Ante-post preview and free betting tips for the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket May 4th.
The 1,000 Guineas is the opening Classic of the British Flat Season exclusively for fillies. This race represents a tough, challenging contest and that is emphasised by the competitive ante-post betting markets. With many of the leading contenders swerving a prep race there are some great prices available for punters looking for a spot of value.
Rizeena (7/2 bet365) currently heads the markets after a strong 2 y-o season which saw her claim victory in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and then go on to finish a length down to Chriselliam in the Shadwell Fillies Mile at Newmarket. Reports from connections have been bullish, detailing how well she has worked at home and how well she has wintered. However, like many in the field her form isn’t bullet proof and she still has some questions to answer. When she’s seen at her best she has been very impressive however, she’s been quite heavily raced, carries her head quite high, and tends to hang badly right at times. Despite arriving here more exposed than some of her rivals she is undoubtedly a classy filly and should give a good account of herself.
One horse who was successful in beating Rizeena last year was Lucky Kristale (10/1 Ladbrokes) who beat Clive Brittain’s filly rather emphatically in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket over six furlongs. Rizeena hung badly that day and seemed to lack the necessary speed to win over that shorter distance. Lucky Kristale was mightily impressive and looks to be a really straightforward horse. Although she is untested beyond 6f, she looked to be lengthening nicely in the Lowther beating the likes of Queen Catrine, Windfire and J Wonder. That form looks particularly strong and, if she is as effective over the extra 2f, then she is certainly one to keep an eye on.
Although the John Oxx trained My Titania (8/1 William Hill) has yet to travel over from Ireland, she has progressed nicely in her three starts last season. Second in her first maiden she then stepped up and ran out a good winner at Leopardstown over 7f. She was just kept up to the task that day and she put in a similar performance when winning the Weld Park Stakes (Group 3) at the Curragh. She’s a lovely traveller and could well offer plenty more when really asked to lengthen. A slight concern could be that this race will be run as a prep race for the Oaks, a race which her trainer could well be targeting as the 1m4f trip could bring out the best in her.
Andre Fabre is no stranger to the British Classics and the French have a reasonable record in the Guineas (five winners from twenty six). MISS FRANCE (9/1 SkyBet) was a former favourite throughout the winter, however was pushed out in the betting after a lacklustre reappearance when 6th in the Prix Imprudence. She performed well last year, winning the Oh So Sharp Stakes (Group Three) at Newmarket in good fashion. Although the margin of victory that day hardly suggests she’s a force to be reckoned with, the way in which she travelled, once settling, and won with a fair amount in hand was particularly eye-catching. Prior to that race, she claimed victory over Indonsienne at Chantilly, form which was given a huge boost as the runner-up went on to win the Marcel Boussac (Group 1) at Longchamp. While Miss France may have had her colours lowered in the Prix Imprudence, Fabre stated she would not be 100% and was adamant that she would improve for the run.
Other notable entrants include; the quirky Kiyoshi (16/1 bet365) who promised all when winning the Albany at Ascot in very impressive fashion but soon showed her free racing tendencies in the Moyglare. She was demoted to third following a steward’s inquiry as she cut up Aidan O’Brian’s Tapestry (10/1 Coral) close home. Tapestry did not lose too much in defeat except her unbeaten tag after struggling to find daylight and remains a fair price on the back of her two previous wins.
The fillies in England are much of muchness based on last season and Lucky Kristale might well be the best value for the home contingent stepping up in trip. My Titania looks a good bet on her improving as her sire did in his classic season but MISS FRANCE looks a solid proposition. She handles the course and, on pedigree, should stay more than the mile, a trait which is desirable in order to win a 1,000 Guineas. While she has a tendency to pull, conditions should suit as she should get a truly run race and the ground she needs.
MISS FRANCE (E/W) (9/1 SkyBet)
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