Hot Snap to confirm Classic promise
Simon Holt previews the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and he's backing two against the field in the fillies' Classic.
- Related Content
HOT SNAP, bred to be top class and trained by a genius with fillies, looks a worthy favourite to extend her unbeaten record in Sunday's QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.
The daughter of Pivotal - a half sister to the top class Midday - showed dramatic improvement on her reappearance in the Nell Gwyn Stakes over seven furlongs to storm clear of Sky Lantern (gave 3lb) and springboard to the top of the betting for a classic that Sir Henry Cecil has won six times.
The winner of a Kempton maiden last September, Hot Snap did not appear particularly well fancied for that trial at the Craven meeting but, after looking green in the early stages, she delivered a sustained run throughout the final quarter mile and it is hard to believe that there won't be further improvement to come especially over an extra furlong.
Time and time again, Cecil has shown that he has a special touch with fillies and he knows Hot Snap's family especially well.
Runner-up Sky Lantern, a Group One winner in Ireland last season, is entitled to run well again on the renewed terms but it is difficult to see her reversing the placings and she looks more exposed than a few others.
Indeed, in terms of value, Ollie Olga - who beat Sky Lantern in the Prestige Stakes at Goodwood last season - looks a big price at around 33-1 though one has to accept that her subsequent failure in the Fillies Mile can be explained away by the fact that she had been in season.
Mick Channon's honest filly is one to consider alongside many other of Hot Snap's rivals including the unbeaten Just The Judge, a scopy sort who did nothing wrong as a two-year-old and the French raider What A Name who chased home smart colt Olympic Glory in the Jean Luc Lagardere at Longchamp on Arc day.
What A Name made a successful reappearance recently in a falsely-run race at Maisons Lafitte and is certainly a smart filly, albeit unproven on really fast ground. And her trainer Mikael Delzangles, who sent out Makfi to land the 2000 Guineas a few seasons ago, has developed a reputation as a trainer to respect whenever he has a big race runner overseas.
Aidan O'Brien, who produced Homecoming Queen to record a surprise victory in this race 12 months ago, has supplemented the Galileo filly Moth for £30,000 after her recent success at The Curragh which was a big step forward on two previous racecourse appearances. Moth works very well at home apparantly and one senses some stable confidence though she remains something of an unknown quantity.
Stable companion and Snow Queen appears to have a bit to find (though I remember saying the same about Homecoming Queen!) and fellow Irish raider Rasmeyaa could be more interesting.
Dermot Weld's filly - who would probably have been a second-string candidate to the withdrawn Big Break - hacked up in a soft-ground maiden at Leopardstown last October and both the second and third have won since.
RASMEYAA, a well-bred daughter of New Approach (out of an Indian Ridge mare) looks open to much improvement and, like Monsieur Delzangles, is handled by a man who doesn't have big-race runners for the sake of it. She might be worth an each-way interest.
Finally, while Richard Hannon's stable jockey Richard Hughes has chosen to stick with Sky Lantern, her stable-mate Maureen put a disappointing run behind her in last autumn's Cheveley Park Stakes here when sweeping to victory at Newbury recently.
Olivier Peslier looks a good booking for this diminutive filly, who has a sharp turn of foot but needs to prove she can stay this stiff mile.
So, in conclusion, plenty of good fillies in the field as you would expect in a 1000 Guineas but, if Hot Snap takes another step forward from the Nell Gwyn, she looks the one they will all have to beat.