Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for the 1000 Guineas and picks out an interesting each-way contender who could walk away with one of flat racing’s most prestigious prizes.
The Rowley Mile at Newmarket stages many important races throughout the flat racing calendar, but the 1000 and 2000 Guineas stand head-and-shoulders above the rest and on May 7th, the best young fillies in the business will take to the hallowed Newmarket turf and battle it out for the 1000 Guineas title.
Aidan O’Brien dominated the classics last season and his young filly, Rhododendron
) is the current clear ante-post favourite to ensure her trainer retains the title Minding won so brilliantly last year. This Galileo progeny was in excellent form last season, winning three of her five starts, including a course-and-distance victory in the Group 1 Dubai Fillies Mile on her latest appearance back in October.
Minding began her stunning three-year-old season with victory in this race last year, on her first appearance back since landing the Dubai Fillies Mile title at the end of her previous campaign. O’Brien will be hoping Rhododendron can follow in her stablemates hoof-prints by claiming this prestigious Newmarket double.
) will spearhead Roger Charlton’s classic charge, as the Wiltshire-based trainer searches for a maiden 1000 Guineas title. Frankel’s progeny are always bound to garner special attention and when she comfortably saw off capable rivals at Haydock on her debut and in the Juddemonte Stakes at Ascot, Charlton must have thought he had a future classic champion on his books. She fell to disappointing defeats in the Lowther Stakes and the Shadwell Rockfel Stakes here at Newmarket on her final two appearances of the season as an odds-on favourite, but there is no doubting she has the talent to start this season with a bang.
is likely to be the prime Godolphin challenger in this years 1000 Guineas, after ending a short two-year-old season with her unbeaten record intact. Charlie Appleby only let his young filly strut her stuff on the track twice last season, but she won over seven furlongs here at Newmarket on her debut, before landing the lucrative Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac crown at Chantilly by a narrow margin.
She beat Aidan O’Brien’s Promise To Be True
) that day at Chantilly, which remains O'Brien's charge's best result in Group 1 company. She went to post as the short-priced favourite in Group 1s on two occasions last season, but was comprehensively beaten to the title both times. She fell to another disappointing defeat on her first outing of the new season at Leopardstown earlier this month, finishing eleven lengths behind the winners, when going to post as the 9/4 favourite, but she remains a talented filly and could garner plenty of each-way attention at her current price.
John Gosden has been searching for a second 1000 Guineas title since the turn of the millennium and he will be hopeful Dabyah
) can build on the promising form she showed during her two-year-old campaign. She finished third in the Prix Marcel Boussac behind two of her classic rivals, but went into that race after securing impressive seven furlong victories at Newbury and here at Newmarket on her career debut.
Sea Of Grace
) ran well on her maiden outing last season, finishing just two lengths behind the winners off a price of 10/1. She then scored two impressive victories over in Ireland before moving to William Haggas’ yard at the start of this season and she will be looking to make a lasting impression on her yard debut with a solid performance at the upcoming Craven meeting here at Newmarket.
) is also set for a season-opening venture to the Craven meeting and, despite getting beaten fairly convincingly in three of her six two-year-old starts, she snatched good victories in all of her other appearances, including a narrow triumph over stablemate and possible 1000 Guineas rival, Roly Poly
) in the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket back in September.William Buick riding Wuheida (blue) victory over several of his 1000 Guineas rivals in the Total Prix Marcel Boussac at Chantilly last autumn.Poet’s Vanity
) secured Group 3 success over the Rowley Mile last season for Andrew Balding, winning a strong renewal of the Oh So Sharp Stakes in what was her second victory in three seasonal starts. John Gosden’s Astronomy Choice
) also has a course victory to her name, when Frankie Dettori led her to an excellent triumph in a Maiden Fillies Stakes in her only career start back in September.
Hamdan Al Maktoum will be represented by Talaayeb
) in this year’s 1000 Guineas and he will be confident the Owen Burrow-trained youngster can build on an eye-catching victory she recorded at Newbury in her only start as a two-year-old. Senga
) could be the best of the French raiders looking to make an impact in this massive race. Pascal Bary’s young filly finished fourth in the Prix Marcel Boussac, but looked much better when winning a Group 3 at Chantilly to kick-off her three-year-old season in style earlier this month.
Saeed Bin Suroor’s Really Special
) enjoyed a busy winter campaign over in Meydan, winning one of three starts at Dubai’s premier racecourse. She secured a near-three length victory over course-and-distance in the Listed Montrose Fillies’ Stakes back in October and will be much sharper than many of her well-rested rivals thanks to her off-season Meydan adventures.
Whether she can upset Rhododendron is unlikely, but at her current price, she represents definite each-way value. Another of the favourite’s rivals who sits at a very inviting ante-post price is HYDRANGEA
and she certainly has the quality to one-up her stablemate and take the 1000 Guineas title.
Following a disappointing career debut at the Curragh last July, Aidan O’Brien’s daughter of Galileo was much more competitive throughout the rest of the season - scoring an excellent victory on Irish soil inbetween four narrow runner-up finishes. She was beaten by Rhododendron to Group 1 and 2 titles at the Curragh and here at Newmarket last season, but the manor and subtle margins of those defeats showed she has the potential to turn the tables on her stablemate, especially if there is a bit of yield in the ground.
She looked weary on a season-ending visit to the Breeders’ Cup in October, but returned to action earlier in April with a narrow victory over Winter
in the 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown. That appearance will stand her in excellent stead when she returns to Newmarket in May and attempts to land a maiden Group 1 title.
7/5/2017 3:35pm Newmarket 1000 Guineas selection – HYDRANDEA each-way (16/1 Ladbrokes)