Frankie Dettori rides Mother Earth on Sunday

Timeform 1000 Guineas preview | Mother of God - it's Earth's Guineas

John Ingles provides the Timeform view on the 2021 QIPCO 1000 Guineas where Mother Earth is the top-rated for Aidan O'Brien.

The Top-Rated

Mother Earth (Timeform weight-adjusted rating: 126)

Aidan O'Brien trains Mother Earth

With an unsatisfactory scope ruling out the Fillies’ Mile winner Pretty Gorgeous, who would have been top rated, that honour now goes to Mother Earth who finished a length behind Joseph O’Brien’s filly when third at Newmarket last October. Mother Earth had a busy two-year-old campaign, running eight times but winning only once. That was in the Group 3 Fillies’ Sprint Stakes at Naas where she easily landed the odds in a weak contest by four lengths. That came after Mother Earth had finished third in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot on just her second start. However, it was not until when stepped up to a mile in the autumn that Mother Earth started showing smart form. She showed plenty of improvement when an 18/1 shot for the Fillies’ Mile and then ran at least as well when coming from a long way back on the home turn to snatch second place on the line in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf won by Aunt Pearl at Keeneland.

The Improver

Santa Barbara (111P)

Santa Barbara in action

Mother Earth’s rating is not a high one for a filly with the best form going into a 1000 Guineas. That could leave her vulnerable to an improving filly and the obvious candidate is her own stable-companion Santa Barbara who has a very different profile. The daughter of Camelot has won her only start to date which came in a mile maiden at the Curragh last September. She was only the third choice in the betting that day and one of the few in the big field making her debut, but she overcame her inexperience to make an impressive start to her career, leading entering the final furlong and quickening clear to win by two and a half lengths. The two colts who chased her home finished first and second in a similar event at Cork last week, so that’s clearly not Guineas-winning form. However, Santa Barbara has been the subject of heavy support in recent weeks so has clearly been showing all the right signs at Ballydoyle. She’s bred to make an impact at this level as a sibling to Iridessa and Order of Australia, the winners of the Filly & Mare Turf and Mile respectively at the last two Breeders’ Cups.

The Timeform Flag

Saffron Beach (Horses For Courses)

Sacred has the measure of Saffron Beach in the Nell Gwyn

If track experience counts for anything, Saffron Beach certainly knows the Rowley Mile well, or at least the last seven furlongs of it, because that’s been the venue for all three of her starts for Jane Chapple-Hyam. She was backed at long odds when making a taking winning debut by just over four lengths in a fillies’ maiden last September and followed up with a useful effort to take the Oh So Sharp Stakes the following month. Although beaten for the first time, Saffron Beach improved again when three quarters of a length second to Sacred in the Nell Gwyn Stakes at the Craven meeting. But in contrast to the winner that day, Saffron Beach shaped as though she’ll be well suited by stepping up to a mile for the first time. Her sire New Bay was a high-class winner at up to a mile and a half and her dam stayed a mile, so she’s certainly bred to appreciate the additional furlong.

The Verdict

MOTHER EARTH has a similar profile to the same yard's Hermosa, who was just shy of the very best at two and placed in the Fillies’ Mile (runner-up to Santa Barbara’s half-sister Iridessa) before reappearing to win this in 2019. Santa Barbara, the mount of Ryan Moore, has evidently been giving the right signals at home but is now a very short price for what she's achieved on the track and her battle-hardened stablemate looks the value against her. There are stamina doubts about Sacred and Alcohol Free, the winners of the main trials in recent weeks, so Statement, beaten a short head by the latter in the Fred Darling, is next best.

Timeform weight-adjusted ratings:
126 Mother Earth
124 Alcohol Free
121 Sacred
119 Saffron Beach
118 Fev Rover
118 Statement

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