Preview – 1.000 Guineas

Rowley Mile

The ground for Sunday remains quick at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile – perfect conditions for an exciting renewal of the 1.000 Guineas. The field may lack an obvious superstar at this stage, but  maybe there’s a new one born as soon as the horses have been crossing the winning post? We will see. It certainly looks a wide open affair.

The Favourite:

Godolphin’s Lucida is currently at the head of the market. She replaced long-time favourite Found in that particular position. The Ballydoyle filly is out, though, and her abscense has ripped a big hole into the betting market. Lucida is currently trading a 6/1 chance – not exactly a favourite in the true meaning of the word, is it?

The Shamardal filly hasn’t done too much wrong in her career. She was a progressive juvenile, finishing a close second behind Cursory Glance in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, while following up with an impressive success in the Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket. Subsequently stepped up to 1m on her final start in 2014, she finished only fourth but the soft ground was probably against her.

One would think that on pedigree the 1m trip is ideal, so is the quick ground. Question mark is – did she train on? We haven’t seen her this season yet and have to find out this afternoon. She is a pretty good chance on her two year old form, though.

The Challengers:

Fadhayyil, currently a 7/1 chance, finished a good runner-up behind Lucida at Newmarket last year in the Rockfel. She has only had three starts to date and won only a maiden, but the step up to 1m looks sure to suit. If she can improve a bit for experience and distance, she is fairly closely matched with Lucida. We haven’t seen her this year either, though.

Lightly raced Jellicle Ball only won a Kempton maiden to date but clearly stepped up to pattern class when she repapered last month in the Fred Darling Stakes over seven furlongs. She is well bred and talented. With the recent run under her belt she’s bound to come on a good deal for an excellent runner-up effort that day. She is supposed to be better over further, so 1m looks a perfect trip for the moment. She is a big runner and money is coming for her.

David Wachman’s exciting Legatissimo won a Listed event over 9.5 furlongs last week. She loves the quick ground and is clearly very talented, but the drop in trip isn’t sure to suit her. However she is the choice of Ryan Moore and has to be respected for that simple reason.

Royal Ascot winner Osaila proved that she trained on thanks to a gutsy success in the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes over 7f last month. She has good form over 1m from her only start over this trip when she ran out a fine 3rd at the Breeders Cup. She will need to improve a good deal, though, in order to be competitive today, I feel.

The Raven’s Pass filly Malabar proved her class in hot Group 1 races last year. Good performances in the Prix Marcel Boussac and Moyglare Stud Stakes give her a fair form chance if she has trained on. Recent Fred Darling scorer Redstart is not out of this either. She won well but has to improve for the new trip here again and one would think that runner-up Jellicle Bell is a better prospect, given that Redstart had everything going for herself from the front, which might not be the case here today.

The Outsiders:

There is plenty of money coming for Tiggy Wiggy. She is now into 10’s which is madness in my eyes. Apologies for the harsh words – but I have to be honest here. Maybe I eat my words afterwards, but that’s fine. I simply can’t see her stay. She is all speed on pedigree. She is all speed on visual impression. And she has been a precocious two year old sprinter, who doesn’t look to have grown allot over the winter. Others make simply much more appeal.

UAE Guineas and Derby winner Local Time is an interesting runner. She won at Newmarket over 7f last season but has particularly excelled on the Dirt this year at Meydan. if she can translate this form to turf now, she is not out of it. That says more is required here and others may have more scope.

Aiden O’Brien’s sole runner is Weld Park Stakes winner Qualify. She was a good two year old but has to step up a good deal here, as well as has to overcome a trip that looks like stretching her stamina. Irish Rookie won a Listed race over course and distance last November. Much more is needed today and the ground is a question mark too. Kodiac filly Terror looks up against it over this new trip.

Leaves me with the biggest outsider of them all – Queen Nefertiti. This Galileo filly, trained my David Wachman appears to be pretty overpriced in my eyes. A 33/1 shot at the moment, you can get 1/4 odds and 4 places with Paddy Power – this looks big value. Why? Well, this filly won on her debut last year a good maiden in pretty taking style and was ever since thought to be a Guineas horse.

She made her seasonal reappearance at Dundalk recently, the day when I was there and to be honest I really liked what I saw. She looked excellent in the parade ring, clearly has trained on and finished a nice third in a hot little race while only beaten in a very tight finish. She travelled strongly throughout, but gave the impression of greenness in the closing stages when she seemed to be a bit intimidated by the other horses beside her. She was literally sandwiched in the final half furlong, and didn’t stick her neck out as a consequence.

I would expect Queen Nefertiti to come on a good bit for the run. She should have learned plenty as well and with trip and ground very likely to suit, this extremely well bred filly could be able to outrun her big price tag. She is my selection against the field, in a wide open renewal, where I probably most like the Gosden filly – but can’t see 7/1 as a particularly appealing price.

1.000 Guineas – Newmarket; 1m, Group 1
Queen Nefertiti @ 33/1 Paddy Power – 0.5pts e/w

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