Aidan O’Brien is trying to keep his grip on the Qipco 1000 Guineas in the saddle in both unbeaten Tenebrism and Tuesday in the fillies’ mile classic at Newmarket on Sunday.
The Ballydoyle maestro has won the race seven times, including five of the last six, and has current favorite in the form of Tenebrism, who won the Six Furlong Group One Cheveley Park Stakes on the same Rowley Mile course on their second departure. in September.
Caravaggio’s daughter makes her seasonal comeback trying a mile for the first time and will be partnered with Ryan Moore.
Rather than run in a trial, O’Brien instead opted for a gallop at Curragh Racecourse.
He said, “She’s fine, everything went well in the winter and spring with her. She was also at the Curragh.
“Obviously she only won more than six furlongs last year, but she looked that day to have seven. Usually if they get seven at two years old, they have good chance of getting a mile.
“Everything went well with her. Obviously it’s a step forward in the journey, but we are happy with everything she has done.
We were going there kind of thinking that if she was a Guinean filly she would have experience of the track and how she handled the dive
He added: “We were very impressed with what she did in Cheveley Park.
“We were kind of going there thinking that if she was a filly from the Guineas she would have experience of the track and how she handled the dive.
“Really, we thought, I guess, she would have a great run and we would go from there to see if we could train her for the Guineas or not.”
Frankie Dettori was booked to ride on Tuesday, which also had two career starts.
Although beaten by Discoveries – who oppose it – on her seven-furlong debut at the Curragh in June, Galileo’s daughter opened her account in style over a mile at Naas in March.
O’Brien said: “When she won her maiden earlier in the year, we didn’t think she would be ready for the Guineas, that it would come too quickly, but she has made a lot of progress lately. She’s not three years old until June, so she’s a late colt.
“We are satisfied with everything she has done since.
“His sister (Minding, who took the 2016 renewal for O’Brien) got a mile and a quarter and a mile and a half, but she came back to a mile at the end.
“We are very happy with his work, but obviously the plan would be to start here and then maybe go to the Oaks, like his sister did.
“We’re happy with where she is because we didn’t think we’d be in this position with her four weeks ago.”
Jessica Harrington is seeking her first British Classic and saddle Discoveries, which clinched Group One Moyglare at the Curragh on her last visit in September.
Although her four career starts have all been over seven furlongs, the Mastercraftsman’s daughter has shown every sign that she will go the mile, according to Alan Cooper, racing director for the Niarchos family, which owns her.
“It’s a great weekend for discoveries,” Cooper said. “She is a Group 1 winner at two and has really blossomed over the winter.
There is every confidence that the filly is perfect, but the unknown is that this will be her first start of the year.
“Jessie and Shane (Foley, jockey) are very happy with her. She is much stronger and this will be her first start of the year.
“There is every confidence that the filly is perfect, but the unknown is that it will be her first start of the year.
“The pitch will suit him and there are a few other unreleased ones (this season) that we haven’t seen yet.”
Ireland are also represented by Juncture, who impressively won a Listed mile contest at Dundalk by six lengths on his seasonal debut for trainer Ger Lyons.
The French-bred fillies have won the race three times in the last 14 renewals and there is growing confidence behind the two-pronged challenge from across the Channel.
Francis-Henri Graffard saddles Malavath, which will be ridden by Christophe Soumillon.
The Mehmas daughter has won three of her six career starts and showed her well-being by beating Zellie in the Group Three Prix Imprudence on her seasonal return to Deauville.
It happened on heavy contrasting ground, but Graffard believes the faster surface this time won’t be to his detriment.
As for the terrain, she is a very versatile filly and I hope she will be good enough for a race like this.
He said: “I couldn’t have had him in better shape. She has improved a lot since her seasonal debut and she is doing very well.
“Ground wise, she is a very versatile filly and I hope she will be good enough for a race like this. I couldn’t be happier with her and we are all looking forward to her.
André Fabre won the 1000 Guineas with Miss France in 2014 and he is not afraid that Zellie will face Malavath again.
Tom Marquand will partner the winner of the Prix Marcel Boussac for the first time last season.
He said: “I’m really looking forward to Zellie and the race is looking pretty open.
“She won Group One last season and she should hopefully make a bold offer.”
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