The fairer sex proved the stars across the world last year, Winx in Australia, Almond Eye in Japan, Monomoy Girl in America and Enable in Europe. All multiple G1 winners who also caught the public’s imagination.
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Will we see another star filly this year, one that could reach the heights achieved by those mares?
Almond Eye won the Japanese 1000 Guineas last year, adding the Japanese Oaks and St Leger later in the season. It’s been a long time since that has happened in England, 1985 to be precise when Sir Henry Cecil trained Oh So Sharp to win the Fillies Triple Crown.
Could the gap be bridged this year?
Qabala is favourite for the first leg, the 1000 Guineas tomorrow. Roger Varian’s filly won her maiden over 7F at the end of September punted from 11/2 to 7/2F. She won a head, safe to say they knew what they had. She reappeared in the Nell Gwyn Stakes and was an impressive winner coming through the pack to win going away. The issue is there was no early pace so did the run flatter to deceive?
She’ll be accompanied to the post by her stable companion Mot Juste, a G3 winner last year who ran second to her in the Nell Gwyn.
Next best of the English is Dadhnu who was also a trial winner at Newbury taking the Fred Darling a short head from Iconic Choice.
The Irish challenge is deep both numerically and in quality, Skitter Scatter, Iridessa, and Fairyland are all G1 winners.
As juveniles Skitter Scatter took the Moyglare for Patrick Prendergast at the Curragh 2 L from Lady Kaya over seven furlongs with Hermosa a further 1¼ L behind in a taking performance. She’s now under licence to John Oxx. Iridessa gave Joseph O’Brien his first G1 win in England taking the Fillies Mile from Hermosa by 1½ L while Fairyland for Aidan O’Brien took the Cheveley Park over 6F.
Roll on this year to Leopardstown for the 1000 Guineas Trial and it was Lady Kaya who put in the authoritative performance to beat Happen and Iridessa. No doubt the third will improve for the run but so will the winner.
Aidan O’Brien also runs two juvenile G2 winners in Just Wonderful and Fleeting. Just Wonderful, the Rockfel winner over 7F here will have Ryan Moore in the plate while Fleeting, the May Hill winner over a mile at Doncaster has been nibbled at in the market backed from 28/1 to 16/1 since this morning.
Sheila Lavery’s filly Lady Kaya is the fairy tale winner, from a small stable, purchased for buttons and owned within the trainers family she had 10 L to spare over Pink Dogwood last August, now favourite for the Oaks.
Her overall level of form gives her every chance and she’s had the experience of going to Newmarket for the Cheveley Park, albeit it wasn’t as pleasant as she would have liked, trying to make all she folded coming out of the dip to finish to finish sixth. She may well benefit from that now. By sprinter Dandy Man the trip is a concern though there was no sign of her weakening over 7F at Leopardstown.
She won’t win a triple crown but she might turn out to be a very nice miler.
Recommendation: Lady Kaya 14/1 win
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