With Punchestown finishing, the focus of Sunday's racing is all on Newmarket, with the 1000 Guineas being the main spectacle.
I was a fan of FRANCESCO GUARDI in his 2yo campaign. He seemed raw, but looked to have plenty of ability, and was one to follow over the next year or so.
He has not had a run since his blip on his final run last year (tried jumping the road crossing), so his fitness will have to be a gamble for us punters who do not know the insider stable information. James Ferguson is a cracking up and coming trainer, so I would like to think that he would have his horses in good condition, especially on a big racing weekend.
Today he will be stepping up in trip to 1m 2f, which should suit his pedigree, being by Frankel, out of a Listed placed mare who stayed 1m 4f. His form from last year looks strong, especially the Newbury race where he finished 3rd in a Listed race. On that day he finished behind Saint Lawrence, who has since run many consistent races, recently finishing 2nd to Rohaan in the Group 3 at Ascot earlier this week. He also finished behind Dahabi, who in turn has finished a few lengths behind One Ruler.
To my eye, this 1000 Guineas does not look like it will throw up many top-class horses. Santa Barbara is the short priced favourite, and is close to EVS (at the time of writing) and she has only won a maiden. That price alone either shows she is extremely good at home, or the fact that this race has not really got a standout contender, who you could nail it down and say, “that’s the best bit of form”, so people are having a punt on the lightly raced O’Brien horse. For me, I would not touch her at those odds, even though she could be a superstar.
I am going to have a small play on THUNDER BEAUTY, who offers value. She was underwhelming last time out in France, where I would say she did not like heavy ground. Before that, on quicker ground, she looked a much better horse, so a return to a quicker surface should see her in a better light. Based on her pedigree, you would like to think she will stay the trip (by Night Of Thunder, out of a Dansili mare). Her form behind Shale & Pretty Gorgeous is solid enough form, and she was dropped out the back in that race, and made late eye-catching ground, so if she improves for this step up in trip, she could be a lively outsider.
Advised: Each Way