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jamesp
21 Jun 17 19:26
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Date Joined: 05 Jan 02
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With Royal Ascot well underway, I guess it’s never too early to start off a new thread on next year’s 1000 Guineas…! (Someone else can start a 2000 Guineas thread if they feel that way inclined.)

This year’s Guineas was the first renewal for 30 years in which I had no financial interest whatever. None of last year’s juveniles really impressed me at any stage and there was never any value in the antepost market (something that’s unlikely to change this year, I fear!). I’m relieved that I wasn’t tempted to get involved, as I would never have picked Winter on her juvenile form, and a couple of other fillies (notably Daban) emerged from nowhere to develop into leading contenders.

There has not been a lot to get excited about so far this season, as far as the latest crop of juvenile fillies is concerned. But there has been one notable performance in Ireland.

Jessica Harrington’s unbeaten filly Alpha Centauri was very impressive when running away with the Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies’ Sprint Stakes (Listed) at Naas on 21 May. This race has been won by a couple of very smart fillies in recent years (Sky Lantern in 2012 and Lillie Langtry in 2009), but Alpha Centauri was more impressive than either of those and is also a more impressive physical specimen at this stage of her career (she’s a very big filly with an impressive stride). Whether she continues to be able to dominate the juvenile fillies’ scene, as her contemporaries start to catch up with her physically, is an open question, but she has set quite a high standard at this stage of the season. In the immediate future, she has been declared to run in Friday’s Gr.3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot but will reportedly miss the race if the word ‘firm’ is in the going description (I guess this will depend on whether any of the forecast scattered thunderstorms hit the track in the next 48 hours): if the ground is suitable it will take a special one to beat her there if she reproduces her Naas form. She seems to be versatile ground-wise, having already won on both ‘good to firm’ and ‘good to yielding’. Looking further ahead, she should continue to progress, as she starts to fill into her huge frame, and her breeding suggests that she should eventually get a mile (being by Mastercraftsman out of a sister to 10½f winner Helike, by Rahy out of Prix de Diane winner East Of The Moon). She’s an exciting prospect, but I’m inclined to wait and see how she fares on Friday (if she runs) before thinking about the Guineas.

Best performance by a 5f juvenile filly so far this season must be today’s Gr.2 Queen Mary Stakes winner Heartache. A clear-cut 2½ length win from a big field (including the well-fancied runner-up) marks her out as a smart filly, but she’s speedily bred (by Kyllachy out of a 5f winner by Compton Place) and seems unlikely to excel beyond sprint distances.

Aidan O’Brien’s filly September made an impressive start to her career when winning a Leopardstown 7f maiden by 5½ lengths earlier this month. Aidan’s fillies generally improve significantly for a run, so this was an eye-catching debut performance, to put it mildly. The winning time was slow and the form looks nothing special, but she showed a good turn of foot and could hardly have won more easily. It would be no surprise to see this filly develop into a Group 1 filly later this season, but in the long term she’s bred to be a middle distance performer (by Deep Impact out of Irish Oaks winner Peeping Fawn, which makes her a full sister to recent 12f maiden winner Wisconsin). As such, she does not appeal for the Guineas at around 16/1. We’ll find out tomorrow whether she’s going to run in the Chesham Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

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Replies: 132
By:
Figgis
When: 21 Jun 17 20:06
By my calculations Alpha Centauri's latest win only leaves her about 4lbs short of a decent Albany winner. She could possibly find that amount of improvement on Friday but at the price I won't be backing her. It might turn out to be a weak renewal where she doesn't need to improve to win but I'll think she'll need to in order to be considered a possible Guineas winner.
By:
jamesp
When: 21 Jun 17 20:42
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Figgis. Yes, I agree - the bare form of the Naas race doesn't tell us a lot - the winning time was good but not exceptional (more than a second slower than Caravaggio on the same card), and she'd already beaten the placed fillies in a maiden over C&D, so the race didn't take a lot of winning. Further improvement needed, clearly, but the best of the bunch so far. Let's see how she copes with the sterner test of the Albany (if she takes her chance).
By:
jamesp
When: 23 Jun 17 14:22
High-drawn (stands side) horses seem to have held an advantage in most of the straight-course races at Ascot this week, and my initial impression is that the first two home in the Albany Stakes did particularly well, racing on what may have been the unfavoured far side of the track, to pull clear of the stands-side group. The winning time looks ordinary, and the rest of the beaten fillies (behind the front pair) finished in a bit of a heap, so it may not have been a vintage renewal, but the winner and runner-up appear to be very useful. The winner Different League won the race with a smart turn of foot and there appeared to be no excuses for the runner-up Alpha Centauri, who was a little short of room against the far rail but was not actually impeded (jockey never stopped riding). The runner-up was gradually closing on the winner in the final 100 yards and may prove to be the better long-term prospect: one imagines that she will have a bit of a break now and have one more race (perhaps the Gr.2 Debutante Stakes over 7f) before the Gr.1 Moyglare Stud Stakes. Both the winner and the runner-up should appreciate a step up to 7f.
By:
jamesp
When: 23 Jun 17 15:01
Slight headwind up the straight, so perhaps Different League's winning time (1.11s slower than Caravaggio in the Commonwealth Cup) was a bitter better than it first appeared. What do you make of it Figgis?
By:
Figgis
When: 23 Jun 17 15:21
Jamesp, will have a better look afterwards but at the moment I'm thinking it was a pretty good effort, probably average Guineas winning standard at this stage, although I'd be more interested in the second.
By:
Figgis
When: 23 Jun 17 15:46
No, sorry jamesp, I had the Commonwealth figure too high on reflection, as I say I'll have a better look later but it doesn't look as good as I first thought. The front two finished clear but some ordinary fillies close up with those behind.
By:
Figgis
When: 23 Jun 17 17:34
Jamesp, I'd say it was weakish form for an Albany, about 9lbs short of even just average Guineas form. I haven't made any allowances for any perceived track bias but even if there was I doubt it'd be anywhere near enough to bridge the shortfall, just my view.
By:
liberator of the oppressed
When: 24 Jun 17 06:00
I'll nail my colours to the mast the way September has been backed suggests to me this is the real deal I've had a good interest at 20/1 I reckon it is a shoo in today.
By:
jamesp
When: 24 Jun 17 13:54
Well done, good luck with that 20/1 bet, LOTO. September looks a smart filly and has taken the step up to pattern company in her stride. Personally, I wouldn't back a filly with her pedigree for the Guineas. No winner of the 1000 Guineas has ever (as far as I can trace) won over 7f so early in her two-year-old season (not in the last 30 years, anyway). She looks a really good staying type and I see her as a middle distance filly for next year. She should have no trouble getting the Oaks trip, so at the available odds I would say that 10/1 for the Oaks represents better value than 5/1 for the Guineas, but I won't be backing her for either race at those sorts of odds. As expected, the bookmakers have completely overreacted to an impressive O'Brien-trained Group race winner.
By:
Jack Bauer '24'
When: 24 Jun 17 14:15
I backed her for the Oaks yesterday. With her pedigree and the speed she has shown she is most definately an Oaks filly for me. My only concern would be that she is quite small so I hope she can continue to improve next year.
By:
Jack Bauer '24'
When: 24 Jun 17 14:17
She reminds me of Australia, in that she is bred for a 12 furlong Classic but has shown plenty of speed.
By:
A_T
When: 24 Jun 17 19:52
to me everything about her says middle distance but she just might do a Camelot and get her nose in front on the day
By:
Figgis
When: 24 Jun 17 20:05
The Chesham was a strongly run race so no reason why any of them should be better than the bare form at this stage. This is often a weak event and this year's race looks no different. I'd say September is about 9lbs short of Guineas winning form. She'd have a better chance of winning the Oaks but only if turns out to be a moderate renewal. Obviously it was only her second race, we're only in June so she could improve. Minding, for instance, was a much better filly at the end of her 2yo year. Although as has been pointed out September isn't the most physically imposing filly. As things stand I think she's going to be overrated in the near future. She's going to be priced up short but unless she improves I think she'd struggle to win races like the Moyglare and I'll be looking to oppose her if possible.
By:
Jack Bauer '24'
When: 24 Jun 17 22:28
How do you rate her run compared to Churchill's win in this race last year?
By:
Figgis
When: 24 Jun 17 22:42
Jack, at that stage I also thought Churchill had a reputation that he hadn't lived up to on the track. I'd say the major difference here is that this race was strongly run whereas Churchill's wasn't so there was always the possibility he could be better, I think Moore actually referred to the pace being against him at the time. The way today's race was run I can't see how September could be any better than the bare form. So it depends how high you rate this race, personally I don't rate it highly but I could be wrong. If those behind her go on to make the form look better I'll revise my opinion but I feel pretty confident in my rating of it right now. As I said, she could improve, and I've seen worse winners of the Oaks, but in a decent year I'd only give her place chances on that form.
By:
Jack Bauer '24'
When: 24 Jun 17 22:55
Yes, I'm aware of the difference in pace and ground and potential improvement in Churchill's rating etc, I was just wondering how many pounds difference you would rate the two of them on just those runs despite everything else.
By:
Figgis
When: 24 Jun 17 23:06
Well I rate today's winning performance 7lbs higher than Churchill's. Not sure that's much help though as I rate the winning performance rather than the horse's overall ability, sometimes they amount to the same thing and sometimes they don't. I'm not into projecting ratings, so a slowly run race will hold back the rating. In a case like Churchill's I'd just take the view that the horse had to be better than the winning rating, but would keep an open mind about how good he could be.
By:
Jack Bauer '24'
When: 24 Jun 17 23:11
OK thanks, a positive for backers is that AOB's two year olds may not be as forward this year as usual. September is his only debut winner out of 25 runners so there could be plenty of improvement to come.
By:
Figgis
When: 24 Jun 17 23:41
Yes, I certainly wouldn't want to try to put a ceiling on such an inexperienced filly's ability. I didn't think Minding was a likely Guineas winner judging by her first few starts. Anyone who's on her at big prices has done well so far. I'm just thinking in the near future she's likely to be priced shorter than the form entitles her to be, in my opinion, that's why I'll probably be against her, depending on the opposition of course.
By:
Jack Bauer '24'
When: 25 Jun 17 00:09
Another positive is that Peeping Fawn was beaten in her first three maiden races and did not look anything special but then showed great improvement.
By:
jamesp
When: 26 Jun 17 12:21
September is priced considerably shorter than the form entitles her to be. The filly would be a much bigger price if she were trained by anyone other than Aidan O'Brien. We've now got to the point where any O'Brien-trained horse that shows any modicum of ability is automatically quoted at ludicrously short odds for the classics. To put this into perspective, it's worth noting that the same stable's Maybe was 10/1 for the Guineas a few years ago after winning the same race (the Chesham Stakes, in 2011) in similarly impressive fashion. Maybe had been 33/1 for the Guineas after her impressive debut maiden win, whereas September was only around half those odds. Minding was 14/1 for the Guineas after she won the Gr.1 Moyglare Stud Stakes a couple of years ago and could still be backed at 5/1 after impressively winning the Gr.1 Fillies' Mile in October of that year. 5/1 September is quite simply the worst value Guineas quote I have ever seen at this stage of a season.

In any case, I still think that September is probably going to be a mile-and-a-half filly later on, and I'll be a bit surprised if she turns out to have the speed to win a typical Guineas.
By:
Jack Bauer '24'
When: 26 Jun 17 13:19
Ridiculously short price for the Guineas at this stage after only two runs and with so many contenders to still emerge.
By:
impossible123
When: 26 Jun 17 14:57
September is extremely short for the 1000G given the minuscule achievement so far. Until an AOB's juvenile filly or colt has contested the relevant races ie Moyglare and National respectively I'd not consider a position at 5/1 at this stage; I'd not be backing her for the Oaks either with a higher than average 1.26 dosage index.

Indeed, Minding was available at 5/1 and 8/1 for the 1000G and Epsom Oaks respectively after winning the Fillies Mile at Newmarket.
By:
Jack Bauer '24'
When: 26 Jun 17 16:24
I've told you before, Dosage Index is a load of bollox. If you can see that September is bred for for middle distances then you have a lot to learn.
By:
Jack Bauer '24'
When: 26 Jun 17 16:31
*Can't see
By:
bosra shame
When: 04 Jul 17 13:18
I was most impressed with Churchill"s full sister Clemmie in the Group 3 on Sunday, travelling well before quickening impressively away, recording the fastest time of the day.]. The third horse, Mamba Noire, gives the form a solid look as she was beaten about six lengths in the Queen Mary.
She has obviously improved from Ascot and is begging for another furlong - O'Brien mentioned the Debutante Stakes next where he would pit her up against September. What a race that would be.
By:
jamesp
When: 14 Jul 17 15:32
A nice performance by Clemmie in this afternoon's Gr.2 Duchess of Cambridge Stakes.  She has improved with every race, and shows plenty of speed for a filly that is sure to get a mile later on. But post-race quotes of 8/1 for the Guineas are, of course, prohibitively short and provide further evidence (if it were needed) that all the value in these classic ante-post markets has completely evaporated. It's a shame - I used to love the challenge of picking out fillies for the 1000 Guineas, but Aidan O'Brien and the bookmakers have made it impossible to get any sort of value, and I can't see myself getting involved in these markets again for the foreseeable future.
By:
Figgis
When: 14 Jul 17 15:42
I had Clemmie 1lb ahead of September going into today's race and still have her on the same mark afterwards, so reckon at the moment she needs to improve a fair bit to win a Guineas. Jamesp, at least with the O'Brien situation it creates value elsewhere, as with Sky Lantern a few years ago.
By:
unclepuncle
When: 19 Jul 17 13:01
A very nice debut by Poetic Charm on Saturday beating a Coolmore favourite.

A Dubawi half-sister to Teofilo so she has the breeding to be very smart.

Obviously Godolphin have a lamentable record with their own two year olds in recent seasons but I guess that's why she is quoted at 33/1 as opposed to half that if O'Brien trained her.

I've had a small interest @ 33/1
By:
ffs
When: 29 Jul 17 22:43
For me, day-of-race with Alpha Centauri if there's any give in the ground - she's such a specimen it's hardly believable. Will be a good price too.
By:
unclepuncle
When: 11 Aug 17 12:19
Well Poetic Charm's maiden has worked out extremely well and she gets the chance to enhance her Guineas claim tomorrow in the Sweet Solera over the same C&D.
Bit worried about the ground - officially soft with maybe some light rain this evening, but hopefully it shouldn't be too bad. If it was soft I'd hope they withdraw her.

Have taken some 9/2 for tomorrow so fingers crossed.
By:
Paterson92
When: 19 Aug 17 19:21
Happily vs September tomorrow at the Curragh ... interesting!
By:
Figgis
When: 20 Aug 17 14:31
I disagree with the Morny market as I have Nyaleti ahead of Different League. For me Nyaleti put up a career best last time, improving 12lbs on her previous efforts. The trouble with Johnston's runners is I find they can improve as much as a stone on one run then regress 20lbs+ next time, so I usually require a bit more value where that yard's runners are concerned, but I think that's on offer at these prices and if she runs to form she'll be difficult to beat. Tantheem looks the one with the most obvious potential, she has improved with every run and could improve again but I think she'll need to.
By:
Figgis
When: 20 Aug 17 14:40
Nyaleti never really travelling today and on reflection I think I future I'll just put a line through Johnston's runners and take it on the chin when they pop up Laugh
By:
Figgis
When: 20 Aug 17 14:40
*in future
By:
clayfield1
When: 20 Aug 17 15:38
Always Trying?
By:
dyno-layer
When: 22 Aug 17 07:50
POLYDREAM : 2yo (08Apr15 b f)
TrainerF Head
OwnerWertheimer & Frere
SireOasis Dream (GB) (7.5f)
DamPolygreen (FR)
Dam's SireGreen Tune (USA) (10.2f)
BreederWertheimer Et Frere.


What were your thoughts on this Filly who won in Deauville at the weekend.

Visually it looked a fabulous performance.

Currently 20/1 for the race under discussion
By:
Figgis
When: 10 Sep 17 14:20
O'Brien chucking a load more at the Moyglare but I'm surprised Moore is on Clemmie. Up until the Debutante I had Happily as Coolmore's best filly so far. I know excuses were made for the beaten runners because of the ground, which is possible, but I thought Magical won on merit. Until proven otherwise I'm taking the form at face value and I have her the highest rated filly so far. 4lbs ahead of Happily, 7 ahead of Clemmie, 8 ahead of September and 9 ahead of Alpha Centauri. Up to now I have her the only filly rated high enough to just about win an ordinary Guineas. Some of these fillies can improve unexpectedly, as Minding showed when turning around the form with Ballydoyle a couple of years ago, but on past form I think Magical should be fav so I've backed her.
By:
Figgis
When: 10 Sep 17 14:21
And now she is fav anyway as Clemmie withdrawn Whoops
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