Qipco 1000 Guineas Stakes Betting Tips & Predictions – Newmarket, Sunday 5th May 2019

Newmarket’s excellent Guineas meeting moves into its second day on Sunday, with the cracking seven race card being headlined by this top-class contest for the fillies. Bestowing both glory on the day, and immense breeding value when looking to the future, this is the early season contest which trainers, owners and jockeys alike all want to win.

Joseph O’Brien has made a flying start to his training career, suggesting that he has learned plenty from the best in the business, his father Aidan O’Brien. Already boasting a win in the Irish Derby to his name, we will be backing Joseph to land a first British Classic here.

Top Tips

Iridessa each way @ 15/2

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

The fillies line up to tackle the mile trip of this Group 1 contest. A total of £500,000 in prize money is on offer, with the ground currently described as good to firm.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good To Firm 1m Grade 1 £500,000 16 Runners 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

The home team have matched Ireland’s total of four wins in the past ten editions of this. France meanwhile have punched above their weight in terms of number of runners, with our Gallic cousins sending out the winner in both 2010 and 2014.

Whilst a few of these will be making their seasonal debut here, the recent stats favour those to have had a prep run. Seven of the past 10 winners were making their second or third appearance of the season.

2018 Billesdon Brook 66/1 Richard Hannon Sean Levey
2017 Winter 9/1 Aidan O’Brien Wayne Lordan
2016 Minding 11/10 Aidan O’Brien Ryan Moore
2015 Legatissimo 13/2 David Wachman Ryan Moore
2014 Miss France 7/1 Andre Fabre Maxime Guyon

Analysis: Joseph To Join Father On Winners List

With just two winning favourites in the past 10 years, and winners at 20/1, 25/1 and 66/1, this race hasn’t been averse to a shock result in recent times. Overall though it is those from towards the head of the market who interest us here.

Aidan At It Again?

Having sent out the 1-2 in this in 2017 and an incredible 1-2-3 in 2016, and saddled the winner four times in all, the first port of call when seeking the winner here ought to be the yard of Irish supremo, Aidan O’Brien. Aidan has four in the race this year and all look to have claims. Fleeting is amongst the outsiders, but even she scored in good style in a Group 2 on her final start last season.

In Fairyland’s favour is the fact that she has already won in Group 1 company. That win did come in the 6f Cheveley Park Stajkes though, and being by Kodiac it may be that sprinting is her game.

Hermosa looks solid to go well, but the best of the O’Brien bunch may well be Just Wonderful. This daughter of Dansili doesn’t boast a consistent profile, but did conquer the useful Dandhu over 7f here in the Rockfel before running with credit at the Breeders’ Cup when losing all chance at the start.

Daddy To Dominate

If the market is to be believed, sire Scat Daddy may well be in for a good afternoon, with both current favourite Qabala, and second favourite Skitter Scatter being by the star US sire. Qabala had crept under the radar for this race just a little, but certainly hasn’t been missed by anyone now, following an impressive success in the Nell Gynn Stakes last time out. Having just the third start of her career here there’s likely plenty more to come.

Skitter Scatter meanwhile brings very strong juvenile form to the table. Her final start at two was particularly impressive as she slammed the talented Lady Kaya in the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh. Trained by Paddy Prendergast last season, she is now under the care of John Oxx who – with a 2000 Guineas and two Derby’s to his name – is a man who knows how to get the job done in these top British events. Making her first start of the season in this, the fact that she has trained on has to be taken on trust, but she can’t be faulted on the form book.

Iridessa Irressistable?

Being run over the very course and distance of this race, perhaps the key trial is the Fillies’ Mile from the back end of last season. The winner of the 2018 edition of that race was the Joseph O’Brien runner, Iridessa. This daughter of Derby winner Ruler Of The World wasn’t particularly fancied for that race – sent off a 14/1 shot on the day – but she looked all class to our eyes in seeing off the likes of Hermosa and Pretty Pollyanna in really good style.

A third to Lady Kaya on her first run of the season was a little disappointing on the face of it, but the fact that she was pretty weak in the market that day suggests that she wasn’t fully tuned up, and as such she ran a solid enough race to finish third of 14. Rest assured she will be trained to the minute for this, and her Melbourne Cup winning trainer is already no stranger to success on the biggest stage, despite still being in the early stages of his career.

Final Verdict: Iridessa each way

This looks an enthralling renewal. Qabala would be the obvious one on the back of that impressive display last time out, whilst Skitter Scatter also looks set to go well. Scat Daddy wouldn’t be as proven as some of the other sires represented for a race such as this though, and as such we will look elsewhere.

We fancied Iridessa would be the one for us in this race following that Fillies’ Mile last season, and we haven’t seen anything in the interim to change our minds. A granddaughter of Galileo, and out of a Danehill mare, she is pretty closely related to a number of real stars from the past decade or so and can get a place here.

About the 1000 Guineas: The Fillies Mile Classic

View Towards the Finish Line at Newmarket's Rowley Mile Course

The 1000 Guineas is one of the most historic and storied events in British sport. This Group 1 is the second of the five British Classics of the Flat racing season taking place every year in either late April or early May.

As with all of the Classics, the 1000 Guineas is open only to three-year-olds but, like the Oaks, only fillies are allowed to compete. Racing fans revel in the history of the 1000 Guineas but it’s not all about looking back to the past. It still attracts many of the very best fillies in training and the attention of every Flat racing punter.

An Historic Race Worth its Prestigious Place in Racing

Crowd At Newmarket for the Guineas Festival

The competing trainers and jockeys in the 1000 Guineas feel the weight of over 200 years of history bearing down on them. The very first edition of the race was held in 1814 which makes it just five years younger than the 2000 Guineas which is also still going strong. The race, which was established by the Jockey Club, got its name from the initial prize purse.

Things have changed considerably during those 200 years, most notably the purse which stood at a cool half a million pounds as of 2018. One thing that’s remained the same is the distance over which the 1000 Guineas is held. It’s always been run over 1 mile and takes place on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket, HQ of British Flat racing.

It didn’t take long following its establishment for the 1000 Guineas to become one of the most prestigious Flat races in Britain. Its growth was fuelled by the calibre of horses taking part, the race’s lofty position in the spring social scene and the development of the Fillies’ Triple Crown, of which the 1000 Guineas forms one third alongside the Oaks and the St Leger.

Long Shots a Possibility

In total, nine horses have completed the Fillies’ Triple Crown. The most recent of these was Oh So Sharp who achieved the feat in 1985. It would be no great surprise if no other filly goes on to replicate Oh So Sharp. Horse racing is an ever changing sport and there has been a real move towards specialism in more recent years.

It’s very tough for a three-year-old to have the combination of pace and stamina required to win at 1m, 1m4f and 1m6½f and it’s becoming increasingly rare for connections to even enter their leading horses in all three legs of the Triple Crown. Most recent winners of the 1000 Guineas already had winning form over 1m but being bred to get even longer trips is not a necessity.

Another reason why completion of the Triple Crown is so difficult is the number of relatively unfancied runners to have won the 1000 Guineas in recent years. Billesdon Brook went in at 66/1 in 2018 which is the biggest starting price of any winner but plenty of others have won at 10/1 or longer in recent times.

Chart Showing the Start Prices of the Last Twenty 1000 Guineas Winners

Billesdon Brook’s win is an interesting one in that it shows that shock wins may not be the flukes they appear to be on first viewing. She was followed home by some very high class fillies each of whom had plenty of support in the betting and simply made the most of the firm conditions found at Newmarket to utilise her pace. Three-year-old fillies are not a homogenous group and some, like Billesdon Brook, can find significant improvement in a flash, especially with a little luck in running and favourable conditions.

To Race or Not to Race?

The other thing to note about the 2018 race is that Billesdon Brook had actually shown signs of improvement on her seasonal reappearance over 7 furlongs also at Newmarket. Analysts suggested that even more improvement was possible even if few believed she was a Guineas horse.

That run clearly helped but many leading contenders for the race come into it having not had a run since their two-year-old season. Trainers will consider that choice very carefully - do they give their 1000 Guineas prospects a run before the race? Those who do will often take in a contest like the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes which Billesdon Brook placed fourth in or one of the recognised trials such as the one that takes place at Leopardstown.

Chart Showing How Many Seasonal Runs Horses Had Prior to Winning 1000 Guineas

Other trainers rely more heavily on the work their fillies do away from the track and did as two-year-olds. There are several juvenile races to make a note of from the season before but perhaps the most instructive are those held at Newmarket. Previous course form is a trend that’s growing in importance with recent winners coming via either the Cheveley Park Stakes, Oh So Sharp Stakes or the Fillies’ Mile.

It is tough for punters to come to a conclusion about whether to favour horses who have run as three-year-olds or not. The 10 winners from 2009 had their last run anywhere between seven and 205 days prior to the 1000 Guineas so it really does come down to what trainers believe is best for the needs of their individual horses.

A Battle of the Best Trainers

The 1000 Guineas is not a race which any one trainer or ownership group has been able to dominate making things even more difficult for punters. We’ve already seen that there is a great variety in terms of the price and previous form of winners over the last 20 years or so and that variety is present in the list of victorious trainers.

As is par for the course with top class Flat racing, Aidan O’Brien has had great success in the 1000 Guineas. Virginia Waters brought him his first success in 2005 and Winter his fourth in 2017 but he has not had the stranglehold on this race that he’s used to in many others. The leading trainer is Robert Robson who had nine winners between 1818 and 1827. It would be no surprise if that record stands forever, although O’Brien will think he has an outside chance of getting up to that sensational mark.

Most Successful 1000 Guineas Trainers

WinsTrainerFirst WinnersLast Winner
9 Robert Robson Corinne (1818) Arab (1927)
6 Henry Cecil One In A Million (1979) Wince (1999)
Noel Murless Queenpot (1948) Mysterious (1973)
5 Matthew Dawson Cecilia (1873) Mimi (1891)
John Day Mendicant (1846) Scottish Queen (1869)
4 Aidan O'Brien Virginia Waters (2005) Winter (2017)
Christiane Head Ma Biche (1983) Special Duty (2010)
Peter Gilpin Pretty Polly (1904) Cresta Run (1927)
George Lambton Canyon (1916) Tranquil (1923)
John Scott Canezou (1848) Hurricane (1862)
John Barham Day Destiny (1836) Virago (1854)

Some have gone as far as to suggest that leading trainers such as O’Brien and their owners don’t target the Classics in the same was as years gone by. The validity of that argument is lessened somewhat by the presence of Richard Hannons Snr and Jr, Andre Fabre, Jim Bolger, Mark Johnson, Saeed bin Suroor and Sir Michael Stoute alongside many other powerful and successful trainers in the winners’ list since the turn of the century.

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