We covered the latest 2,000 Guineas ante-post betting, last week, so let’s now take a peek out how the 1,000 Guineas market is shaping-up. Which horses are attracting the most interest?
She was unfancied on debut at the Curragh and was indeed defeated, but she shed her maiden tag at Goodwood before heading back over the Irish Sea to narrowly beat stablemate Hydrangea in G2 Debutante Stakes. However, along with Promise To Be True, she suffered at the hands of rank-outsider Intricately in the G1 Moyglare Stakes. Rhododendron then confirmed her edge over Hydrangea in the Dubai Fillies’ Mile, at Headquarters, but her position at the head of the market reflects that next year’s 1,000 Guineas still looks wide open.
Charlie Appleby certainly handled this Dubawi filly with kid-gloves, as a juvenile and she only raced once in the British Isles. She beat Sir Michael Stoute’s Spatial in a fairly uneventful debut at Newmarket, before being sent across the Channel in October. William Buick was on-board as she scooped G1 honours in only her second outing (Prix Marcel Boussac, Chantilly). The form of that encounter must be regarded as questionable, given Promise To Be True’s not-too-promising Autumn performances, but Wuheida has done all that was asked of her so far.
The Frankel-sired chestnut was never easy to back, once the hype surrounding her father’s progeny had quickly got into gear, but a 4-length defeat of Nations Alexander at Haydock appeared to confirm that this was another that dared punters to oppose her. Most did not and got their fingers burned in the G2 Lowther Stakes, when she finished an odds-on 3rd behind both Queen Kindly and Roly Poly. Undeterred, bettors piled back in on her for the G2 Rockfel Stakes, which led to Newmarket raining betting-slip confetti when Frankie Dettori landed the spoils on Spain Berg. Fair Eva still has a great deal to prove.
Recent 1,000 Guineas Winners
Natagora was the winner in 2008. The French broodmare had a record of five wins out of seven, as a two year-old, and named as Cartier European two-year old champion. Bred by Bertrand Gouin and Georges Duca, owned by Stefan Friborg and trained by Pascal Bary, Natagora scooped almost eight-hundred thousand pounds in prize money, during her short career. When winning the 1000 Guineas, she was up against two very capable English fillies, Spacious and Infallible. Natagora was making the running, after just two furlongs. She was never headed, after that, and won by half a length.
Ghanaati was the 2009 champion. Sired by Giant’s Causeway and out of Sarayir, this bay-mare was trained by Barry Hills. Her 1000 Guineas win was her first time out as a two year-old. At 20/1, Ghanaati had few friends in the market and the serious money was on Rainbow View (the 8/11 favorite). This horse ran a disappointing race and Ghanaati was eye-catching, going clear in the final quarter of a mile. There were concerns about Rainbow View running to her best on the firm ground, which were comprehensively vindicated. Never the less, this was a very impressive performance by the Hamdan Al Maktoum horse. Her winning time was more than one and a half seconds faster than Sea The Stars victory in the 2000 Guineas, on the previous day.
Special Duty won in 2010, although the race was controversial. She was beaten by a nose, by Jacqueline Quest, but the winner was demoted after hanging right and impeding Special Duty. It wasn’t the most desirable way to win a classic race, but most felt that Khalid Abdulla’s horse was the best on the day. Confirmation of her class came when she won the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches, shortly afterwards.
In 2011, the winner was Blue Bunting. Owned by Godolphin and trained by Mahmood Al Zarooni, Blue Bunting won the Newmarket Montrose Stakes as a two year-old. Frankie Dettori was on-board for her 1000 Guineas win, although she was not particularly popular with punters and went off at 16/1. These odds appeared to be justified, as she was easily outpaced over the first four furlongs. Blue Bunting rallied gamely, putting in a strong run on the rail, to win by three-quarters of a length.
Homecoming Queen was the 2012 champion. She was also an outsider, at 25/1. The money was mainly on stablemate, Maybe, but the Aidan O’Brien trained horse put a top-quality field to the sword, winning by an astonishing nine lengths.
The 2013 champion was Sky Lantern, a horse trained by Richard Hannon. Sent off as joint-favorite, along with Big Break, Sky Lantern showed a breath-taking turn of foot. Held up in last place, when turning into the straight, Sky Lantern made the field look pedestrian on the run-in, winning by four lengths.
Legatissimo won in 2014 and proved herself a worthy champion by grabbing the glory in both the Nassau Stakes and the Matron Stakes. She was named Cartier Champion Three-year-old Filly. There were plans for her to run, as a 4-year-old, but she suffered a setback in training which quickly led to her retirement.
Aidan O’Brien’s Galileo filly, Minding, was utterly dominant as both a 2 and 3-year-old. Before her 2016 win, she had already tasted victory in both the Moyglare Stud Stakes and the Fillies’ Mile. After it, she truly established herself as one f the most exciting fillies in recent years, winning the Epsom Oaks, the Pretty Polly Stakes, the Nassau Stakes and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes.
The contenders for next year’s 1,000 Guineas will certainly need to step-up a great deal, if they are going to prove worthy followers to recent champions!