Which were the top three two-year-olds in 2021?

According to Timeform, the top three two-year-olds in 2021 were Native Trail (122p), Luxembourg (118p) and Coroebus (116p). Native Trail falls into the ‘very smart’ category, while Luxembourg and Coroebus are considered ‘smart’ at this stage of their careers, but Timeform analysts believe that all three are likely to improve on these ratings in due course.

Owned by Godolphin and trained by Charlie Appleby, Native Trail was unbeaten in four starts in 2021, all over 7 furlongs. He made short work of the hitherto unbeaten Point Lonsdale in the National Stakes at the Curragh in September, winning impressively by 3½ lengths, and capped his perfect juvenile season with a comfortable 2-length win in the Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket the following month. A notably strong finisher over 7 furlongs, Native Trail promises to be better yet when stepped up to a mile but, being by July Cup winner Oasis Dream, is not short on speed. He looks an ideal candidate for the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, for which he is currently ante-post favourite.

Owned in partnership by Westerberg, the racing operation of Swiss billionaire George von Opel, John Magnier and his Coolmore associates and trained by Aidan O’Brien, Luxembourg was similarly unbeaten in 2021. The son of Derby winner raced exclusively at a mile and put himself firmly in the Classic picture when justifying huge market support with a clear-cut victory in the Futurity Stakes at Doncaster in October on his third and final start. Luxembourg had been clear favourite for the Derby since shortly after crusing to a 4¾-length victory in the Beresford Stakes at the Curragh in September, strengthened his position at the head of the market after passing a sterner test at Doncaster.

A stable companion of Native Trail, Coroebus was described by Charlie Appleby as ‘a 2,000 Guineas horse for sure’ after he had comfortably beaten subsequent Futurity Stakes fifth Imperial Fighter by 2 lengths in the Autumn Stakes on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket in October. The son of Dubawi had previously looked an unlucky loser – in fact, he was matched in-running at the minimum price of 1.01 on Betfair – when headed in the final strides of the Royal Lodge Stakes, over the same course and distance, having gone clear two furlongs out. He is currently joint second favourite for the 2,000 Guineas, alongside Luxembourg, and gives Godolphin a very strong hand in the first colts’ Classic.