One down, one to go at Newmarket. The impressive Gleneagles did the job for Coolmore and Ryan Moore with ease today, who does it tomorrow?
Completing his set of Guineas previews, it's Sam Preen, @sampreen.
QIPCO 1000 Guineas
Group 1, One Mile, 3yo fillies
Good to Firm
It was this time last year when I was sitting on 20/1 for Rizeena for this race – it still hurts. Ante-post nightmares aside, 13 fillies line up to tackle the 1000 Guineas, with some star names in the mix. Here’s the field.
Easily brushed aside by Marsh Hawk on her debut, but quickly made amends a month later when landing a Salisbury maiden, despite being bumped leaving the stalls and racing freely throughout, and ran a creditable length second to Lucida when the pair locked horns in the Shadwell Rockfel Stakes last September. Claims over this extra furlong, if she’s learned to settle.
Shocked everyone here on her debut, by winning her maiden by a neck, returning at 50/1, and proved it was no fluke a few weeks later, taking a Listed event over track and trip, on good to soft. This is tougher, though.
Decent enough maiden winner on Kempton’s all-weather circuit, and went into the notebooks of many when she finished second in the Fred Darling last month, three quarters of a length second to Redstart. Has ideal conditions underfoot, and no surprise if she can run a fair race over this extra furlong.
Gave Tabor and co a 1-2 in a Listed event at Gowran Park earlier this month, taking the step up to 9 and a half furlongs in her stride. Gowran Park earlier this month, taking the step up to 9 and a half furlongs in her stride. Surprisingly, she heads here a week after her Listed win, and can’t be ruled out on the back of that, providing the race doesn’t come too soon.
Won six of her last seven starts, after a prognosis fourth in a maiden at Lingfield almost a year ago. Took the Oh So Sharp Stakes here over 7 furlongs by a neck, before a winter in Meydan, landing a Listed event before justifying favoritism to take a Group 3 as easy as she liked. Clearly up against it dropping down in trip at this level, though.
Scalped Fadhayyil here in September, but disappointed over the extra furlong behind late 1000 Guineas withdrawal Together Forever, beating only two rivals home, having got into a barging match with a rival, and found little close home. Beaten only a quarter of a length when she was last seen at Group 1 level, and can go close here with conditions in her favor.
Caught everyone's eye with her strong finishing fourth inn the Albany Stakes at Ascot, before firing off a double, in a maiden and a Group 3, before a creditable fourth to Cursory Glance in the Moyglare (Lucida second), but wasn’t suited with the tactics at Longchamp, when she was held up, and encountered all sorts of traffic problems. Claims, if those tactics aren’t repeated.
Had a busy season last year, ending her two year old campaign with a late third in the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf, and was back to her best with a narrow victory here, over seven furlongs, in the Nell Gwyn, two and a bit weeks ago, on good to firm. Respected, given the connections.
Not often you see O’Brien’s and these silks, is it? Picked up a Dundalk race last August, after a very unlucky third at Leopardstown last July, but posted up a couple poor efforts at the higher level, finishing fifth and sixth, behind a few of these at the Curragh, before winning a minor Group 3 as a prep before the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf, being given far too much to do before she was badly hampered on the bend. A lot to prove on her first start this season.
Coasted clear to win her sole start last June, but wasn’t seen again until a disappointing third of six at Dundalk last month, where she was quickly put in her place by race fit rivals. This is much tougher.
Surprise, but game, winner of the Fred Darling, making all the running under Pat Dobbs, and having plenty left in the tank to fend off the late challenge of Jellicle Ball, who was three quarters of a length behind in second. Should handle the extra furlong, and emerges from a decent draw.
Easy winner of her maiden, and was quickly brushed aside by Tiggy Wiggy in the Cheveley Park, over 6 furlongs, before justifying short priced favoritism to pick up a Listed event here in October. Hasn’t gone beyond 6 furlongs, and ideally needs softer ground, so can only be watched at best.
An unreal sprinter last year, but disappointed a fortnight ago in the Fred Darling, fighting jockey Richard Hughes, who decided to hold her up instead of letting her bowl along, wasting vital stamina. Soundly put in her place that day by two rivals, and highly unlikely she’ll see out a mile.
Another wide open race to look forward to. The standout of those making their seasonal debuts are Fadhayyil, who has a length to find with Lucida, who got into a barging march on her last start of the season, and MALABAR, who gets the nod from me. She was a fair fourth behind Lucida in the Moyglare, and was a fast finishing fourth at Longchamp on her final start last year, having encountered traffic problems by being held up late.
She is capable of going close, providing those tactics aren’t repeated, whilst Fred Darling 1-2 Redstart and Jellicle Ball lock horns again. The former will likely dictate things from the front, while John Gosden’s filly will be waited with towards the rear. Either of them can pick up a place if they’re delivered at the right time.
Malabar @ 9/1 E/W (Betvictor, Hills, etc)