This Irish-trained filly may have slipped under the bookies' radar in what is a wide open renewal.
A field of 13 will go to post for Sunday’s 1000 Guineas and they won’t include the Aidan O’Brien-trained pair of Found and Together Forever, who were both prominent in the betting.
That’s a real kick in the teeth for their backers, but punters who have backed the Jim Bolger-trained Lucida ante post will be rubbing their hands as she is now a general 4/1 favourite. Bolger, who has made a bright start to the season and sent out 2007 Guineas heroine Finsceal Beo, has always held this fully in high regard and she’s largely lived up to expectations on the race track.
She looked a shade unlucky when runner-up to Cursory Glance in the Moyglare Stud Stakes, having been boxed in and bumped before finishing strongly, and made no mistake on her next start in the Rockfel Stakes here in September, beating the reopposing Fadhayyil by a length. That race has been a strong pointer to the fillies’ Classic, producing five of the last 13 winners, and the third New Providence gave the form a boost when finishing a short head second in the Nell Gwyn Stakes.
There’s plenty to like then, but I’m still loathe to back her at just 4/1 given her lack of a prep run – seven of the last ten winners had already run that season. Besides, she’s no certainty to confirm the form with Fadhayyil, who should now be more the finished article and is trained by Barry Hills, who has followed the same path as his 2009 Guineas winner Ghanaati by working her at Newmarket’s Craven meeting a couple of weeks ago. That doesn’t qualify as a prep run, I know, but it makes me more inclined to side with her at a couple of points longer in the betting.
However, having said all that, I’m going to take them both on and take a punt on David Wachman’s LEGATISSIMO, who is a bigger price still at 9/1. Crucially, she arrives here on the back of a very impressive victory at Gowran Park just seven days ago, where she had her rivals strung out like washing. She had shown useful form at two, including winning a hot maiden at Galway in July and was fit from a reappearance run at Leopardstown, so that victory wasn’t a total surprise. However, the manner of her success was very striking and she has clearly improved massively from two to three. Having been touted for the Irish 1000 Guineas afterwards, it’s significant that she is being allowed to take her chance in the Newmarket version and in what is an open year, that decision could pay off handsomely.
Of the rest, Nell Gwyn winner Osaila has to be respected, especially as she found it hard to get cover that day from a bad draw and can therefore be rated a good deal better than the short head margin of victory would suggest. Her trainer Richard Hannon said after the race she may well improve again and, if he’s right, she won’t be far away. Mick Channon’s Malabar deserves a mention too as she was just over a length behind Cursory Glance in the Moyglare despite being denied a clear run and the straight mile at Newmarket should be right up her street. I’d much rather go with a filly that’s had a run, though, and I’m sticking with the selection at a value price.
Legatissimo @ 9/1 Coral