THERE would be some perfect symmetry if Clive Brittain was to win this Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas with the talented RIZEENA. Exactly 30 years after his mighty Pebbles scooted clear of Meis-el-Reem to win the fillies’ Classic, it would provide a wonderful reward for a man who has never shirked a pop at a big race. Pebbles was a rarity: a special filly who blew away the racing world with her victory and her subsequent achievements, including becoming the first British-trained winner at the Breeders’ Cup. The 1985 winner Oh So Sharp was another filly from another planet. Miesque (1987) was pretty damn good too. But since then the 1,000 Guineas has more often than not failed to deliver that type of filly. So will we see one this weekend?
Sky Lantern was very, very good last year but it’s been a while since a 1,000 Guineas winner has seriously blown us away. Bosra Sham in 1996 is probably the best winner of the past 20 years and even she was only workmanlike on Guineas day. Attraction was pretty special but so many 1,000 heroines failed to cut the mustard after victory on the Rowley Mile. Wince and Cape Verdi are just two who never won again after Newmarket success.
This Sunday’s race has a typically open look and, as a betting heat, this is good news for punters. Rizeena is the favourite and her form has a really solid look to it. But she had a very busy juvenile campaign (nine runs) and you wonder how much scope she has to improve. Her 80-year-old trainer is bullish, but then he always is! Sentiment would love to see him win another Classic, but sentiment does not win horse races. Rizeena beat Tapestry by a head in the Moyglare and we haven’t seen Aidan O Brien’s filly since. She looks a huge danger.
The Fred Darling was won by J Wonder, who beat Al Thakhira and the fast finishing Joyeuse. Lady Cecil’s filly looks overpriced at 25/1 and could be the best each-way bet of the race. If James Doyle can switch her off early (she likes to take a pull) I would not be surprised if she comes through late to pinch a place. Sir Henry had a peerless record in the race winning it six times; victory for Joyeuse would bring the house down.
Sandiva won nicely in the Nell Gwyn and also offers each-way value under Frankie Dettori at around 16/1 with BetVictor. My Titania, Miss France and Vorda are all in the mix and George Margarson’s Lucky Kristale would be another popular winner. Ed Dunlop’s Amazing Maria is another who is quietly fancied and she could outrun her odds.
But punters have been latching on to Rizeena and she has been backed into 7/2 favourite with BetVictor at the time of writing. Tapestry, Ihtimal and Lucky Kristale have also been well backed this week while there has been some good money for the supplemented Euro Charline.
The heart says Rizeena, the head says there could be another big price winner. Joyeuse or Sandiva each-way for me…
What does everybody else fancy? Comments welcome below.
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