For practical purposes, the 2022 British Flat season on turf will finally be off and running at 1.15pm on Tuesday afternoon, when 10 juvenile fillies are due to launch this year’s Craven meeting on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket, and the first significant Classic trial is not far behind, with five of the nine runners in the Group Three Nell Gwyn Stakes also holding entries in the 1,000 Guineas on 1 May.
The first three fillies in the betting, and the only ones likely to start at single-figure odds, are all engaged in the Classic, with Hello You and Cachet closely matched on their form last year, both in the Rockfel over Tuesday’s track and trip and then in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf at Del Mar in November.
Hello You (3.35), in fifth, was three-quarters of a length behind Cachet in San Diego but that race was over a mile and she was a length and a half in front of her in the Rockfel. That appeals as stronger form than Perfect News’s nursery win, also over today’s course and distance in September, and David Loughnane’s filly is worth an interest at around 11-4 to make a winning start to her three-year-old campaign.
Newmarket 1.15 No form at all in the first two-year-old race of the season at Headquarters and so a big of a pin-sticking exercise, but Dreaming Princess – Another from the up-and-coming Loughnane stable – is related to several winners and her trainer had a 16pc strike-rate with a level-stakes profit from his juvenile debutants in 2021.
Newmarket 1.50 There is plenty to like here about course-and-distance winner Gale Force Maya, who rounded off an excellent 2021 campaign with a close second in a Listed event, also over this CD, and has run well after a break several times in the past.
Newmarket 2.25 New Science, the likey favourite, has an entry in the 2,000 Guineas but he did not look like one of Charlie Applebys stable stars last season and Ribhi, who did little wrong in three starts and has as much scope for improvement this year, makes more appeal at around 3-1.
Newmarket 3.00 Catch Twentytwo, placed in South African Group Ones on his last two starts in the summer of 2021, is a fascinating new recruit for the excellent Jane Chapple-Hyam, who had a breakthrough season with Saffron Beach last year. The solid benchmark, though, is Master Of The Seas, beaten a whisker in last year’s 2,000 Guineas and likely to be a regular performer at Group One level this season.