An Early Look At The 1,000 Guineas

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AN EARLY LOOK AT THE 1,000 GUINEAS

Twenty-four hours after the 2,000 Guineas event for the colts, the girls take over to strut their stuff in the 1,000 Guineas held on Sunday the 5th May, on Newmarket's Rowley Mile course.

Paired with the male equivalent, the 1,000 Guineas helps signify the beginning of the turf season and the official end of the jumps season.

The changeover begins with this prestigious contest, which tests three-year-old female horses over the straight mile, and acts as the opening leg of the Fillies Triple Crown; followed by the Epsom Oaks in June and the St Leger at Doncaster where they combine with the colts.

The standout two-year-old's of the previous term usually meet and clash here first - although many may arrive off the back of a trial in the Nell Gwyn perhaps; held at Newmarket in the lead-up to this card, or in fact any other seven-eight furlong novice event over the off-season.

Any filly who wins over a distance close to a mile in a decent affair (novice/conditions etc), usually throw their name into the hat for the Newmarket filly-based feature.

2000 guineas day

The starting point for many in their career to make a name for themselves, it usually provides us with individuals to follow on their respective paths if we did not know them already.

The race has been the birth-point for many subsequent stars, but we have not seen a Triple Crown winner for at least the last thirty years.

The closest we have been was back in 2016, when Aidan O'Brien's top filly Minding, came through the 1,000 Guineas and Epsom Oaks unscathed, but went onto tackle other high-profile Group One affairs against all ages, which included a victory in the Queen Elizabeth II on Champions Day, instead of heading to the stamina-based St Leger.

Many three-year-old's make use of their allowances against older horses in some of Europe's biggest races and sort of jump the gun instead of finishing their development in their Classic campaign. Minding was only seen once as a four-year-old until injury forced a sad early retirement.

Winter won the 1,000 Guineas feature in 2017 for the same owner and trainer, before twelve months ago, Billesdon Brook under Sean Levey caused a massive upset at odds of 66/1 for trainer Richard Hannon.

sands of mali flat racing sprint

Other notable winners of this contest in past years include Attraction in 2004, who has become a very successful dam, Special Duty in 2010 for French trainer Criquette Head-Maare - who reversed the placings with first-past-the-post Jacqueline Quest, as well as Ghanaati's success in 2009 where she posted the record time.

This year has lacked a star in the division, leaving the 1,000 ante-post market wide open.. until Qabala won the trial we have already mentioned - the Nell Gwyn Stakes at HQ, landing a heavy gamble on the day for in-form trainer Roger Varian.

The daughter of the late Scat Daddy has been installed as the clear new market leader having made it two from two, and will defend her unbeaten record against a sea of challengers.

Varian - based at the home of flat racing in suffolk, also has Mot Juste in the field who certainly has a bit more experience on the track than her stablemate.

She chased home Qabala in the Nell Gwyn having been headed by the latter close home, but still making it a 1-2 for the yard. Mot Juste took the Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket last October; a useful Group Three, but would need to up her game to threaten the favourite.

Of the challengers from different yards, Aidan O'Brien has two of the top four in the market at the time of writing - Just Wonderful and Fairyland.

aidan o'brien

Just Wonderful - daughter to Dansili has been a bit hit and miss, and struggled to maintain consistency. Her class is evident given her victory in a Group Three at the Curragh before dispatching a Group Two field in the Shadwell Rockfel Stakes here last September.

However her two Group One outings seem to have the better of her, but was not overly disgraced when venturing out to America when finishing fourth to Newspaperofrecord in the Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Meanwhile, Fairyland has been a rapid improver for the master of Ballydoyle, and has only been defeated once in five starts - which came in the Albany at Royal Ascot.

She bounced back with a narrow triumph at York in the Group Two Lowther Stakes, before getting her head in front again by a thin margin at this venue in the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes.

Fairyland is a daughter of Kodiac, so the first-time step up to a mile should not prove to be a concern, and any Group One winner demands respect for their accomplishments.

Skitter Scatter ended her juvenile season in sensational style, completing a hat-trick of wins in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh.

She won emphatically that day with a couple of lengths in hand, adding to her victory in the Debutante Stakes three-and-a-half weeks prior at the same track, as well as a Group Three at Leopardstown.

Another really likeable type who has stepped up the gears with each effort, will have to be at her best on her season reappearance against some fitter rivals. This will be her first trip away from Ireland.

The Irish also have chances with Joseph O'Brien's Iridessa, who many will recall her victory here back in October in the Fillies Mile. She will arrive proven over the course and distance which is certainly key here.

mendelssohn aiden o brien ryan moore

Joseph's father Aidan's brigade continues with So Perfect - who was a close third to Dandhu (another contender for David Elsworth) at Newbury in the Fred Darling on her season return, plus Hermosa, Fleeting and Secret Thoughts who all currently hold outside chances, but cannot be completely discounted being trained by master of his trade.

East is the interesting one for upcoming trainer Kevin Ryan - she is a daughter of Frankel, who made a decent debut at Hamilton in September, no more.

However, she took her campaign to the international stage in the last couple of months of the season, impressing her backers and viewers in a first-time group affair at Saint Cloud in France which she won, before an almighty effort to finish best of the rest behind a runaway winner in the Juvenile Fillies Turf at the Breeders Cup meeting at Churchill Downs in November.

Hopefully there is more to come there as she looks very exciting indeed, whilst Ralph Beckett's Waverley Racing duo of Antonia De Vega and Dancing Vega certainly have plenty to prove.

Prince Khalid Abdullah could have three realistic chances, with the alliterated trio of Chaleur, Clematis and Clerisy representing three different trainers.

Champion Trainer John Gosden - who has not won this race since the turn of the century, could be represented by Angels Hideaway in the Cheveley Park silks, whilst Michael Bell could have former ante-post favourite Pretty Pollyanna.

The 1,000 Guineas will take place on Sunday the 5th of May at Newmarket Racecourse.

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