You wait eight months for a Classic and then two come along at once. After the boys go in the 2000 Guineas on Saturday, it’s then the turn of the fillies in the 1000 Guineas on Sunday.
Plenty of exciting types have won this in the past. But last year provided a real shock as Billesdon Brook upset the likes of Laurens, Happily and Wild Illusion to win at 66/1.
Will we see another shock this time around? We’ve previewed the runners and riders for the 2019 edition of the 1000 Guineas below.
General consensus is that this is a pretty windy renewal. By that we mean there’s no standout favourite. Qabala is doing her best to put a case forward for Roger Varian and in fairness her form is pretty good.
The daughter of Scat Daddy is a two-time Newmarket winner but must now prove her worth over 1m. She stayed on strongly to win the Nell Gwyn and is bidding to become the first filly to do the double since 2006.
So could Skitter Skatter continue her upward trajectory? John Oxx’s charge has some of the best form on offer after a hat-trick of Group wins at the back end of last term, including in the Group 1 Moyglare.
She’s already had a number of these behind and must be taken under due consideration. The switch of trainer is no issue either, with Oxx taking over Patrick Prendergast’s string over the winter.
Aidan O’Brien has won this race in two of the last three years. He saddles Just Wonderful and Fairyland. The former has something to make up on Skitter Skatter but should benefit from having run over 1m before.
But it’s Fairyland who interests us. The Kodiac filly is a two-time Group winner over 6f and impressed to take the Cheveley Park last time out in September. That form has been made to look even better since.
Runner-up The Mackem Bullet went on to win over 1m at Group 2 level, while Lady Kaya – sixth that day – took the Irish 2000 Guineas Trial in some style last month. They’re not bad form lines at all.
So what of the rest? Angel’s Hideaway, Look Around and Mot Juste all need to turn around the form from the Nell Gwyn, with the latter of the trio looking the best placed after leading with 1f to go.
Joseph O’Brien has made a habit of saddling winners in big races. He goes with Iridessa, whose showing was better than the result behind Lady Kaya last time out, and has also won over course and distance in the Fillies’ Mile.
Dandhu won the Fred Darling trial at Newbury in April ahead of Iconic Choice and Star Terms. Her prior defeat to Just Wonderful at Newmarket suggests all four will need to find something extra to be in contention.
So too will Antonia De Vega. Ralph Beckett’s charge couldn’t build on her earlier Group 3 win when last after pulling up lame in the Fillies’ Mile in October. The form of her Prestige Stakes success hasn’t work out well either.
Fleeting is another for O’Brien and could run well after finishing just 3l behind Just Wonderful in a Group 3 and then landing a Group 2 at Doncaster. She’s a potential each-way shout if there’s more improvement.
Look Around and Garrel Glen complete the field for Andrew Balding and Mark Tompkins.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication