The Insider: Bracelet has Classic charm
The Insider has pored over the form book and come up with a couple of picks in Sunday's QIPCO 1000 Guineas.
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As is the case in most years, the 2014 running of the QIPCO 1000 Guineas looks wide open and there are a whole host of fillies in with a squeak of landing the second Classic of the season.
Rizeena has been the ante-post favourite for the race over the winter following the sad demise of Chriselliam, who had beaten her by a length in the Fillies' Mile. She had previously accounted for the Aidan O'Brien-trained Tapestry in the Moyglare Stud Stakes and beat the same rival when second behind Chriselliam at Newmarket. You can check out the replay of the Fillies' Mile by clicking here.
She had previously won the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot over five furlongs but was put in her place by Lucky Kristale in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket on her first try at six furlongs.
Her third behind No Nay Never and Vorda is arguably one of her strongest pieces of form but you get the impression she comes into this race as favourite on the back of her consistency rather than any underlying brilliance.
Don't get me wrong, she is a high-class filly on her day but she is beatable. If you have the opinion that a horse is eminently beatable in a Group One race, then you have to pass her over at 7/2.
The same can be said for Tapestry really. She has been put in her place twice by Rizeena so the only reason for thinking that she could turn the tables is if this daughter of Galileo has improved significantly over the winter. Her sire's progeny clearly improve well from two to three but her dam, Rumplestiltskin, was a precocious juvenile who ran once at three (unplaced in the 1000 Guineas) and failed to train on. We're guessing a bit as to her well-being but you get the distinct impression that she would be a lot bigger in the market if she were trained by anyone other than O'Brien.
Bracelet looks the more interesting of the two Coolmore challengers but it remains to be seen whether her future lies over further. She was deeply impressive on her seasonal debut over seven furlongs at Leopardstown and she was made Oaks favourite on the back of this but O'Brien was quick to point out that he thought she may not stay. You can make your own mind up by watching a replay of the Leopardstown race here.
If she's given the go-ahead, she would be extremely interesting and I'd certainly keep my eye on the market. If she runs, she's a definite bet at the current prices but you might have to be quick as she's bound to be cut if declared on Friday.
There would be no more popular winner of the race than Lucky Kristale and she certainly comes into the race with solid claims, having landed the Lowther Stakes at York when we last saw her. She's not been sighted since but has impressed in her recent work and her victory in the Lowther at York showed that her two and a quarter length beating of Rizeena at Newmarket was no fluke.
Her form ties in well with several of these and it can be argued that she is one of the best horses in the race. She's yet to run over further than six furlongs and the trip is the biggest question she faces on Sunday. If she stays, she's bound to be there or thereabouts.
Although she's had three runs, My Titania is one of the most inexperienced fillies in the field but she progressed really nicely last season and if there's one trainer who will know how to get the best out of a Sea The Stars filly, it's John Oxx.
I'm not sure she's done as much to warrant her place in the market (she's currently 8/1 joint-second favourite with the majority of firms) but she looks like she could make up into a really nice filly this season and is certainly one to follow.
To touch upon a couple of the others, Kiyoshi's chance would be doubled if the ground were quick on Sunday (which is a possibility as there's not too much rain forecast) while Ihtimal would be bucking a trend if she won as she is dropping back in trip having been very impressive in the UAE Oaks at Meydan in February.
Both Sandiva and Euro Charline have a small chance judged on their Nell Gwyn performances but the majority of the racing public were left underwhelmed by that particular race and it may not have been the strongest renewal. The latter in particular was unlucky behind the winner and may just end up being the more progressive of the pair. See what you think by watching the replay here.
Of the rest, it's worth keeping a very close eye on Betimes and it would be highly significant if John Gosden let her run.
She only made her debut in December at Lingfield but she posted a hugely impressive performance in a decent maiden for that time of year. The time she clocked was also very good and the race left you with the impression that not only was there plenty more to come, but that she'd make up into a good filly in time.
She has got plenty to find on the bare form but Gosden is not one for calling his geese swans and, if he allows her to take her chance, she could just be one that the public latch on to. She could easily halve in price (she's currently 33/1 with Sky Bet) and could just be a lively contender in a race that doesn't have an obvious superstar in it.
It's a bit odd for an ante-post piece to conclude that you're better off waiting for the final declarations but given our two fancies may not line up, you're best off waiting to back them both once they've been given the go ahead. If both Bracelet and Betimes run, I'd expect them to go off much shorter but you might just be able to back them at the same prices that they are now just after the final declarations come through.