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Simon Mapletoft on the AWC: Horses to follow – 3YO Mile

It takes a smart 3YO to win this Mile Final and some of the top trainers in the country will be targeting the prize, and those Fast Track Qualifiers along the way.

Charlie Appleby won last season’s Final with Four Seasons and will be hoping to follow up with the lightly raced Folkswood. This son of Exceed And Excel won a competitive maiden at Goodwood and has the attributes that suggest he will be a natural on the artificial surfaces.

The six-furlong maiden Zhui Feng won at Kempton in September teed him up for a valuable sales race at Newmarket two weeks later that he won convincingly. He picked up another big prize by finishing third to Gifted Master in the Tattersalls Millions in early October – his first try over seven furlongs. Given that a mile should be within his compass, and his proven ability on Polytrack, Amanda Perrett’s charge could pay his way in the better races in this division.

David Simcock took Dragon Mall to Chelmsford in September to win a hot little mile conditions race, beating 89-rated rival Lazzam convincingly. Boasting a thorough US pedigree, this colt represents a yard that does well in the higher profile races on sand. Even at this early stage, he looks worthy of a crack at the Final.

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The fact that Lazzam won his previous race by over four lengths over the same course and distance shows the he, too, has considerable potential in this sphere. The son of Archipenko travelled strongly until just failing to repel his highly regarded rival and it’s an indication of his talent that Marco Botti had him in the entries for the Group One Racing Post Trophy.

Roger Varian’s Majdool has looked a much better horse on sand than on turf, taking his record to two from two with wins at Wolverhampton and Kempton. This son of Acclamation sees out seven furlongs strongly and, as he demonstrated at the Sunbury circuit in September, has the appetite for a battle. He should stay a mile in due course and is another who can progress to a mark high enough to make the cut on Finals Day.

Richie McCaw looks made for the All-Weather. His attacking style helped him turn over an 81-rated rival in a mile Chelmsford maiden in mid-October on only his second racecourse appearance. Bred to appreciate further in time, he might lack the speed to be a force on Good Friday but can win more races en route to stepping up to middle distances next spring.