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Richard Hoiles: My preview of the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket

03 May | BY Richard Hoiles | MIN READ TIME |
Richard Hoiles: My preview of the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket

The horse racing broadcaster picks out his selections from around the UK on Saturday, including the big race on the final day at Newmarket.

The six races on ITV4 on 1000 Guineas day get underway with the Pretty Polly, a Listed race which can sometimes serve as an Oaks trial or for the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot. At present, this field are some way short of that standard but such was the impressive nature of KALPANA’s (13:50 Newmarket) handicap success over course and distance last month that she is clearly on an upward curve. That win was off just 78 but she won by 10 lengths and, given she only started her career in January of this year, there is no telling yet where her ceiling may lie.

Several of these were late starters, notably Godolphin’s Winter Snowfall, who only made her racecourse debut last month but got off the mark on her second start at Chelmsford, where she beat a very promising sort in Danielle who has since bolted up at Wetherby. Her pedigree is rather All-Weather based, though, so the query about whether she will be as effective on turf swings the vote the way of Kalpana.

Next up is the Buttonhook at Hamilton, named after the configuration of the track where they start in front of the stands facing the opposite way before taking the loop that brings them back in the other direction. It has been good to see the colours of the late trainer Peter Monteith in action on the Northern circuit recently, courtesy of SIMPLE STAR (14:05 Hamilton). Having initially started out over hurdles for the yard, he has been a revelation since returning to the Flat and was only just touched off on ITV in the Sunday Series meeting at Musselburgh last time. He wouldn’t want much more rain, so fingers crossed the forecast of overcast conditions with no rain proves correct.

Few stables are in such good form as Jack Channon’s, so CAENARFON (14:25 Newmarket) warrants plenty of respect in the Group 2 Dahlia Stakes. She was running fourth in last year’s 1000 Guineas and proved that no fluke by finishing third in the Oaks. Highly tried afterwards, she has the chance to resurrect her career here with the yard having a run of four winners from five runners before yesterday.

Salisbury is up next, with one of the best two-year-old races of the season so far in a five-furlong Conditions Race where CONVO (14:40 Salisbury) could set tongues wagging for a potential Royal Ascot bid for Amy Murphy. She was sent to France for her debut at Saint Cloud in one of the very first juvenile races in Europe. That win came on similar deep ground to that she will encounter here, and the second home that day has won since. By Kodiac, she is likely to be an early precocious type and can dictate matters here.

Hollie Doyle was seen to really good effect on Outbox on Friday and has the chance of another winner at the meeting via INTINSO (15:00 Newmarket) who steps up to 1m 6f in a £100,000 handicap. He shaped like a stayer in a steadily run Rosebery last time, showing that he is competitive off today’s mark of 98, and that looks a key line of form as sixth home that day Cannon Rock will have benefitted massively for the experience, it being only his fourth career start.

The best is saved until last with quite an open looking 1000 Guineas. Top of the list look to be the two horses who showed the best and most consistent form as juveniles in Fallen Angel and RAMATUELLE (15:40 Newmarket). Fallen Angel showed steady improvement at two before taking her form to another level when winning the Group 1 Moyglare, when Ylang Ylang blew out badly. Ylang Ylang bounced back at the end of the season when winning the Fillies Mile, but she looked all about stamina on the soft ground that day and she may well lack the gears needed on fast ground.

Ramatuelle could well appreciate the better ground in terms of helping her last out the mile, which she attempts for the first time. She had run well in the Prix Morny on her final start last season when time may show she faced a very smart sprinter in Vandeek, who went on to win the Middle Park. There were elements of rustiness in Ramatuelle’s return last month in the 7f Prix Impudence where she also seemed to be ridden to get the trip. The mile will be a query, but her tactical speed could prove an asset and with that run under her belt there should be no fitness queries.

It is an open renewal with lots of potential lightly raced improvers like Star Style and Elmalka and should go some way to showing whether last season’s juveniles like Ramatuelle, Fallen Angel and Sacred Angel can pay their way this season as well or will be swamped by the later developers.

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Richard Hoiles

Richard Hoiles

Richard is a horse racing broadcaster and commentator who has been involved in the sport since 1992.

Richard Hoiles

Richard Hoiles

Richard is a horse racing broadcaster and commentator who has been involved in the sport since 1992.