Winter Can Spring Surprise In 1000 Guineas
Aidan O’Brien rewrote the history books on Saturday with an eighth win in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket.
He has done the 2000 and 1000 Guineas double twice on the first weekend in May and the Ballydoyle maestro has strong claims of achieving that feat for a third time on Sunday.
Winter is Blooming
You can expect the 2000 Guineas to throw up many winners in the future and it would be a surprise if three, four or maybe even more in the field don’t go on to win at Group One level.
Whether or not the 1000 Guineas will throw up as much quality remains to be seen but the O’Brien camp have reason to be confident after witnessing Churchill’s performance on Saturday and Seventh Heaven also getting the job done at Newmarket in good style.
Rhododendron is the mount of Ryan Moore who won the 1000 Guineas on Minding last year and on Legatissimo for David Wachman the year before. Given that Rhododendron has been to Newmarket and claimed the Fillies’ Mile easily will be a big boost to her supporters and the vibes leaving Ballydoyle are positive.
However Winter makes more appeal as an each-way prospect with her price at 8/1. Winter joined Ballydoyle when David Wachman retired from training last year and without a run since August, she made her debut for O’Brien in the Guineas Trial at Leopardstown when finishing second to stable companion Hydrangea, who is also in the field for the 1000 Guineas.
Winter has been a big mover in recent days and that support is worth following.
It was no secret that Wachman always held the daughter of Galileo in high regard and the team at Ballydoyle have obviously been liking what they’ve seen this week. If there is to be a flaw in the favourite, it could be the pink colours worn by Wayne Lordan that come through to pick up the pieces with Winter.
Somehow The Double Looks Good
O’Brien’s first runner in Britain this season was a winner and we can expect him to grace the winners’ enclosure at Chester this week too.
On Saturday he warmed up for the Guineas with a winner in Seventh Heaven and history could repeat itself on Sunday when Somehow wins on the undercard.
The Group Two Charm Spirit Dahlia Stakes is the next port of call for Somehow who looks a wrong price at 9/4.
The filly was beaten at Naas on the opening day of the season on testing ground but put that right at Gowran next time and while she may not be the easiest filly to place this season, this looks an ideal opportunity for her to claim Group Two honours given the opposition in her way.
Muffri’Ha is talented but has been busy this year already and hasn’t managed to get her head in front for a while and Nezwaah could prove to be a filly to watch this summer, but she hasn’t been seen since August and will surely strip fitter even though the Varian team are in good form.
The quick reappearance could look an inspired move for Somehow who looks to have the measure of her eight rivals here.
Bolger Gets The Nod
Leopardstown stages a couple of trials on Sunday but they are best watched than invested in and later in the card Sanus Per Aquam is given a tentative vote in the penultimate race.
Benkei is a decent horse but really has probably yet to fulfil his potential, Tirmizi could prove well handicapped and Sanus Per Aquam has had his issues but the latter is given the nod to defy top weight and claim this mile and a half contest.
The son of Teofilo was a maiden winner on debut as a two-year-old and kept company with some decent types that year...
...before failing to make any sort of mark in the Irish 2000 Guineas or a Group Three later in the season on his only two starts of the campaign last year.
His Dundalk pipe opener saw him finish fifth and he’ll take to the track off a mark of 101 which is 10lbs below his highest rating. That rating may have flattered him a small bit but if he can find a few pounds improvement, he could just be up to taking this and is worth taking a chance on at 5/1 on a tricky card.
Somehow (9/4) – 2.20 Newmarket
Winter EW (8/1) – 3.35 Newmarket
Sanus Per Aquam (11/4) – 4.30 Leopardstown
*Prices correct at time of publication.