Aidan O'Brien to run three fillies in 1000 Guineas
Last Updated: 26/04/16 5:16pm
Aidan O'Brien plans to run Minding, Ballydoyle and Alice Springs in Sunday's Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.
Both Minding and Ballydoyle won Group Ones last season, with the former prompting the usually reticent Ryan Moore to provide the media with some very complimentary comments about her.
Because of that, O'Brien expects Moore to side with Minding ahead of Ballydoyle, who booked her place with a pleasing gallop in front of the Channel 4 Racing Morning Line cameras on Saturday.
"The plan is to run all three unless anything unforeseen ground-wise happens," said O'Brien.
"We know that Minding handles the ease well whereas Ballydoyle is not as effective on easier ground. They were very close as two-year-olds.
"I would imagine Ryan will ride Minding as he was very impressed with her last year. I think he was more impressed with Minding than Ballydoyle when he rode her."
Criquette Head-Maarek is hoping lightning can strike twice with another daughter of Motivator as Midweek lines up.
The masterful French handler, who has won the Classic three times already with Ma Biche, Ravinella and Special Duty, trained Motivator's most famous offspring, dual Arc winner Treve.
While Midweek has some way to go before she can be even mentioned in the same breath as Treve, there are reasons to believe so could be over priced at around the 25-1 mark.
"She will definitely run, she did a piece of work on Saturday that really pleased me," said Head-Maarek.,
"I know she was beaten in the Prix Imprudence, but she will definitely be suited by stepping back up to a mile as she won over that trip last year.
"She was my best two-year-old last season, she was slowly away on her debut and should have finished much closer than fourth.
"I've been lucky with Motivator as a sire in the past and I'm hoping I can be again.
"She's a good filly and will appreciate any cut in the ground - it just depends if any of the other fillies are better than her."
Another trainer who thinks his filly may be over priced is William Knight who saddles Robanne, a fast-finishing third to Nathra in the Nell Gwyn.
"She was drawn on the outside that day and Silvestre (De Sousa) didn't want to be stuck out wide, so he had to drop in further back than ideal.
"I was really pleased with how she finished off, she flew home, and will be suited by an extra furlong.
"She's come on a hell of a lot for that run. She hadn't been anywhere for a gallop before it and I think she's got a decent each-way chance.
"She'll be my first runner in a Classic so it's very exciting."
Richard Hannon is praying the rain stays away from Newmarket to allow him to run Illuminate.
Winner of the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes on fast ground last July, she was then beaten just half a length by Lumiere in the Cheveley Park Stakes in September.
Illuminate finished her first campaign at the Breeders' Cup meeting when sixth in the Juvenile Fillies Turf on softer-than-anticipated ground.
If she is forced to miss this weekend, Hannon will switch her sights to the Irish equivalent.
"She did a piece of work with Toormore about a week ago and she worked fine," he told At The Races.
"But with the rain around, it is not looking ideal. We won't be able to run her and we'll have to wait for Ireland. It's a weather watch, really.
"Frankie (Dettori) might be available to ride her but he might not, so it's a bit up in the air. We've got some other avenues but it's all on the weather.
"If I could have anything, I'd rather have the weather - you can get a jockey for a good filly, no problem."