After the colts on Saturday, it is the turn of the girls on Sunday at Newmarket as the opening Fillies’ Classic of 2019 sees the raw potential of Qabala put to the acid test in the 1000 Guineas. Can she live up to the hype?
After just one run as a two-year-old, when she won an autumn maiden over 7f at Newmarket, Qabala wasn’t the most obvious market springer for the Nell Gwyn Stakes back at Headquarters last month. That is just what happened, however, with money pouring in for Roger Varian’s daughter of Scat Daddy as post-time approached. She had some smart rivals to pick off and she did it in style, the last of them being her stablemate and Group 3 winner, Mot Juste.
It was a hugely impressive display and immediately thrust Qabala into the picture for this race. She’s the hype horse and likely can improve again in her Classic bid, which will make her hard to beat.
For a value alternative it might be worth chancing Lady Kaya, winner of Leopardstown’s early-season trial for this Classic in April. That came on soft ground, which is most unlikely to prevail here, but Sheila Lavery’s Dandy Man filly has winning form on good ground last summer and group-race form on good-to-firm.
She travelled like a dream in that comeback race and didn’t have to be pushed to the pin of her collar when she went ahead and put proper distance between herself and some decent rivals. She could run a big race in the 1000 Guineas.
Another of Scat Daddy’s progeny, Skitter Scatter needs maximum respect for legendary trainer John Oxx. An all-weather maiden winner in Ireland last April, she would end the season by going through the grades to win a hat-trick of Group races at Leopardstown and the Curragh, culminating in her Moyglare Stud Stakes win in September.
She had Lady Kaya two lengths behind in second that day and twice had the beating of that rival last season – form that looks good in light of the aforementioned rival’s reappearance success. Counting marginally against her is the fact she’s got no Newmarket experience and this is her first run outside Ireland.
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