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Stars of the Flat season: Auguste Rodin ready to set the bar high

The Flat season begins with the Lincoln at Doncaster this weekend and we've taken a look at some of the star names that may be making headlines in the months to come.

After their winter hibernations, the likes of Aidan O'Brien, Charlie Appleby, William Haggas and John & Thady Gosden are preparing their star turns to begin a new term.

The first Classic of the season comes up at Newmarket on Saturday 6th May via the 2000 Guineas and that race, as well as all the action across Britain and Ireland this Flat season, can be followed via the bet365 live Sports Live Streaming platform

Auguste Rodin

Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

Though he was defeated on debut last June, this Deep Impact colt went on to win his next three, including the Irish Champions Juvenile Stakes at Leopardstown in September and Group 1 Vertem Futurity Trophy at Doncaster the following month.

That he notched those wins on soft/heavy going speaks volumes, with his trainer adamant he's an 'exceptional mover' who will flourish on better ground. 

He's 7/2 to win the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and is being trained with that race in mind says O'Brien, who insists he should get a mile-and-a-half without concern. Auguste Rodin is 11/4 to win the Epsom Derby on 3rd June. 

Perhaps most notably, the Ballydoyle supremo told a recent press day: "If we have a horse capable of doing the Triple Crown, he's the one". A big season is clearly expected. 

Chaldean 

Trainer: Andrew Balding

Like Auguste Rodin, Chaldean started his career last June with a defeat at Newbury in a novice event, finishing fifth. The Juddmonte-owned colt and son of Frankel has made giant strides forward since however, winning his final four starts.

He rose through the ranks, winning the Acomb at York, the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster and then, finally, the Dewhurst at Newmarket for his Group 1 breakthrough in October.

That success at HQ came in a race where things certainly didn't go to plan for Frankie Dettori.

With a quote of 8/1 for the 2000 Guineas and 16/1 for The Derby at Epsom in June, Andrew Balding's promising colt could be one of the key names amid Dettori's summer sign-off in Britain.

Tahiyra 

Trainer: Dermot Weld

There will always be an aura about seeing a stellar performer in the famous Aga Khan silks with the name of D K Weld beside them on the racecard and that's the case for Tahiyra, the early 5/2 favourite for 1000 Guineas glory at Newmarket on Sunday 7th May.

The Master of Ballybrit introduced this filly in a Galway maiden before going straight to the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in September, where she made good fillies like Meditate look average. That rival went on to win the Breeders' Cup Fillies' Turf in America in fine style. 

This half-sister to Tarnawa looks a superstar in the making ahead of her three-year-old term.

Slipofthepen

Trainers: John & Thady Gosden

With a Coronation to come this summer, a Royal runner of note would do racing no harm and Night Of Thunder colt Slipofthepen could fit the bill nicely in the silks of King Charles and The Queen Consort, Camilla. 

He debuted impressively at Kempton in November, justifying odds-on favouritism to swat aside rivals with racecourse experience in fine style over a mile. 

He holds an entry in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, but at 25/1 could he be a possible dark horse for the Epsom Derby in June? 

Emily Dickinson 

Trainer: Aidan O'Brien

With O'Brien suggesting it's more than likely defending champion Kyprios will miss the Ascot Gold Cup in June, it's got to be worth paying attention when the Ballydoyle supremo also suggested that 6/1 Emily Dickinson 'would look to be one for the Gold Cup'.

The Dubawi filly ended last season by stretching clear of her rivals in a Group 3 at the Curragh over two-miles on testing ground and, on that evidence, the Ascot marathon on Thursday 22nd June could be within her compass.

Her trainer, whose record eight wins in the race have all come since 2006, added: "She grew another leg over the trip, so you'd hope that she'll do even better when campaigned as a stayer this year."

Noble Style

Trainer: Charlie Appleby

Newmarket trainer Charlie Appleby has established himself as a big gun in the British ranks since ending Godolphin's long wait for a Derby win with Masar in 2018. The boys in blue have rewarded the trainer with plenty firepower and Appleby is good at deploying it.

Kingman colt Noble Style won all three starts as a juvenile, culminating in the Gimcrack at York in August on his first foray in pattern-race company. 

There will be inevitable talk of going up in trip this season, but that Group 2 win on the Knavesmire showcased a fair degree of speed and contests like the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot on 23rd June, where he's rated a 10/1 chance.

A clash with Chaldean in the Greenham Stakes at Newbury in April is being touted, which should reveal plenty more about what lies in store for Noble Style this season.

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