Top Three Two-Year-Olds of 2022

At the time of writing, Royal Ascot is still a few weeks away, so the first premier juvenile races of 2022, including the Coventry Stakes, Queen Mary Stakes and Norfolk Stakes, are yet to be run. However, the opening two-year-old race of the season, the Brocklesby Stakes, run over 5 furlongs at Doncaster in late March, has already produced the highest rated winner this century, according to Timeform.

That winner was Persian Force (100p), trained by Richard Hannon, who looked a class apart from his rivals, quickening clear in the closing stages to win impressively by 4¾ lengths. The son of Mehmas was well touted before making his debut and, having justified even-money favouritism, winning jockey Rossa Ryan said of him, ‘He didn’t even look at the crowd, he just did his job. I never had a moment’s worry. We were going a good gallop and I was always cantering all over them.’ Persian Force did not to improve to win a small conditions race at Newbury in mid-May, but has already been favourably compared with multiple Group 1 winner Canford Cliffs by his trainer.

Joint second-best at this early stage, according to Timeform, are the Kessaar colt Tajalla (99p) and the Showcasing filly Dramatised (99p). Both are trained in Newmarket, the former by Roger Varian and the latter by Karl Burke. Tajalla made an unusually early racecourse debut for Varian, winning a novice stakes race at the Newmarket Craven Meeting. Varian said afterwards, ‘He’s an exciting juvenile and I hope he’s the type of horse that gets us to Royal Ascot.’ Dramatised was no less impressive when winning a maiden fillies’ stakes race, also over 5 furlongs on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket, by 4 lengths two weeks later.