Taking on Ballydoyle in the May 1 QIPCO One Thousand Guineas (G1) is like facing Manchester City in the Etihad—victory is theoretically possible, but recent history suggests that one of their expensive stars will see you off.
Trainer Aidan O’Brien has won it five times in the last six years and seven times overall. Nobody else currently training has taken it more than twice.
Another success would put him within touching distance of Robert Robson, the “Emperor of Trainers” who won this classic nine times between 1818 and 1827 when racing was less competitive and Tontine got the race on a walkover in 1825.
Even with a couple of recent withdrawals, things will be less straightforward for O’Brien, though Tenebrism looks to be the one to beat after success in the Cheveley Park Stakes (G1) over six furlongs in September.
The filly steps to a mile on just her third appearance.
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“We thought Tenebrism looked like she’d stay seven furlongs with the way she came home in last year’s Cheveley Park Stakes, and if a filly looks like staying seven at 2 then you’d hope they’d have a good chance of getting a mile at 3,” the trainer said.
The biggest danger to an O’Brien filly is often another O’Brien filly, and three of the trainer’s last four winners beat a shorter-priced stablemate, which suggests that Tuesday should not be underestimated following her maiden success at Naas in March.
“We didn’t think that Tuesday would be ready to run here after she won her maiden at Naas last month,” O’Brien said. “She’s made nice progress in the last few weeks, though, so we’re happy to let her take her chance.”
If you were relying solely on pedigree to find the One Thousand Guineas winner you would probably not look beyond Discoveries who is an extraordinarily well-bred filly.
Discoveries takes the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh
She is a full sister to Alpha Centauri a superstar 3-year-old for Jessica Harrington and the Niarchos family in 2018 when she won four straight group 1 races by an aggregate of nearly 15 lengths.
Half sister Alpine Star was nearly as good and took the Coronation Stakes (G1) at Royal Ascot by more than four lengths in 2020.
The formbook makes just as strong a case as the stud book for Discoveries, who progressed with each of her four outings as a 2-year-old and already has one over her elder siblings, neither of whom won in group 1 company as a juvenile .
Discoveries beat Agartha in the top-level Moyglare Stud Stakes (G1) at the Curragh, where the good going was reckoned very much in her favor.
In the last seven years, Minding and Love have gone on from victories in the Moyglare to land the Guineas the following season.
“She’s in great form and has done all her work in the lead up to the race really well,” Harrington said. “She seems to have done well through the winter and I’m expecting a big run. It looks an open Guineas and we’re going there with a chance.”
Twisting the Knife
There is nothing worse than having your ante-post fancy ruled out late in the day, except having the knife twisted by seeing a horse she had beaten win the race instead.
Those who backed long-time market leader Inspiral who was withdrawn last weekend, will suffer that agony should Cachet give George Boughey the biggest winner of his training career on Sunday.
She was beaten nearly three lengths in third by Inspiral in the Bet365 Fillies’ Mile (G1) last autumn, sandwiched by rivals Prosperous Voyage (second), Mise En Scene (fourth), and Wild Beauty (fifth).
Cachet, who was fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1T) at Del Mar next time out, looked improved when she landed the Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes (G3) over seven furlongs at the course last month.
“She’s in super shape and looks noticeably tighter for the run. She’s nicely drawn. The fancied horses seem to be close to her, which is always an advantage,” said Boughey, who sent out his first runner in 2019. “She couldn’ t have done it any better in the Nell Gwyn and William Buick didn’t think she was all out to do it.
“She’s got to have an each-way chance. She loves the track and likes the ground. There’s a question mark about the mile but she’s a lot stronger now.”