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Horse racing fans are in for a treat in 2024, with several of the sport’s superstars set to embark on ambitious international campaigns.
Read on as we look at what is in store for a couple of the world’s top equine talents next year, starting with a horse many pundits thought would be retired.
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Breeders’ Cup Turf winner Auguste Rodin will return to the track in 2024 after cementing his status as one of the most exciting horses in training this season.
The son of Deep Impact had a topsy-turvy three-year-old campaign which culminated with a brilliant victory under jockey Ryan Moore at Santa Anita.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has made no secret of how highly he rates Auguste Rodin, despite the horse running badly in the 2000 Guineas and King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes.
However, victories in four Group 1 races including the English and Irish Derbies demonstrated why O’Brien is ‘delighted’ Auguste Rodin will race again next year.
“He’s a unique horse, a one-off,” O’Brien told the Nick Luck Daily Podcast. “He was precocious at two, which you would forgive him if he wasn’t, and we all saw what he did this year.
“I think the lads are really enjoying their racing more than ever before, and he looks like he’s a horse who could be even more exciting next year. It’s unbelievable for us, and good for everyone in racing. It’s the perfect result for us.
“He came out of the race (Breeders’ Cup Turf) super – he was absolutely bouncing when he came back. Everyone was over the moon with him, and everything just joined up when that happened really.
“We have to give him a little rest now, which we would always do, and then start back again and see where he is or how he is in the spring then plan a campaign for him. I think most races are open to him.”
A tilt at the Breeders’ Cup Classic could be on the cards for Auguste Rodin next season after his impressive workout on dirt at Santa Anita in the run-up to this year’s Turf.
The Breeders’ Cup will be held at Del Mar in 2024 and Auguste Rodin could the star of the show in what promises to be another memorable two-day meeting.
New Zealand sprinting superstar Imperatriz could be heading to Royal Ascot in June after etching her name into the record books in Australia.
The mare was a hugely impressive winner of the Darley Champions Sprint on the final day of the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington to secure the eighth Group 1 victory of her career.
Imperatriz has won six Group 1s in 2023 and would be unbeaten during the calendar year but for a short-head defeat in the Canterbury Stakes at Randwick in March.
Bookmakers have been forced to make several sizeable payouts since that defeat, with Imperatriz proving to be an ally to bettors in each of her past five races.
The leading online horse racing betting sites in Australia will likely be inundated with wagers if she heads to Royal Ascot to take on the best sprinters in Europe.
The King’s Stand Stakes and Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes could be on the agenda for Imperatriz as she bids to emulate several other Royal Ascot winners from the southern hemisphere.
They include Black Caviar, who won the latter race in 2012, and Nature Strip, who was an impressive winner of the King’s Stand Stakes last year.
Jockey Opie Bosson was delighted with Imperatriz’s most recent victory and believes she could be one of the banker bets of the meeting at Royal Ascot in June.
“It’d be nice to get to Ascot and show them how good she is,” Bosson said. “We always knew she was really, really talented, and she’s just getting better and better with age. She is the real deal and she’s proven that now. Hopefully there’s more to come for both of us.”
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