The first Fillies’ classic of the season the 1000 Guineas is Sunday’s highlight on another wonderful Newmarket card.
Baghdad is likely to be a warm order in the opener having made such a pleasing reappearance when beaten less than a length on tapeta at Newcastle from a 2lbs lower mark. Mark Johnston’s 4-y-old – one of three representatives from the yard in the field – had not seen the racecourse since landing the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot and he is a worthy 7/2 market leader at BetVictor.
New Show wears a first-time visor having scored at Windsor in first-time blinkers earlier in the week. He carries a 5lbs penalty for that success, but he will have his supporters at 12/1 with BetVictor.
The each way vote, however, goes to Spirit Ridge (1.50) representing Amanda Perrett who won this valuable handicap back in 2015 with Astronereus. The selection – 5/1 with BetVictor – lacks the race fitness of some of his rivals, but it is likely he has been laid out for today’s race and is open to more improvement after just four career starts. Jim Crowley – who rode the gelding to victory at Leicester on his final start last term – is again in the saddle.
Last year’s shock 66/1 1000 Guineas’ winner Billesdon Brook is closely matched with Veracious (2.20) on Goodwood on Nassau Stakes form from last August but the vote goes to the Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly who looks the type to progress as a 4-y-old.
The selection has only had half-a-dozen starts and I am sure she is better than she showed at Newmarket on her final start. Billesdon Brook had her day in the sun on this corresponding card 12 months ago, but she ran some decent races in defeat subsequently and has 5lbs in hand of the selection on official figures.
On The Warpath transferred his good form from Meydan back to Newmarket but he is creeping up the weights, dropping back in trip and short enough in the betting at 11/4. Victory Angel (2.55) has his first start for Robert Cowell and he finished fourth in this corresponding valuable and competitive 6f Handicap from a 6lbs higher mark when trained by Roger Varian. At 10/1 with BetVictor he gets the each way vote.
Just Wonderful (3.35) was a fluent winner of the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes 7f for Aidan O’Brien last season and she gets the vote in the 1000 Guineas with Ryan Moore choosing the filly from four Ballydoyle representatives in the 15-runner field. The selection is 7/1 with BetVictor who are betting each way four places on the classic.
I’m not convinced about the merit of favourite Qabala’s win in the Nell Gwyn and a bigger danger might come from Group 1 winning juvenile Skitter Scatter (6/1 with BetVictor) who had an out-of-sorts Just Wonderful 10l behind in the Moyglare Stud Stakes back in September. The filly is now in the care of John Oxx and nobody in the industry would begrudge the Irishman another classic success.
Maqsad (4.45) can improve for the step up to 10f in the listed Pretty Polly Stakes having broken her maiden tag at the third time of asking in a Mile Maiden here at the Craven meeting. The selection showed a good attitude when making all on that occasion and is currently 25/1 at BetVictor for the Oaks.
John Gosden has saddled the winner of this race four times in the last five years and he is represented by Shambolic who finished fourth in the Fillies’ Mile last autumn – the best juvenile form in the field.
For all your racing odds go to BetVictor.com