Leading fillies stand ground for 1000 Guineas

Infallible, Spacious, Muthabara and Natagora all feature among the 28 fillies still in the stanjamesuk.com 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 4.

Infallible, Spacious, Muthabara and Natagora all feature among the 28 fillies still in the stanjamesuk.com 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on May 4.

The first-named pair are both owned by Cheveley Park Stud and sit prominently in the ante-post betting, while the latter couple both won their trials last week.

A total of 46 horses came out at the latest forfeit stage, with Sense Of Joy the most notable withdrawal.

Aidan O’Brien saddled Virginia Waters to win the 2005 renewal and has Kitty Matcham, Savethisdanceforme, Psalm and Halfway To Heaven to choose from this term.

Peter Chapple-Hyam has left in Cape Amber, Godolphin have Laureldean Gale and Alain de Royer-Dupre’s Zarkava is also among the remainder.

However, the latter, who impressed in both last year's Prix Marcel Boussac and the Prix de la Grotte on her reappearance, remains more likely to stay in France for a Classic campaign.

George Rimaud, racing manager to owner the Aga Khan, said: “Our goal is to go for the French Guineas – the Poule d’Essai des Pouliches – and then we’ll see.

“If everything was well with the filly after that, the next goal would be the French Oaks.

“But, one never knows what the weather is going to be like and what the situation will be, so we have kept her entry at Newmarket just in case one might need to run there.

“It is really a precaution but it depends on the other horses we have and where they go, and the owner will tend to make a decision nearer the time.”

Raymi Coya won the Oh So Sharp Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket last October but is not certain to take her chance.

Although her owner, Chelsea striker Claudio Pizarro, is keen for her to run, trainer Marco Botti has warned she may not be ready in time for the first fillies’ Classic.

Botti said: “Her owner would like to see her in the Guineas – it is a dream for him and he is so excited, but we will see how she is.

“He is thrilled with the filly but she is just taking a little longer to come to hand than we expected and there is no reason to push her. She needs to be 100% for a race like the Guineas.

“It is still 50-50 as to whether she goes for the 1000 Guineas. She will work later this week and we will see how she is and consider the ground before committing her to the race.

“We want to keep an eye on the going – she won on good ground so I don’t think it would be ideal to run on too soft.

“If necessary, we could leave the Guineas and aim her for something else like the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“She is well and has definitely improved condition-wise. She has started to move forward with a bit warmer weather and we will just wait and see what happens.”

stanjamesuk.com 1000 Guineas, sponsors bet: 7-2 Infallible, 4-1 Muthabara, 9-2 Natagora, 11-2 Spacious, 14-1 Kitty Matcham, Savethisdanceforme, 16-1 Laureldean Gale, Psalm, 20-1 Visit, Nahoodh, 25-1 Lush Lashes, 33-1 bar.

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