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Racing Returns: Five three-year-olds who can light up the season

Pinatubo has won each of his six starts to date.
Pinatubo has won each of his six starts to date.

With racing looking increasingly likely to get the green light to return on Monday, Nick Seddon has picked out five three-year-olds that look set to have big seasons...

Pinatubo (Charlie Appleby)

Unbeaten in six starts as a juvenile, including winning twice at Group 1 level, it's safe to say that plenty of expectation rests on the shoulders of the Champion Two-Year-Old. That pressure is warranted, bearing in mind that he produced one of the finest juvenile performances we've seen in a generation when routing the field to win the National Stakes at the Curragh last September. Like with any top two-year-old, questions about whether he has trained on hang over his head, and he will need to prove that he's more Frankel than Air Force Blue, but the fact that every runner will be coming into Saturday's 2000 Guineas fresh will probably play into his hands, and he'll have a favourite's chance in the first classic of the season. The strange make-up of this campaign means there's every chance the St James's Palace Stakes will come too soon at Royal Ascot, and with the Irish Guineas off the table, a tilt at the Epsom Derby could prove too tempting. 

Quadrilateral (Roger Charlton)

Like with Pinatubo, a lot is expected of Quadrilateral at Newmarket in the first fillies' classic of the season, the 1000 Guineas. The daughter of Frankel couldn't have been more impressive in her three starts as a juvenile last term, graduating from maiden company to Group 1 success in less than two months, and signing off with a hugely impressive victory in the Fillies' Mile at Newmarket. She's a commanding favourite for next Sunday's Guineas, and she is the filly to beat on what she's shown so far. Indeed, it would be no surprise to see her get further yet - with her entry in the Irish Oaks speaking volumes - and the 33/1 available for her to win both the Guineas and the Oaks could prove to be good value.

Trainers To Follow

Born With Pride (William Haggas)

It's particularly unusual to see a horse make their debut at listed level, so it was perhaps no surprise to see Born With Pride sent off as a 20/1 outsider against more experienced rivals in the Montrose Fillies' Stakes at Newmarket last November. It's even more unheralded for a horse to then go on and make a winning start at such a lofty level, but Born With Pride was full value for that success, showing an excellent attitude to battle all the way to the line. That start came on testing ground over a mlie, and she already looks tailor made for a tilt at the Epsom Oaks, where she could well bump into a certain Quadrilateral. Indeed, it was pretty telling that Tom Marquand couldn't hide his excitement about the filly when chatting to the HorseRacing At Home Podcast last week, reiterating that she will be better the further she goes. Her intended start in Wednesday's rearranged Classic Trial at Kempton should tell us more about her ability, but she seems likely to take a high rank in the top middle distance contests this season.

Waldkonig (John Gosden)

Waldkonig carries some familiar colours, the same as those carried by his half-brother Waldgeist, and he couldn't have been more impressive when making a winning debut at Wolverhampton in December. Admittedly, that outing came in modest circumstances, though she showed more than enough to suggest that he would be able to make his presence felt at pattern level as a three-year-old, showing an excellent turn of foot to pull clear in the closing stages. Those who study the sectionals will tell you that there was plenty to like about that effort, as Sky Sports Racing's Jamie Lynch will explain below, and this son of Kingman looks set for a bright future. 

Jockeys To Follow

Palace Pier (John Gosden)

Like his stablemate Waldkonig, Palace Pier is also by Kingman, and he showed plenty of ability to win twice in the space of three weeks at Sandown last summer - with both of those starts coming over seven furlongs. He was forced to miss the big two-year-old races in the autumn through injury, and as a result Gosden is keen to get a reappearance run into his colt before tackling a top level affair, with an outing at Newcastle next Friday looking likely before a tilt at the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. It's a route that Gosden knows particularly well having campaigned Without Parole to perfection two years ago, and in a season that's likely to have a strange make-up to it, there should be plenty of opportunities for Palace Pier to excel. 

Ascot Gold Cup
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