In contrast to the lead-up to the 2000 Guineas being raced on Saturday, the ante-post betting market for the 1000 Guineas has lacked a dominant figure. In fact, current favourite Qabala was only promoted into 3/1 market leader off-the-back of her taking performance a fortnight ago at Newmarket.
Qabala has looked smart on her previous two starts over the Rowley Mile and that course form could prove a big advantage for Roger Varian’s charge. She seems to have a lot going for her, although remains quite inexperienced when compared to recent winners of the 1000 Guineas and the form of her first win of the season isn’t working out either. Those factors combined with her price which has lost any juice makes me want to look elsewhere in what is an open-looking renewal.
Ballydoyle don’t seem to have as firm a grip on this version of the Guineas as they do with the colts and line up with a team of four this year. The pick of the bunch could be Fairyland, who carries some stamina doubts having only raced over 6f thus far in her career, winning 4/5 starts. She could be a huge-player if seeing out the extra couple of furlongs with Frankie Dettori aboard the Kodiac-filly, but hasn’t got the most obvious profile for this.
Iridessa ticks plenty of boxes for Joseph O’Brien, who has had another successful season as a National Hunt trainer, and will be popular at slightly bigger odds. Iridessa shaped really-well on her opening seasonal reappearance where she carried plenty of condition and is entitled to come on substantially for the run.
She also has a Group 1 success over C&D, winning the Bet365 Fillies Mile last season having had the likes of Pretty Polyanna and Hermosa in-behind. But that race has a rather weak look to the form now and being by Ruler Of The World, I think the yard may see her as more of an Oaks filly.
Although not the most obvious selection based purely on recent trends fo this race, I can’t get away from the possibility that there could be a lot of class in the small frame of SKITTER SCATTER for master trainer John Oxx.
Oxx is attempting to rejuvenate his career as a trainer and has now teamed up with Patrick Prendergast (who trained Skitter Scatter last season) during the winter season. Oxx might just become a force again this season as the former trainer of Sea The Stars goes in search of another Classic success, 10 years on from his last, and he is relishing the prospect of returning to Newmarket with a truly live contender.
Underestimated at the start of her juvenile campaign, Skitter Scatter went on to progress each and every time she stepped on to the racetrack last year culminating with a hattrick of victories in Group 3, Group 2 and finally Group 1 company. The final of which was a win in the Moyglare Stakes at the Curragh last September with several of these in-behind her. That performance gives her a big shout as being the best-rated juvenile filly in Europe last season.
Skitter Scatter is US-bred and by exceptional sire, Scat Daddy. She has yet to race beyond 7f, but there is little doubt she will stay the mile trip based on how she finished off her races as a two-year-old. Two negatives against her are the lack of a prep run this season and the lack of experience on this track. But she has plenty of experience generally having raced seven times during her two-year-old campaign and that can often be vital in this race.
She also appears to be incredibly straighforward with a willing attitude and a turn-of-foot. Those qualities should stand her in good stead, and recent winners of the Moyglare have gone on to do well in this race. The yard know how to get a good one ready, and I’m hoping they have got her spot on at home so she can take her chance in the Classic on Sunday.
1000 Guineas selection: 1pt win Skitter Scatter @6/1, 15:35 Newmarket, SundayLeave a comment