Picking tips based on horse names is probably not a popular move here, but those who like their flowers could be quids in after the 1,000 Guineas.
Aidan O’Brien’s Rhododendron has very strong claims following her Fillies Mile victory, gained last year in similar style to Minding the year before here, and will take the beating if fit and well on ground that really ought to suit. However the value of the winter has gone and his edition of the Guineas looks suitably competitive to at least look elsewhere.
The Irish fillies have had a great deal of success so far and their crop may be where to look for the victory. Hydrangea was second to a stablemate in three Group races last season but she ran with credit on each occasion and was six lengths ahead of the third when second in the Fillies Mile. Having not shown her form at the Breeders’ Cup at the end of a long season, she returned with a typically gutsy victory in the Leopardstown trial when she led from the front and held off stablemate Winter by a neck in second with Intricately in fourth.
Third Rehana has since underlined the form with a comprehensive success against her elders at Naas on Monday whilst Rain Goddess (seventh) was fourth in the Fred Darling which would dispel some of the fears over the tightly bunched nature of the final finish and knowing Ballydoyle horses, they will have benefitted considerably for that return. Hydrangea looks each/way value at 14/1 and so does Winter, who was having her first run for Aidan O’Brien and who came with a powerful late run that suggested that going back upto this trip would be good for her.
Daban, who beat Unforgettable Filly and Poet’s Vanity in what appeared to be a very strong renewal of the Nell Gwyn Stakes to the naked eyes, makes the most appeal of the home challenge, especially for the way that she finished her race when asked by Frankie Dettori. A strongly run race will have her calming down early (she was keen early) and she can confirm the form despite the bullishness of Hugo Palmer and Andrew Balding on their charges. Kilmah was sixth there and might be exposed now and Queen Kindly may not stay
Fair Eva set the track alight with deeply impressive wins at Haydock and then in the Princess Margaret Stakes. However, she was beaten in what appeared to be fair and square style in the Lowther by Queen Kindly and then afterwards when second in the Rockfel. The form of both those races has taken knocks but Roger Charlton reports that she has grown into herself over the winter which would make her a horse of great interest.
Talaayeb was deeply taking when winning a backend maiden here and that connections send her here is a big endorsement in itself, but the form of that maiden has not worked out in any measure. Of course she was a comfortable winner who will get better for scenery yard she can go further but the percentage call must be a watching one.
Ce La Vie is tackling ground this fast for the first time and Urban Fox was eight lengths behind Rhododendron in the Fillies Mile – form she has boosted with her Fred Darling second. Dream Start was nowhere on debut.
1 pt each/way Hydrangea (14/1 Coral, Ladbrokes)
1 pt each/way Winter (15/2 Bet365)
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