Back-in-form Maureen all set for serious crack at 1000 Guineas
Having finished outside the first three only once in five career starts thus far, Maureen certainly seems worthy of each-way consideration at least in the Qipco 1000 Guineas, for which she is attributed a 10/1 price to win.
The three-year-old was back in the winner’s enclosure on her last appearance, first past the post in the latest renewal of Newbury’s Fred Darling Stakes, to reward punters to the tune of 7/2.
And if in similar mood at Newmarket, she could very well serve it up to Sir Henry Cecil’s Hot Snap, who is currently afforded 11/4 favouritism for the Guineas in ante post betting.
Maureen relished the step up to 7f in her last outing, dispelling memories of a ninth-place finish over 6f the race prior.
Indeed, the extra furlong seemed to aid Richard Hannon’s filly at Newbury, as a dramatic change of pace in the latter stages of the race put paid to favourite Rosdhu Queen’s chances.
Jockey on that occasion, Richard Hughes, told the Racing Post in reaction: “I felt they went a very good gallop and I was probably eight lengths off them. The front nine died a bit but mine did pick up well.
“It might be harder over the extra furlong but you have to let her take her chance.”
Despite that praise, Hughes has opted to ride Sky Lantern in the upcoming Newmarket showpiece, but the jockey booking for Maureen is eye-catching to say the least.
Four-time French champion jockey Olivier Peslier will partner the three-year-old, and his 2000 Guineas victory aboard Cockney Rebel at this course in 2007 should be a point of encouragement for backers of Hannon’s filly here.
Peslier said: “She’s got a lot of pace and she enjoys her racing. If the favourites aren’t quite at their best she’s a filly who can cause a surprise. The fifth or sixth favourites in such a race always have a chance of winning.”
Considering all factors, 10/1 appears a very fair price that Maureen triumphs for a fourth time in six career starts, landing a maiden Grade One victory in the process.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.