eager not to blow his handicap mark ahead of the Grand National weights being revealed in mid-February.
Mujtaba (William Haggas)
Perhaps a dark horse for the horses to follow list, expect this son of Dubawi to build on his unbeaten two-year-old season in 2022.
Having started off in impressive fashion at Chepstow in August, he quickly showed his versatility when following up under a penalty around the tight twists and turns of Chester, before making it three from three on handicap debut on soft ground at Redcar.
He was handed an 8lb rise for that victory, but a mark of 98 could still see him very competitive in some of the fiercely-contested mile handicaps this term and he could be one for the Lincoln at the beginning of the season.
There could be unlimited improvement to come from this gelding who is definitely one to keep in the notebook for 2022.
Ahoy Senor (Lucinda Russell)
One of the most exciting novice chasers trained in the UK, Lucinda Russell’s Ahoy Senor has to be included in our horses to follow list despite succumbing to Bravemansgame in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase on Boxing Day.
A lack of experience cost the lightly-raced seven-year-old in that Kempton Grade One and it is likely the son of Dylan Thomas will be kept to left-handed galloping tracks in future.
He has been given a speculative entry for the blue riband and with the novice race looking red hot this year, connections could be tempted to aim for the stars and attempt to replicate Coneygree, who won the Gold Cup as a novice in 2015.
Special Cadeau (Willie Mullins)
This four-year-old son of Nathaniel landed a gamble on his racecourse debut when pulling just under two-and-a-half-lengths clear of his nearest pursuer to oblige as 9/4 favourite at Huntingdon.
That is the local track of trainer Pam Sly who oversaw the early preparation of this exciting prospect having also bred the horse.
The imposing gelding looked to have plenty of development still to come and showed signs of greenness both in the prelims and on track during the race, but he still had more than enough talent to come home a convincing winner.
He has since transferred to Mullins for £220,000 and is one to keep an eye out for when making his debut for the Closutton handler.
Native Trail (Charlie Appleby)
The final Flat performer in our horses to follow list is Godolphin’s unbeaten son of Oasis Dream, Native Trail, who finished 2021 as the champion two-year-old colt.
Having kicked off his career with a taking four-length victory over subsequent Acomb and Royal Lodge winner Royal Patronage, the 210,000 guineas buy went on to win a further three times in 2021, all at Group level.
Back-to-back Group One victories in the National Stakes and the Dewhurst make him the horse to beat in the 2000 Guineas and it no surprise to see Charlie Appleby’s exciting charge 3/1 for the first Classic of the season.
👑 Native Trail is crowned @Cartier Two-Year-Old Colt of the year following a sensational juvenile season that saw him go unbeaten in all four starts – including two at G1 level!
— Godolphin (@godolphin) November 11, 2021
Appleby saddled 43 Group or Graded winners in 2021 in a standout year and Native Trail could give him the perfect start to 2022.
He also has a handy second string for the 2000 Guineas in Coroebus (5/1), who suffered only one defeat at two.
The colt almost made our horses to follow list for 2022 courtesy of his visually impressive two-length success in the Autumn Stakes, which came on the same HQ card that Native Trail won the Dewhurst.
All odds and market correct at date of publication