The second Classic of the British Flat season, the QIPCO 1000 Guineas is open to three-year-old fillies and is held just 24 hours after the QIPCO 2000 Guineas. The race takes place on the Rowley Mile course at Newmarket and is run over a distance of one mile.
The QIPCO 1000 Guineas dates back to 1814 – it celebrated its 200th running in 2013 – five years after the introduction of the 2000 Guineas, an equivalent race open to both colts and fillies.
The biggest shock came in 1918, when Ferry won at odds of 50/1 whilst Tontine’s victory in 1825 came as no surprise whatsoever – she was the only runner!
Aidan O’Brien will be bidding to land a fifth 1000 Guineas on Sunday afternoon and his talented filly Happily has a great chance of helping him achieve that milestone.
Her wins last term included the Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown, the Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh and a win against the boys in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Chantilly.
She signed off her season with a below par effort in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Del Mar but some early bad luck in running can be used as an excuse for that performance.
From some recent social media footage taken on the Ballydoyle gallops, O’Brien appears to have her at the top of her game and she is a worthy favourite in this contest.
The Godolphin owned Soliloquy was supplemented for this race after the daughter of Dubawi made a big impression in the Group Three Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket a fortnight ago.
At the time of writing, William Buick who partnered Soliloquy to victory in the Nell Gwyn last month has yet to decide whether he rides her or the other exciting Godolphin filly, Wild Illusion.
I Can Fly
Another Aidan O’Brien filly and another runner you can make a strong case for. I Can Fly is a half-sister to the top class Landseer, a winner of the French 2000 Guineas.
She progressed well throughout the 2017 season, winning on debut and then improved again when third to Altyn Orda in the Oh So Sharp Stakes.
She has run already this term, running well when finishing two lengths third to Who's Steph in the Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial on her return to action last month.
Prix Marcel Boussac victor Wild Illusion is a second representative for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin in this fillies Classic.
Ridden prominently at Chantilly, she showed a good attitude that day and should have plenty more to offer this season. The suspicion is however that her pedigree will come to the fore further down the line and she looks an ideal Oaks type.
That’s not to say she cannot be a player in this race and she should be included in any sort of forecast/tricast permutation.
Karl Burke believes his QIPCO 1,000 Guineas contender, Laurens, is flying under the radar ahead of Sunday’s big race.
Laurens had an excellent juvenile season. She followed up a win in the Group Two May Hill Stakes at Doncaster with a hard fought success in the Group One Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket, where she just held off Aidan O’Brien’s progressive filly, September.
Burke has never won a Classic. The nearest he has come is when Libertarian finished second in the Investec Derby behind Ruler Of The World. He would dearly love to change that statistic at the weekend.
Dan's Dream was another runner that was supplemented on Monday. She has shown improved form this season, winning both starts, most recently taking the Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury by one and a quarter lengths from Tajaanus.
Trained by Mick Channon, Dan's Dream was named after Dan Nicholls, who became paralysed from the neck down aged 18. He broke his neck when he dived into a wave and hit a hidden sandbank at Bondi Beach in Australia.
His father David Nicholls founded the charity and any prize-money earned will be going to the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation.
Also part owned by Sir Ian Botham and Sir Gareth Edwards, there would be no more popular winner if she could get her head in front on the line.
Richard Hannon’s Anna Nerium was the surprise 25/1 winner of the Listed European Free Handicap by three lengths at Newmarket last time out and Hannon will be hoping to surprise a few of the big-guns again with her on Sunday.
Tom Marquand, who has ridden the filly on her last four starts, is reunited with the filly again.
Anna Nerium won the Group Three Dick Poole Fillies' Stakes at Salisbury as a juvenile and added her latest scalp to her C.V by defeating her male counterparts which was no mean feat.
Her pedigree suggests that the step up in distance here should give her no problems.
Roger Varian’s Nelly Gwyn runner-up will be ridden by Frankie Dettori.
Winner of the Oh So Sharp Stakes last term, the filly ran a promising race first time up and Varian was immediately pinpointing this race for her in his post-race analysis. She should run a big race at a very backable each-way price.
Trained by Willie McCreery, Liquid Amber will race in the famous Niarchos family silks, the same colours carried to victory in the race by Miesque in 1987.
The daughter of Kitten's Joy ran just twice last season but it was the manner of her victory in the Flame Of Tara Irish EBF Stakes which makes her an interesting outsider here.
A five length, and going away victory, over Aidan O’Brien’s Ballet Shoes at The Curragh gives the chestnut filly every chance of making her mark on her first raid across the Irish Sea.
As ever it is always difficult to deviate away from any Aidan O’Brien contenders in the Classics and Happily (nap) is the selection.
An each-way chance can be given to the consistent Laurens (nb) who would probably be half her price in the betting had she hailed from the Ballydoyle camp.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*