Our 2000 Guineas fancy Madhmoon ran a good race to finish 4th and with the majority of bookies paying out on 4 places, hopefully you collected. The rain that fell before the race wasn’t ideal for him and either was his draw. As we predicted, Magna Grecia was the pick of the Coolmore contingent and he ran out an easy winner. He was probably flattered by the margin of victory though as the draw bias was massive. It is the turn of the fillies on Sunday and you can read Dave Stevos’ in depth 1000 Guineas preview below …
1000 Guineas Preview: The Main Contenders
Just like the 2000 Guineas on Saturday, the 1000 Guineas also looks a pretty open race. Qabala shot to the head of the market after her impressive win here last month. Skitter Scatter brings the best 2yo form into the race, while Just Wonderful and Fairyland spearhead a four pronged Ballydoyle challenge. We look at the chances of all the big guns in this 1000 Guineas preview and hopefully we can uncover the winner…
1000 Guineas Preview
Qabala – 7/2
Trainer: Roger Varian
Jockey: David Egan
A daughter of the late Scat Daddy, Qabala wasn’t on many radars for this race when the season started. She won a back end maiden last term by a head but her Group 3 win on her seasonal return here last month saw her installed as 1000 Guineas favourite. Both those wins came over 7f on quick ground and chances are the underhoof conditions will be similar tomorrow. The question is, will she stay a mile?
Her sire was a crack sprinter but as he has shown with US Triple Crown winner Justify, he can produce middle distance types too. Her Empire Maker dam is related to a number of winners at up to a mile and Qabala’s half sister won at 9.5f. Those that are on at big prices each way will be happy with their lot, but odds of 7/2 look skinny enough now and the value has gone.
Skitter Scatter – 6/1
Trainer: John Oxx
Jockey: Ronan Whelan
This 3yo filly, another daughter of Scat Daddy, was the best 2yo filly in the UK and Ireland last season. She has been my idea of the winner of this race for some time and in my opinion, she should be favourite. Skitter Scatter won her final three races on the bounce last season, progressing from Group 3 to Group 1 level. She travels, she quickens and she stays on well so she has all the characteristics you would look for in a potential 1000 Guineas winner.
Her pedigree suggests there is a good chance a mile will be within her compass. Her Street Cry dam won over 10f and her Grand dam is a half sister to a 12f Group 3 winner. She has already beaten Just Wonderful (by 7L), Lady Kaya (by 2L), Iridessa (by 5L) and Hermosa twice (by 6L + 3L). She is drawn in 11 which is a positive on Saturday’s evidence and Ronan Whelan is a top class pilot. At odds of 6/1 she looks overpriced.
Iridessa – 7/1
Trainer: Joseph O’Brien
Jockey: Donnacha O’Brien
Iridessa won over this course and distance on her final start of last year. She beat Hermosa in the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile on quick ground and it was a good performance. Joseph O’Brien’s filly was well behind Skitter Scatter earlier in the season at the Curragh in a Group 2, but perhaps the yielding ground was against her.
She is by Derby winning sire Ruler Of The World so you would imagine a mile will be her minimum. Her Danehill dam is related to winners ranging from 7f to 9.6f so her pedigree has a nice mix of speed and stamina. Iridessa has attracted support in the market and Donnacha O’Brien will be brimful of confidence after his win on Magna Grecia. However, on previous form Skitter Scatter has her measure. Each way claims at odds of 7/1.
Just Wonderful – 7/1
Trainer: Ryan Moore
Jockey: Aidan O’Brien
Dansili is a sire that produces some fantastic offspring and Just Wonderful is one of those. This filly is out of a Montjeu dam and her Group 2 winning dam is out of a close relative to Sea The Stars and Galileo. As pedigrees go, you won’t get much better and while she hasn’t quite lived up to it yet, there is still time.
On form she has a lot to find with Skitter Scatter on their meeting at the Curragh last season. However, she does have course winning form in the book, over 7f on quick ground. She beat Dandhu comfortably in the Group 2 Rockfel then ran with credit over 8f in the Breeders’ Cup. She will likely go off shorter than her current price. So, if you fancy her get on as soon as you can.
Fairyland – 9/1
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
This daughter of Kodiac was a revelation last season, winning 4 of her 5 starts. However, like her stablemate Ten Sovereigns, she has yet to race beyond 6f. Frankie has been booked for the ride and he has a modest 10% strike rate when riding for O’Brien in Ireland and the UK (1/10).
Her form and the style of her wins, as well as her pedigree, suggests that stamina could be a major issue. She is by Kodiac, a big speed influence and she is also out of a Pivotal mare. Her dam is half sister to top class sprinter Dream Ahead, so getting a mile could be beyond her. Jockey bookings suggest she is down the pecking order for Ballydoyle and at 12/1 she is overlooked.
Lady Kaya – 14/1
Trainer: Sheila Lavery
Jockey: Robbie Colgan
This filly showed some very smart form in Ireland last year and she has a serious engine. A very strong traveller, only greenness beat her on debut behind Decrypt and then she bumped into Skitter Scatter on her next two starts. She was 3.5L behind her first time over 7f on yielding and she closed the gap to 2L next time on better ground.
There are question marks about this filly’s optimum ground as she won cosily on soft on her comeback. She seemed to handle good to firm well on debut, but she folded tamely on it when running at Newmarket. Her pedigree gives mixed messages about her getting the trip too. She is entitled to take her chance and she clearly has stacks of ability, but the stiff mile on quick ground could just find her out. She could sneak into the first five at odds of 14/1.
Mot Juste – 14/1
Trainer: Roger Varian
Jockey: William Buick
Mot Juste is closely matched with Qabala on their meeting here in the Nell Gwyn over 7f last month. The betting suggested she would have to play second fiddle and so it transpired. The question has to be was she a bigger price because of the difference in ability or was it because she wasn’t as fit. If it was the latter, she could easily get a lot closer to Qabala and even perhaps reverse the form.
Mot Juste is a beautifully bred daughter of Distorted Humour and is out of a Sadler’s Wells mare. She has plenty of stamina in her pedigree, her dam being a 12f Group 2 winner. Distorted Humour’s progeny are usually best at 7f-9f so a mile should not be an issue. William Buick won on her the only previous time he rode so his booking looks a positive. At odds of 14/1 Mot Juste looks a shade overpriced and could go well.
Dandhu – 16/1
Trainer: David Elsworth
Jockey: Gerald Mosse
Another daughter of Dandy Man, this is a filly that made a very nice return to action at Newbury last month. She proved a short head too good for Iconic Choice in the Group 3 Fred Darling over 7f (gd/sft). So Perfect was back in 3rd and that adds some substance to the form as she beat Skitter Scatter over 6f at the Curragh last season.
Her win came on good to soft but she did run well behind Just Wonderful on a quick surface over 7f here, staying on well. On that form she would have an each way squeak at least here. She won’t lack for assistance from the saddle either with Mosse booked. A big run would come as no surprise and she has definite each way claims at odds of 16/1.
1000 Guineas Preview – The Best Of The Rest
Of those at bigger prices, the two Ballydoyle horses cannot be totally ruled out. Fleeting was 2/4 last season and won nicely at Doncaster in a Group 2 on her final start in 2018. Hermosa was placed in three Group 1s and she cannot be discounted either.
Richard Hannon had one place at a massive price in the 2000 Guineas and Star Terms will be ridden by James Doyle. This filly is by Sea The Stars and out of an Exceed and Excel mare, a very attractive profile. She has plenty of experience and she only has a length to find with Dandhu. It would be no surprise if she hit the frame.
1000 Guineas Preview – The Verdict
As the betting indicates, this is a very open race. Qabala is all the rage after her win last time but this is a much tougher assignment. Just Wonderful looks to be the pick of the Ballydoyle quartet, though Fleeting is an interesting filly too. However, on what she achieved last year Skitter Scatter is the one they all have to beat.
She has already beaten most of the Irish horses and she handles all sorts of ground. John Oxx will be eager to get his name back in lights and this could be the filly to do just that. She is drawn high in stall 11 which is a positive on Saturday’s evidence and Ronan Whelan knows her inside out. At odds of 6/1 she is the selection for the 2019 1000 Guineas. Just Wonderful, Dandhu and Mot Juste can fight it out for the places, while at a huge price Star Terms could go well.
1000 Guineas PREVIEW AND TIP: SKITTER SCATTER WIN @ 6/1