By Niamh Townsend and Samantha Martin
An epic weekend of ‘behind closed doors’ racing action comes to a high class conclusion on Sunday, as the second Classic of the racing calendar takes place at Newmarket – the QIPCO 1000 Guineas.
Saturday’s QIPCO 2000 Guineas saw the Andrew Balding trained Kameko surge to victory under Oisin Murphy for Qatar Racing, and he looks set for a very exciting season ahead. But now all eyes will be on the fillies, can Quadrilateral live up to all of the hype that she has attracted following a very promising 2 year old season? Can Love provide Aidan O’Brien with a 4th win in the last 5 runnings of this race? Or will a different filly spring a surprise?
We have produced a runner-by-runner guide to take you through each of the contenders for this year’s 1000 Guineas, and with any luck work out who the likely winners are.
- Boomer – Kingman X Wall Of Sound (Singspiel)
Jockey: Richard Kingscote
Trainer: Tom Dascombe
Boomer tried to make all on debut but could only manage fourth of five runners. She put that behind her to win at Newbury and comfortably win the group three Prestige Stakes by a neck. The filly that came second to her, Dark Lady, had previously been fourth to Under The Stars but beat Millisle in a group three after the defeat by Boomer. The form of that race was reversed though when Dark Lady came seventh in the Cheveley Park, which Millisle won. Boomer was second in the May Hill, beating Cloak Of Spirits, and she finished the season with a fifth in the Fillies Mile, behind Quadrilateral and Love.
- Cloak Of Spirits – Invincible Spirit X Pivotique (Pivotal)
Jockey: Andrea Atzeni
Trainer: Richard Hannon
This filly has only had the three starts so far, winning on debut at Ascot in July where she beat the talented Queen Daenerys easily and suggested she had plenty of ability. She seemed a little out of her depth in the May Hill Stakes next time out, where her jockey reported she hung right-handed. She would improve for the run once more as displayed in her run in the Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket where she finished ahead of Under The Stars, and was only beaten half a length into third by Albany Stakes winner Daahyeh who would go on to finish second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf next time out.
- Final Song – Dark Angel X Rahiyah (Rahy)
Jockey: Pat Cosgrave
Trainer: Saeed bin Suroor
Final Song easily won her maiden over five furlongs before being third to Raffle Prize in both the Queen Mary and the Duchess of Cambridge. In October, she finished sixth of nine, when favourite, in the Oh So Sharp Stakes which Rose Of Kildare won. She spent the early part of 2020 racing in Meydan where she won, came second and came third in three runs. In late February, she came third at Riyadh over a mile on fast ground. She has the benefit of a recent run which the others don’t have.
- Graceful Magic – Gutaifan X Magic Escapade (Azamour)
Jockey: Charles Bishop
Trainer: Eve Johnson Houghton
This filly gave her connections a brilliant season last year, earning them more than £50,000 in prizemoney with victories at Sandown on her debut as well as valuable handicaps at Doncaster and Newmarket’s July Course. She finished off the season with a good 2nd to Rose Of Kildare at Ayr in a Group 3. However, these were all over sprint trips and her only start over further than that (7 furlongs) saw her finish last, although it was suggested the ground was not quick enough for her that day which would be a concern with the amount of rain that is forecast this weekend.
- Les Hogues – Bated Breath X Hatsepsut Queen (Peintre Celebre)
Jockey: Cieren Fallon
Trainer: George Baker
Fresh from riding in and winning his first group race on Oxted in the Aubernat Stakes on Friday, Cieran Fallon takes the ride on this fascinating daughter of Bated Breath who is having her very first start for George Baker after a two year old career in France when with Jean-Claude Rouget. She won on debut by a length and then came second to Earthlight, beaten three and a half lengths at Deauville. Next time out, at La Test De Buch, she easily won a listed contest before being unable to quicken in a group three at Longchamp. In October, she was only beaten a neck in a group three by subsequent French 1000 Guineas winner Dream And Do. She changed hands for €180,000 at the Arqana Arc Sale.
- Love – Galileo X Pikaboo (Pivotal)
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
The sole entrant for Ballydoyle in this year’s 1000 Guineas, they have won 3 of the last 4 runnings of this Classic which could be a sign of their confidence in this filly. She has already won the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes and has shown marked improvement with her racing, her breeding also suggests that the mile will not be a problem since she is by Galileo. The last time we saw her she finished 3rd behind Quadrilateral in the Fillies’ Mile over this course and distance so she will need to reverse that form, but she was not gifted the best run that day and it is likely with a bit more luck on her side that she could get closer to Quadrilateral – she is certainly in the best hands to win a Guineas.
- Millisle – Starspangledbanner X Green Castle (Indian Ridge)
Jockey: Oisin Murphy
Trainer: Jessica Harrington
This filly has been very consistent and will be ridden by Champion Jockey Oisin Murphy. She won twice and placed over in Ireland. At Salisbury, she placed in a group three with Summer Romance in third. She won the Cheveley park in good style, beating Raffle Prize, over six furlongs. She comes from a great yard and is stepping up to a mile for the first time. However, that shouldn’t be a problem because all of her ten siblings who have raced to date have stayed seven furlongs or further.
- Quadrilateral – Frankel X Nimble Thimble (Mizzen Mast)
Jockey: Jason Watson
Trainer: Roger Charlton
There has been a huge buzz surrounding this filly since she won on debut at Newbury last August, and she certainly lived up to expectations as she improved for her next run before winning a first Group 1 for her jockey, Jason Watson, in the Fillies’ Mile where she gave a visually impressive performance for only her third start and was sure to improve again. Quadrilateral is a very likeable filly, and there is no doubt she would be a popular winner if she were to provide her sire Frankel, so closely associated with Guineas weekend following his own dominant 2000 Guineas win in 2011, with another Classic success. If we are going to see a superstar performance in this race today, this filly would be the more likely candidate and is a worthy favourite. Tongue strap goes on for the first time.
- Raffle Prize – Slade Power X Summer Fete (Pivotal)
Jockey: Mickael Barzalona
Trainer: Mark Johnston
The first thing that jumped out to me was that Frankie Dettori has deserted her for Shimmering! It was in the media last week that he was looking forward to the ride on this filly. However, Mickael Barzalona is a capable replacement. She followed in the smart Daahyeh, who is bypassing this, on debut and two starts later, she won the Queen Mary and then the Duchess Of Cambridge. She only went down a neck to Earthlight in the Prix Morny. In the Cheveley Park, she came second to Millisle. Her dam got seven furlongs and she’s by Slade Power, who was a great sprinter, so stamina is unknown for her.
- Romsey – Mukhadram X Broadlands (Kheleyf)
Jockey: Tom Marquand
Trainer: Hughie Morrison
This filly is the outsider of the field, but she has certainly been on her travels! Following some decent enough efforts in Pattern races throughout last season she went to Dusseldorf in Germany where she won the Winterkonigin Trial, a listed contest for 2 year old filles, before a good third in the Group 2 Premio Dormello over a mile in Italy. She faces much tougher rivals today and is likely to struggle, although she has definitely earned her place in the line up.
- Rose Of Kildare – Make Believe X Cruck Realta (Sixties Icon)
Jockey: Joe Fanning
Trainer: Mark Johnston
Rose Of Kildare was a typically busy Mark Johnston two-year-old. She’s ran twelve times between 30th April and 11th October. It took her three attempts to get off the mark but she then completed a double at Redcar and Hamilton. She was second to the smart Liberty Beach and then finished eight to Pinatubo in the Chesham. She ran in handicaps on her next four starts coming fifth, first, third and fourth. Next, she was sent up to Ayr to win the group three Firth Of Clyde Stakes, beating Graceful Magic, and, when last seen, she won the Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket. She’s done a lot of miles and I’d be surprise if there was much improvement left in her.
- Shimmering – Lope De Vega X Crysdal (Dalakhani)
Jockey: Frankie Dettori
Trainer: John Gosden
As Sam mentioned earlier, it is interesting that Frankie Dettori has sided with this filly over Raffle Prize. She broke her maiden on her second start in December, and has got plenty of untapped potential based on that evidence but will obviously need to improve again to figure here. However, since she is unexposed it is difficult to rate her against the likes of Love and Quadrilateral, and preferably you would want her to have a bit more match practice, but she is the unknown quality in this field and could spring a surprise if she has improved on her maiden efforts over the winter.
- Summer Romance – Kingman X Serena’s Storm (Statue Of Liberty)
Jockey: William Buick
Trainer: Charlie Appleby
Summer Romance is by Kingman and a half sister to National Stakes, Queen Mary, Moyglare Stud and Coronation Stakes winner Rizeena. She won her first two starts at Yarmouth and Newmarket by a combined eight lengths before coming sixth of nine to Under The Stars. Her last run was in September when she came third in Salisbury group three behind Millsile.
- Under The Stars – Night Of Thunder X Jumeirah Palm Star (Invincible Spirit)
Jockey: P J McDonald
Trainer: James Tate
I think this filly is so likeable and always runs her race, you cannot knock her attitude and I would love to see her run a good race here. She won a Group 3 at Ascot last summer as well as a valuable Auction Stakes at Newmarket in October. She is untested over the mile, but her efforts over 7 furlongs suggests the extra trip shouldn’t be a problem for her, and she is by Night Of Thunder who won the 2000 Guineas himself in 2014.
- Yes Always – No Nay Never X Flavia Tatiana (Holy Roman Emperor)
Jockey: Ben Curtis
Trainer: Karl Burke
Yes Always is the 66/1 outsider of the field. She’s out of a dual winner who was bred by Aidan O’Brien’s wife Anne-Marie. She won with pricked ears on her second start which was over six furlongs at Newcastle. The fact her ears were pricked suggests the race was easy for her and implies she would handle a step up in trip but she is racing against more proven fillies. Her jockey Ben Curtis is in flying form with six winners since racing resumed.
Niamh – This is another brilliant line up, although it’s a shame we don’t get to see Daahyeh or Powerful Breeze as I think they could have both gone close. I think it is dangerous to underestimate a horse like Quadrilateral, she has clearly got an abundance of talent since not much seemed to go right for her in the Fillies’ Mile last season where she still managed to finish ahead of many of her main challengers in this. She would be my choice, although I think Love is a big threat and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Under The Stars run a big race at a slightly bigger price.
Samantha – I think this is a really exciting race for us to enjoy. Like with the 2000 Guineas, we have an unbeaten at two, long-time favourite in the form of Quadrilateral. Pinatubo failed to win in the colts’ classic after all of the anticipation but I think Quadrilateral can do the business. Jason Watson says that she has done well from the winter and she’s a really exciting ride for him and hopefully it goes better than Kenzai Warrior’s run in the 2000 Guineas. I’ve got a sneaky suspicion that Les Hogues could run a decent race at a big price under another young jockey, Cieran Fallon. Millisle has a great chance too.
Rein It In Team Selections
Killian – Cloak Of Spirits
Luke – Millisle
Lois – Raffle Prize
Jake – Millisle