George Margarson and Lucky Kristale

04th May 2014

The QIPCO 1000 Guineas – a last minute guide

Unlike the 2000 Guineas, the Classic trials have not provided a strong favourite for this year’s renewal of the Qipco 1000 Guineas. The top of the market is based on performances from last season.

Clive Brittain’s Rizeena heads the field based on consistent performances in most of the top 2yo filly races. A winner at Royal Ascot, she followed up in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh and ended the season finishing second to the ill-fated Chriselliam in the Shadwell Fillies' Mile over course and distance.

Based on 2 year old form Lucky Kristale is also leading player. Winner of four races last season, her only defeat came at Royal Ascot where connections feel they got the race tactics wrong, making too much use of her that day. There is however a doubt over her ability to stay the mile distance though.  All her races have been run over 6 furlongs and trainer George Margarson is of the opinion 'we won’t know until we try'. So Sunday will very much an exploration into unknown territory with her.

Miss France remained the ante-post favourite for the race for most of the winter however a disappointing performance in the Prix Imprudence at Maisons-Laffitte saw her pushed out. Prior to that run she was a eye catching winner of the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stake here at Newmarket. Although she may not have lived up to expectations on her seasonal return, it would be no surprise to see this Andre Fabre-trained filly return to form now she has a run under her belt.

Ihtimal has more experience than most of these and will be race fit having won the UAE 1000 Guineas and Oaks over in Meydan. She is dropping down in trip from that Oaks win however the Godolphin team so not see this as a problem. She has strong European form from last season, beaten by Royal Ascot winner (the sadly absent) Kiyoshi on debut before winning a Group 3 and 2 and rounding off the season finishing one place behind Rizeena in the Shadwell Fillies Mile.

Sandiva is one of only two fillies in the race to have won a trial this season, winner of the Nell Gwyn by half a length she will once again have to fend of challenges from Euro Charline, Majeyda, Lamar and Queen Catrine, 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th that day.  It was in that trial that Sky Lantern finished second before going on to win  QIPCO 1000 Guineas last year.

The other filly to have run in a trial is Bracelet for the Aidan O’Brien team, she was the winner of the Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial although she is the second string on jockey bookings with Joseph O’Brien choosing Tapestry. The latter was the winner of the Group 2 Debutant Stakes before finishing second to Rizeena in the Moyglare Stud Stakes having suffered interference in racing from Kiyoshi.

Since John Gosden won the 1000 Guineas in 2000 with Lahan he has only once run a filly in the race on the back of one run. That filly turned out to be Group 1 winner The Fugue. On Sunday he runs 33/1 shot Betimes for Prince Haya Of Jordan who has only a sole maiden win at Lingfield in December to her name. Although I don’t have a strong fancy in the race she is the one I will be putting in my notebook for the rest of the season.