1000 Guineas Still Taking Shape

|

Champion 2-year-old filly Quadrilateral | Racing Post

After the intensity of the Newmarket colts' Classic, all eyes turn to the fillies on Sunday and there is a tangible unpredictability in the air due not only to the fast-changing Newmarket weather but also to the sudden shaking of established certainties. With the eclipse of Pinatubo (Ire) (Shamardal) demonstrating that there is no guarantee that 2-year-old form will be upheld in the month of June, Khalid Abdullah's 'TDN Rising Star' Quadrilateral (GB) (Frankel {GB}) could be about to surrender her long-held position of favourite for the G1 Qipco 1000 Guineas. There is much to commend her and she has the form edge, having already bested Ballydoyle's sole representative Love (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) in the G1 Fillies' Mile over this course and distance in October. However, it was the Irish fillies who were moving the punters' minds on Saturday evening as the aftershocks continued in Suffolk.

Love may have been beaten in the Fillies' Mile, but so had Hermosa (Ire) (Galileo {Ire}) and she looked to have a more exposed profile than this year's Ballydoyle representative before dominating the 2019 renewal at 14-1. Aidan O'Brien has not won five of these for no reason and the fact that he is pitching just one member of his squadron at this renewal could be telling. “We've always liked Love–she's very straightforward,” he said of the G1 Moyglare Stud S.-winning chestnut. “We were very happy with her last year and she has had a run over the track which is a big help to her. We think she'll stay much further and she could get a mile and a half. It's her first run of the year, but we are hopeful she'll run well.”

Bolstering the Irish threat is Stonethorn Stud Farms' G1 Cheveley Park S. scorer Millisle (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}), who hails from arguably the strongest stable in Europe when it came to juveniles fillies in 2019. One of Jessie Harrington's more unexpected star performers, she sprang a 16-1 upset at the expense of Raffle Prize (Ire) (Slade Power {Ire}) and Tropbeau (GB) (Showcasing {GB}) in the G1 Cheveley Park S. over six furlongs at this venue in September. On the whole, that race has not proven a leading pointer to this Classic but there is reasonably recent precedent that the double is achievable thanks to the exploits of Natagora (Fr) (Divine Light {Jpn}) in 2007 and the promoted 2010 winner Special Duty (GB) (Hennessy).

Harrington is unconcerned by the mile trip and said, “If you look at when she won the Cheveley Park, she wasn't going to win anything when they got into the dip and when she hit the rising ground she stayed on very well and ran right through the line to the extent that Shane had difficulty pulling her up. I trained her half-sister and she won over I think a mile and a half and she was placed in a listed race over a mile and six. So I think there's plenty of stamina in the pedigree.”

Buoyed by victory on Kameko (Kitten's Joy) on Saturday, Oisin Murphy has confidence on his side and he added, “She's in really good shape and the vibes from Jessica Harrington are good, she says she hasn't missed a beat with her and obviously she has some very good three-year-old fillies in the yard.”

Mark Johnston captured this in 2004 with a filly that had been a fast and precocious 2-year-old in Attraction (GB) (Efisio {GB}) and there are parallels with that former celebrity and Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum's G2 Queen Mary S. and G2 Duchess of Cambridge S. winner Raffle Prize. Her defeats when second in the G1 Prix Morny at Deauville in August and in the Cheveley Park took precious little shine off her top-class record, but her ability to last this far has to be taken on trust.

“She has definitely changed a lot from two to three. She is certainly a taller, leaner filly and looks a lot more like a miler than she did last year, so physically there would be a bit more encouragement that she will stay,” Johnston said. “Joe [Fanning] has ridden in all her work so far this spring and he has found her very easy to switch off and relax. Hopefully temperament and physique would indicate that a mile would be okay, but we will find out when she enters the dip. I think she has been a bit underestimated in some ways. I think her run in the Morny was the best run of any 2-year-old filly of last year, as I think that was above the Cheveley Park and Fillies' Mile form.”

Also from Middleham is the stable's hard-working and progressive Rose of Kildare (Ire) (Make Believe {GB}), who mastered the Eve Johnson Houghton-trained Graceful Magic (GB) (Gutaifan {Ire}) in Ayr's G3 Firth of Clyde S. over six furlongs in September before moving up a furlong to add the G3 Oh So Sharp S. to her tally here in October. She is no back-number and adds weight to Johnston's challenge. “She owes us nothing from her 2-year-old career from her £3,000 purchase price and she has been working great this spring,” her trainer said. “She has been Raffle Prize's work companion most of the spring, she seems in good order so she has earned her roll of the dice.”

Richard Hannon's establishment has been successful twice since 2013 and the vibes surrounding Sheikh Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum's Cloak of Spirits (Ire) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) are positive. Third in the G2 Rockfel S. over seven furlongs here in September, she was a neck ahead of Saeed Manana's Under the Stars (Ire) (Night of Thunder {Ire}) and it may be that the latter is another to have come in under the radar. James Tate was enjoying success in the meeting's G3 Palace House S. on Saturday and will not be tilting at windmills as he pitches the G3 Princess Margaret S. winner into battle here. Just two lengths off Love when fifth in the Moyglare, Under the Stars signed off with a win in this track's £150,000 Tattersalls October Auction S. back over the six-furlong Princess Margaret trip in October. “She's a smallish filly, but has a big heart and there is every chance that a mile could improve her,” Tate said. “I'd describe her as a lively outsider, but she hasn't given me any clues at home.”

Also on the Newmarket card is the Listed Betfair EBF Pretty Polly Fillies' S., where John Gosden puts another three potential Oaks prospects to the test headed by the Oppenheimers' impressive Newcastle novice scorer Tiempo Vuela (GB) (Lope de Vega {Ire}). Gosden is also well-represented at Haydock, where the G3 Betway Pinnacle S. plays host to the stable's G3 Darley Pride S. winner and GI Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf fourth Fanny Logan (Ire) (Sea the Stars {Ire}). The G3 Betway Brigadier Gerard S. is a fascinating contest, with Friday's Newmarket withdrawal Sangarius (GB) (Kingman {GB}) a possible runner if the ground is judged suitable. Khalid Abdullah's 'TDN Rising Star' is playing catch-up, having been absent since winning the G3 Hampton Court S. over this 10-furlong trip at Royal Ascot last June and there will be no hiding place taking on fellow 'TDN Rising Star' and G1 Juddmonte International third Elarqam (GB) (Frankel {GB}), as well as the still-unexposed Telecaster (GB) (New Approach {Ire}) and Lord North (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}).

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.