With the flat season drawing to a close, we take a look back at our top 5 stars of the season.
The only member of our top 5 not trained by John Gosden, Alpha Centauri has perhaps been the surprise package of the season especially after a slightly underwhelming first start of her campaign. Since then it’s been anything but underwhelming with a six-length thrashing of the field in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes her crowning moment in 2018. She followed that with two ultra-impressive Group 1 wins at Newmarket and then against the boys at Deauville and only an injury stopped her in a quest for another one in the Matron.
The first Ascot Gold Cup winner to have an unbeaten season in 50 years, five wins from five starts and the first ever winner of the Stayers’ One Million Pound Bonus – it really was the perfect season for Stradivarius. John Gosden’s stayer took on all before him in 2018 and a busy campaign was rounded off perfectly with victory on Champions Day with a gutsy success on ground much softer than ideal. It will take a good one to knock him off his perch next season in the Stayers’ ranks.
It’s not often that two-year olds get mentioned in the same breath as the legendary Frankel, but for this first time since the great Henry Cecil inmate retired we may have one that is comparable. Too Darn Hot won all four of his starts in 2018 culminating with a demolition job against a good field in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, the success ensured that we now have a very short price favourite for next year’s first classic. John Gosden will be spending the winter dreaming that he may just have a true superstar on his hands.
After an inauspicious start to the campaign with defeats in the Craven and the 2,000 Guineas, Roaring Lion got off the mark for the season at York in the Dante Stakes, however it was a trip to York later in the summer that really marked him down as one of the stars of the season. Following a gutsy first Group 1 success in the Coral Eclipse, Roaring Lion then destroyed a top-class field in the Juddmonte International, cruising through the pack to win by three and a half lengths from King George winner Poet’s Word. He signed off 2018 with two more Group 1 successes, including a superb victory dropped back to a mile in the QEII at Ascot. A below par final run at the Breeders Cup will be quickly forgotten after a season of heroics.
Considering we didn’t see her till September this year, it’s amazing to think that Enable still managed to steal the limelight and be remembered as the star of the 2018 flat season. Without doubt the Queen of the turf, the incredible four-year-old became the first horse ever to win the Arc and the Breeders Cup Turf in the same season. Two incredible battles; firstly with Sea Of Class in the Arc and then Aidan O’Brien’s Magical at Churchill Downs have proven she has the guts to match her incredible talent. We can only hope she’s back next season for more.
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