Aidan O’Brien’s less-than-stellar record in Newmarket’s 1000 Guineas may well continue this Sunday, with 4/1 favourite Found looking increasingly likely to miss the first Classic weekend of the Flat campaign.
The King of Ballydoyle gave punters this update on the jolly’s plans earlier this week:
“We still haven’t made a decision on Found. We will probably have to make a decision tomorrow. She only did a slow canter when all the horses worked after racing at the Curragh as she had a temperature a few weeks before that.
“It wouldn’t be fair to run her if everybody wasn’t happy that she could do her best in the Guineas, and we need to keep the rest of the year in mind for her. She is coming along but it’s just a question of whether the Guineas comes too soon.
“The other two fillies (Qualify and Together Forever) could run on Sunday.”
That doesn’t sound good, especially considering Found was half her current price a mere seven days ago.
Furthermore, with the Ballydoyle first string in doubt, it may pay to abandon Classic-expert O’Brien’s pair Qualify and Together Forever, priced at 8/1 and 6/1 respectively, as the Wexford man has a surprisingly patchy record in the fillies’ mile.
Only two runners, Virginia Waters and Homecoming Queen in 2005 and 2012, have brought the 45-year-old success in the English 1000 Guineas. By contrast, O’Brien has won the Newmarket colts’ equivalent, the Irish 1000 Guineas and the Irish 2000 Guineas at least six times each.
For an alternative, the first two home in September’s 7f Shadwell Rockfel Stakes, at the same track, are of particular interest, with Barry Hills’ 6/1 shot Fadhayyil tipped to find the required improvement to turn the tables on Jim Bolger’s 5/1 second-favourite Lucida.
Both trainers are former 1000 Guineas winners, although Hills leads the Irish raider 2-1 in such stakes, and took the prize more recently with Ghanaati in 2009.
Fadhayyil only went down by a length to Lucida last autumn, despite losing ground when running greenly, as two-year-olds often do, in the final furlong.
Jockey Paul Hanagan will know her better by now, and if last year’s Epsom Oaks-winning jockey keeps Hills’ girl in a straight line, the 78-year-old, soon-to-be-retired (for the second time) handler can land a fifth Classic on the Rowley Mile.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.