1000 Guineas preview Sunday May 4th 2008

by John Lamerton on March 31, 2008

RACING – MAY 4 NEWMARKET 1000 GUINEAS

HISTORY
The One Thousand Guineas Stakes is a Group One flat race for three-year-old thoroughbred fillies. It is run over a distance of 1 mile (1,609 metres) on the Rowley Mile course at Newmarket Racecourse, Suffolk, in early May. It is one of the five British “Classic” races, the others being the Two Thousand Guineas, Derby, Oaks and St. Leger
It was first run on April 28, 1814 and is the fillies’ equivalent of the Two Thousand Guineas. It takes its name from the guaranteed prize fund for the inaugural event, one guinea being £1 1s, or £1.05. On that basis, the race should be worth £1050. The 2008 renewal is actually worth £375,000.

THE 1000 GUINEAS TODAY

RECENT WINNERS
2007: Finsceal Beo, trained by Jim Bolger (IRE) and ridden by Kevin Manning.
2006: Speciosa, trained by Pam Sly and ridden by Michael Fenton.
2005: Virginia Waters, trained by Aidan O’Brien (IRE) and ridden by Kieren Fallon.
2004: Attraction, trained by Mark Johnston and ridden by Kevin Darley.
2003: Russian Rhythm trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by Kieren Fallon.
2002: Kazzia, trained by Saeed bin Suroor and ridden by Frankie Dettori.
2001: Ameerat, trained by Michael Jarvis and ridden by Philip Robinson.
2000: Lahan, trained by John Gosden and ridden by Richard Hills.

THE 1000 GUINEAS 2008
The seventy-four entries for the 1000 Guineas include nineteen contenders from Ireland, eight from France and five from Dubai. Irishman Aidan O’Brien has more entries for the first fillies’ Classic than any other trainer (seven). His leading contender appears to be Ascot’s Group One Fillies’ Mile winner and ante-post favourite Listen.However, the O’Brien entries also include Newmarket’s Group Two Rockfel Stakes winner Kitty Matchem who defeated her once-raced stablemate Psalm at Naas in October. Savethisdanceforme landed a Listed contest at the Curragh in October, having finished fourth in the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp.

Jim Bolger, trainer of 2007 winner Finsceal Beo, again looks to have a very strong hand with both Saoirse Abu and the intriguing Lush Lashes among his entry of six. Saoirse Abu has excellent credentials, having landed the National Stakes and the Moyglare Stud Stakes (both Group One events). Lush Lashes has only had the one run, but won a million euros on her only start in the Goff’s Fillies Million. Bolger reports both fillies to have wintered well and that Saoirse Abu may head straight to Newmarket, while Lush Lashes may take in one of the trials en route.

A strong French contingent is headed by Alain de Royer Dupre’s unbeaten Zarkava, an impressive winner of the Group One Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp for the Aga Khan. The Pascal Bary-trained Natagora ran up off four consecutive wins in France in the summer and has won on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile, capturing the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes in October.

Saeed bin Suroor’s all-conquering Godolphin string has four entries. The pick of the four may be Laureldean Gale, second in the Group Three Prix du Calvados at Deauville in August well beaten by Zarkava at Longchamp.

For the home team, James Fanshawe saddles the unbeaten Spacious, half a length superior to Kotsi in the Group Two May Hill Stakes, at Doncaster in September. Newmarket trainer John Gosden is aiming to add a second 1000 Guineas victory with Sense Of Joy. Sense Of Joy broke her maiden in emphatic fashion by making a winning debut on Newmarket’s July Course and then triumphed in the Group Three Prestige Stakes at Goodwood. Sir Michael Stoute has taken the Classic twice, most recently with the brilliant Russian Rhythm, and has three entries including Visit, winner of the Group Three Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot. Trainer John Dunlop and owner Hamdan Al Maktoum experienced 1000 Guineas glory in 1990 and 1991 with Salsabil and Shadayid, respectively. The pair has the unbeaten Listed winner Muthabara for this year’s renewal. Clive Brittain, having saddled Pebbles and Sayyedati to success, has entered Group Three Sweet Solera Stakes winner Albabilia and Listed UAE Oaks runner-up Love Of Dubai.

BETTING ON THE 1000 GUINEAS

Best prices as at 12th March 2008.

7/1 Listen, 8/1 Spacious, Zarkava (all Boylesports), 14/1 Natagora (totesport), 16/1 Sense of Joy, Lush Lashes (both bet 365) 20/1 Nahoodh (Blue Square), Savethisdanceforme, Laureldean Gale, Saoirse Abu, You’resothrilling (all Boylesports), 25/1 Cape Amber (VCBet), 33/1 BAR.
Each-way terms are ¼ the odds a place 1,2,3.

Ante-post betting is the most popular form of betting on the 1000 guineas, as it is for all five classic races. Online betting sites have been offering prices throughout the winter, despite the fact that the race does not take place until May. The fundamental idea is to back your idea of the winner before it is fully exposed and the price shortens. In this way, a much bigger price can be obtained than on the day of the race. A certain amount of caution is required, though, since if the selection does not run, the bet is lost. Another popular bet with punters is (dependent on the breeding of the filly in question) to back a horse to win the 1000 Guineas and the Oaks (run over 1m 4f at Epsom, in June). It is possible to obtain massive prices about such an eventuality, and the Guineas-Oaks double has been completed successfully forty-seven times. Another type of double that punters seem to like is to attempt to pick the winners of the 1000 and 2000 Guineas. Again, big prices are available, but are a realistic reflection of the bet’s chance of success.

In last year’s 1000 Guineas, Jim Bolger’s Finsceal Beo ran The Rowley Mile faster than any filly or colt in the history of Newmarket’s two famous Classics. While another record-breaking performance on May 4 is unlikely, the 1000 Guineas promises to be another wonderful renewal

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