The only favourite to win the 1,000 Guineas across the last seven renewals was Special Duty in 2010 and that was only because Jacqueline Quest, who was first past the post, was relegated to second after a stewards’ inquiry.
This doesn’t bode well for 2016 favourite Minding, who is the clear ante-post market leader at 11/4 after ending last season with back-to-back Group 1 victories.
Therefore, it may pay to look further down the betting in the hope of uncovering the 1,000 Guineas winner and here are three entrants that warrant an appearance on any pre-race shortlist of potential winners:
French-trained runners have been in short supply in the 1,000 Guineas in the last decade, but those that have lined up at Newmarket have performed more than credibly. Natagora, Special Duty and Miss France have all won, while others have been placed.
The French charge in 2016 looks set to be led by Trixia, who won all four starts as a two-year-old, with the last coming in a Group 3 contest over the Guineas distance of a mile.
She has since moved to the higher-profile yard of Alain de Royer-Dupre from Frederic Rossi and her Guineas odds are bound to shorten if winning the Prix Imprudence, her expected next target, in France in early April.
After winning her first three starts, including two at Group level, Illuminate ended last season slightly disappointingly.
She chased home well-fancied Guineas hope Lumiere in the Cheveley Park Stakes when it was suggested that she was caught short by a lack of race fitness following over two months off the track.
Illuminate then headed to the Breeders’ Cup meeting when only sixth in the Fillies’ Turf on a first try over 1m.
However, it had been a long season and the slower surface of Keeneland may have blunted her speed. There is every chance that Richard Hannon’s filly can put her best foot forward again at Newmarket after her winter off.
Minding is clearly the first string of the Aidan O’Brien yard, but there are multiple examples in Classics in recent years of one of his lesser-fancied runners securing an unexpected triumph instead.
Qualify in last year’s Epsom Oaks and Homecoming Queen in the 1,000 Guineas of 2012 are just two examples.
Best In The World is the sister of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf winner and former Irish 1,000 Guineas runner-up Found and remains lightly raced after just two racecourse appearances.
The most recent came in a Listed contest over 1m at the Curragh where she was far from all out. She clearly has more to give and certainly looks capable of adding further victories to her resume at Group level.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.