Check out our 1000 Guineas tips and runner-by-runner preview for Sunday’s fillies’ Classic at Newmarket! Will Quadrilateral maintain his 100% record?
Following on from the Group One Coronation Cup on Friday and also the first of the Classic races with Saturday’s 2000 Guineas, it is the turn of the fillies to go to post just twenty-four hours after the colts’ Classic with the Qipco 1000 Guineas being the latest Group One to take place and the second Classic race of the season will unfold over the Rowley Mile at Newmarket.
Getting underway at 3.35pm the fillies’ Classic takes place over one mile and a maximum field of 17 runners will enter the stalls each vying for the £140,000-plus first prize and a place in immortality. Racing fans can catch the action live on ITV Racing on Sunday where the Group One feature spearheads a bumper crop of live TV racing over the weekend.
Brian Healy looks over the potential field of runners for the season’s second Classic and gives his 1000 Guineas tip for success in Newmarket’s Sunday feature race.
3.35 Newmarket – Qipco 1000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1) (Fillies) (Class 1) (3yo) 1m
Aidan O’Brien has won four of the last ten renewals of the 1000 Guineas and three of the last four, latterly with Hermosa twelve months ago.
Love looks his strongest hope of landing another success in the race and the Galileo filly won three of her seven starts last term in a busy campaign which included the Moyglare Stud Stakes prior to posting a very creditable third behind reopposing Quadrilateral.
She had beaten Daahyeh the time before, bouncing back from a lesser effort at the Curragh behind Alpine Star in the Debutante Stakes. There’s a suspicion she possibly just found the softer ground not to her liking and indeed three of her defeats last term came on ground softer than good so this much quicker surface will surely prove preferable.
Not easily overlooked, she could prove the pick of the Ballydoyle contingent and no surprise to see her go close.
Thrice-raced Galileo filly who stepped up on her debut to win impressively at Thurles on her second start where she posted a seven lengths’ defeat of Indian Lilac.
She then contested the Listed Montrose Fillies’ Stakes over this course and distance where she was denied only by a neck behind Born With Pride where she ran on strongly and just failed to overhaul the winner.
That was on heavy ground and it remains to be seen if she’ll cope with the quicker surface she is likely to encounter on Sunday. She may prefer a stiffer test than this in time and an Epsom Oaks entry suggests she’ll get further than this so there’s a chance she might find things just happening a little quickly for her on the better ground.
The third of the Ballydoyle 1000 Guineas team, the War Front filly is yet to open her win account following eight runs although she’s largely run well in defeat including when finishing just over one length third behind stablemate Love in the Moyglare Stud Stakes.
She had been beaten by the same rival earlier in the season, finishing third to her stablemate in the Silver Flash Stakes but she could well prove a different proposition this term returning to this longer trip and she could make her presence felt for O’Brien despite looking the weakest of the trio.
Of course she’ll need to improve to gain a measure of revenge against her stablemate but she could well do so and she looks set for a big run.
Unbeaten in three starts as a juvenile including the Fillies’ Mile over course and distance last October when battling back well to score by a head over Powerful Breeze.
Roger Charlton’s Frankel filly needed plenty of driving on that occasion but she was strong at the finish despite the runner-up appearing inexperienced late and possibly throwing away the win. The pair had pulled clear of third-placed Love and the Charlton runner ought to give another good account here.
She had impressed the time before in a decent Newbury contest where she blitzed to a nine lengths’ victory over Kalsara and with plenty of potential to improve further this term she could prove a tough nut to crack with the better ground here unlikely to present an issue.
Rattled off a trio of wins last term following a defeat behind Daahyeh on her debut, beating the same rival to land her hat-trick when taking the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes.
Mark Johnston’s charge has lost no caste in defeat in either start since, finding only Earthlight too strong at Deauville in the Prix Morny and then coming off worst against Millisle latest over this course in the Cheveley Park Stakes.
It is interesting that the Middleham trainer steps the Slade Power filly up to one mile for a crack at the 1000 Guineas given she doesn’t look an obvious stayer over this trip and her stamina has to be taken on trust.
She can’t be dismissed if seeing out the longer distance however, but this stiff one mile trip will expose any potential weakness on that front in a race where there’s likely to be no hiding place.
ROSE OF KILDARE
Second runner in the race for Mark Johnston, the Make Believe filly saw plenty of action last term with no less than a dozen runs which yielded five wins, including a pair of Group Three wins at Ayr and here latterly in the Oh So Sharp Stakes.
She was all-out to hold on on that occasion but showed plenty of determination to hold off her rivals and she could find this extra furlong even more to her liking. She’ll have to find a big chunk of improvement on the balance of her form last term and she may lack the scope of a few of these but she can run well without matching the principal contenders.
Irish raider who has done little wrong, swapping wins with runner-up efforts and the three-time winner was last seen beating Raffle Prize here in the Cheveley Park Stakes.
The Starspangledbanner filly had been touched off by only a short-head the time before in the Dick Poole Stakes as she showed progressive form with each outing and she could take a hand if this longer trip doesn’t catch her out.
Speedily-bred, she doesn’t look an obvious type to improve for this stiffer test of stamina and this will certainly test her mettle to get home. Sprinting might well prove her game but she’s worth a try over this longer trip although she rates a doubtful stayer.
CLOAK OF SPIRITS
RIchard Hannon is no stranger to 1000 Guineas success and the Invincible Spirit filly can progress this term having shown plenty in her three starts last campaign.
The Invincible Spirit filly was an impressive winner at Ascot on her debut although she was a shade disappointing next time in the May Hill Stakes, eventually finishing sixth having hung right and weakened.
However she bounced back from that lesser effort to post a very good third to Daahyeh here in the Shadwel Rockfel Stakes, unable to quite match the front pair but giving no quarter throughout and he battled on strongly.
She could well have further progress to come this term and the yard certainly knows how to win this fillies’ Classic so her presence in the field is noteworthy.
Stamina is unlikely to be an issue given the way she finished her race last time and she can make into a very nice sort this term. She looks a good 1000 Guineas tips each-way selection and no surprise to see her in the mix for her top yard.
Improved on her debut to win twice last term which included a Group Three contest at Goodwood, and the Kingman filly wasn’t disgraced in finding only Powerful Breeze too strong in the May Hill Stakes next time.
She possibly just found the softer ground against her behind Quadrilateral in the Fillies’ Mile having possibly done too much in front and she might be worth another chance back on a better surface.
Bare form suggests she has a bit to find, including on her last run where she has three lengths to make up; but with potential to improve she can post a big run.
UNDER THE STARS
Three-time winner last term, scoring the last of them over this course in October when beating Mild Illusion by a short-head in a valuable sales race.
James Tate’s Night Of Thunder filly had won a Group Three contest at Ascot earlier in the season prior to locking horns with the likes of Love and Daahyeh respectively in outings at the Curragh and here in the Shadwell Rockfel Stakes where she crossed the line a close fourth and beaten just one length.
She finished strongly in that contest and looks well worth a try at the longer trip despite her dropping back to sprinting in that last victory. Open to improvement she could outrun her big odds and make her presence felt.
One of two in the race to sport the Godolphin blue silks, Saeed bin Suroor’s representative twice came off worst behind Raffle Prize last term in starts at Ascot and here prior to finishing sixth to Rose Of Kildare here in the Oh So Sharp Stakes.
The Dark Angel filly has been wintering in Dubai where she raced four times, winning at Meydan and making the frame on her three other starts which includes over this trip in the Saudi Derby. She has shown an affinity for dirt tracks during her stint in the Emirates and her task is to continue her form returned to turf.
She appeared to be reaching the end of her reserves latest so this stiff mile might catch her out; while her form with Raffle Prize from last term suggests she needs more to feature.
Won her first two starts last term which include an impressive six lengths’ success on the July course here in June prior to struggling in Group Three contests on later runs at Ascot and Salisbury.
Charlie Appleby’s charge finished third to Dark Lady in the Dick Poole Fillies’ Stakes at Salisbury, crossing the line almost five lengths’ adrift of the winner with Millisle a place ahead of her. However this longer trip may well unlock improvement and she looked in need of a stiffer test in that contest so may well do better now.
She needs to show progress but she’s still lightly-raced and could have more to offer this term.
Showed useful form in France for Jean-Claude Rouget, winning a Listed contest at La Teste De Buch and making the frame in a pair of Group Three contests at Longchamp and Maisons-Laffitte where he was only denied a neck behind Dream And Do in the Prix Miesque.
The Bated Breath filly has seen that one go on to win a Group One and she has since switched yards to pitch up at George Baker’s yard where she can continue her progress.
A winner on better ground in France, her best performances have however come on softer conditions and she has more to do stepping up in class on her first run for her new yard faced with a surface that may just prove quick enough for her.
Yet to race on turf but showed ability in two starts last term, finishing a close third on debut at Kempton prior to opening her account at the second attempt with a ready success over Orczy at Lingfield.
The third horse home has won since and John Gosden’s charge is open to plenty of improvement this term having still looked rough around the edges in that winning start but hinting at better to come.
Now faced with grass the Lope De Vega filly does have to take a significant forward step now she goes up markedly in grade, but she’s evidently been showing plenty at home to warrant a place in this line-up and with improvement to come it would be unwise to write her off as a 1000 Guineas tips contender.
Won three times last term, including a competitive Doncaster handicap prior to making the leap to Group company where the Gutaifan filly found only Rose Of Kildare too strong in the Firth Of Clyde Stakes.
Eve Johnson-Houghton’s charge had beaten the same rival earlier in the campaign over the July Course but failed to back up that run next time when stepped up to seven furlongs and she looks a dubious stayer.
The firmer ground is in her favour with all her wins coming on ground described as good-to-firm, but she looks up against it here where she’s rated more than one stone behind Quadrilateral on official rankings.
Won well on debut at Newcastle in October, scoring cosily and hinting at better to come following her defeat of Perfect Focus.
This is a much tougher test however facing Karl Burke’s charge as she goes up in trip and switches to grass taking in a Group One contest and while a potentially useful sort she may find this company too hot but is worth watching on her return.
Won a Listed contest at Dusseldorf last term to double her win tally having earlier struck at Chelmsford on her second career outing.
However she’s come up short in Listed and Group Three company in the UK although she ran well in defeat in the Premio Dormello at San Siro in Italy behind Night Colours.
Hughie Morrison’s Mukhadram filly will need a significant career-best effort to win this on her return and her form falls some way short of the best of these. She might want the ground to be softer than she’ll encounter on Sunday also and she looks up against it at this level.
1000 GUINEAS TIPS – BIG-RACE VERDICT
Unbeaten Quadrilateral was strong at the finish of the Fillies’ Mile over course and distance and Roger Charlton’s charge is likely to prove a tough nut to crack as she bids to maintain her perfect record.
The favourite aside, the race for the places is wide open and Aidan O’Brien has another strong hand with his runners; however CLOAK OF SPIRITS could be worth chancing to find a jolt of improvement having looked a progressive sort last term.
A debut winner she lost no caste in defeat on either of her two subsequent outings, beaten only a half-length by Daahyeh when last seen out in the Shadwel Rockfel Stakes here in September. She had thumped two subsequent winners on her debut and her Doncaster flop saw her ridden too aggressively; she is probably better than she showed there and her latest run was a step back in the right direction.
She’s worth another chance back at this longer trip with her breeding suggesting she’ll get the distance and the way she finished off last time certainly hinted that this stiff one mile would suit so every chance she can deliver a big effort to land our 1000 Guineas tips for Sunday’s Classic race.