There will be no day of rest on Sunday for horse racing fans as the action continues to come at us. UK and Irish meetings include Newmarket, Hamilton and Gowran but the best of them, and by a considerable distance, takes place at the Suffolk track. Let’s look at out 1000 Guineas betting tips…
Nicknamed the HQ of British racing, we need look no further than this week’s card for evidence of why. Glorious Group 1 racing on the Rowley Mile, pitting the best-bred horses, fearless jockeys and most decorated trainers in a battle for hefty prize pots.
Saturday was all about the 2019 renewal of the 2000 Guineas and on Sunday we get the latest chapter from the fascinating 1000 Guineas story as the girls look to shine. A fillies Group 1 contest decided over the mile, we have 16 runners expected at post this year, with over £280,000 paid to the winner. It’s the best race of the day across Europe, but it’s not the only one of note taking place on the card.
The 1000 Guineas is supported by six other legs, with the 1.50pm Qatar Racing Handicap getting the show on the road, before the 5.20pm Qipco Supporting British Racing Handicap brings the shutters down for another year. The chief support comes in the form of the Fillies Group 2 Charm Spirit Dahlia Stakes at 2.25pm.
The 1000 Guineas has a rich history that can be traced all the way back to the first running of the race in 1814, five years after the 2000 Guineas was launched. Charlotte made her way into the history books as the first ever champion and that exclusive list includes some memorable champions. Billesdon Brook is the latest of them, having scored for Sean Levey, Richard Hannon Jr and the Pall Mall Partners 12 months ago.
Picking through past results and we find there’s not a lot to go on from the trends when attempting to pick your winner. George Fordham is the leading jockey, but his success came between 1859 and 1883. Robert Robson stands as the leading trainer on nine wins, achieved between 1818 and 1827.
Looking at more recent runnings of the 1000 Guineas and we see Aidan O’Brien has enjoyed glory, being responsible for two of the last three champions. Minding was the first of them in 2016, followed by Winter in 2017. O’Brien has won this title no less than four times during his career, the other two coming in the form of Virginia Waters 2005 and Homecoming Queen 2012. We’re confident he’ll get more on Sunday.
In terms of jockeys, we’re drawn to Ryan Moore who sat on half of the last four winners, steering Legatissimo to success in 2015 before getting Minding to the winner’s enclosure a year later. Homecoming Queen means Moore has won three of the last seven 1000 Guineas runs, and that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
What the Bookies Say
The antepost betting market for this year’s race was a competitive one but Qabala dominated the early exchanges and sat as favourite with all major firms before the final declarations stage. William Hill offered 5/2 and that was a view shared by many of their competitors. That stance looks a convincing one, but it came as no real surprise to followers of the form and traders undoubtedly have a real star on their side.
The American-bred filly has run twice to date, winning on both occasions. Trained by Roger Varian, the talented three-year-old got off to a strong start when scooping a maiden fillies stakes over 7f at Newmarket on debut and followed that with another victory at HQ. She maintained her 100% record thanks to a Group 3 fillies win in the Nell Gwynn Stakes, another decided over the 7f trip. Sent off a 10/3 favourite that day, she delighted backers when showing a decent field the way home, runner-up Mot Juste failing to land a blow when crossing the line almost two lengths off the pace.
Qabala is a supremely bred horse with a proud unbeaten record and there’s plenty more to come from this runner, you can be sure of that. The faith shown by connections to throw her into the 1000 Guineas reckoning is another plus. Varian and the team certainly know what they’re talking about when it comes to this race. The fact bookies have reacted by sticking her to the top of the betting also goes down as a plus, but we’re slightly uncomfortable with the price and would prefer to take a poke at a contender with bigger odds attached.
O’Brien Has a Just Wonderful Chance
The selection we’re hoping can upset the odds this weekend is Just Wonderful who was a 7/1 shot with Ladbrokes at the time of writing and attracted bits and pieces of support during the antepost betting. Another for team America, the three-year-old filly boasts more experience than the favourite and has her fair share of wins.
She comes to track having claimed half of her six starts to date, placing on another occasion and that experience will be vital when push comes to shove at Newmarket. She won on debut at the Curragh so impressively she was thrown into the Albany Stakes at Ascot second time out, something that proved a failed gamble. What she did take from that was a lesson, however, and went on to score at the Curragh again over a mile and, most recently, the 7f Group 2 Shadwell Rockfel Stakes at this very track. That really caught our eye.
She seemed to enjoy the challenges brought by Newmarket and finished 1 ¾ lengths ahead of runner-up Dandhu, with Main Edition back in third for Dettori and Johnson. A break from action would’ve helped her chances and, although we’ll need to see major improvement, we’re confident she has it in her to spring a surprise. Being trained by O’Brien is another tick in her box.