The mile Classics are the feature events at the two-day Guineas Festival on 30 April and 1 May.
Jessica Harrington is poised to unleash the unbeaten Pathfork and leading contender Laughing Lashes in the first two Classics of the season at Newmarket, the £350,000 Group One QIPCO 2000 Guineas on Saturday 30th April and the £350,000 Group One QIPCO 1000 Guineas on Sunday 1st May.
QIPCO 2000 GUINEAS
Pathfork is one of 19 colts remaining for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas following yesterday’s scratchings deadline, details of which are revealed today, Wednesday, 20th April, 2011, while Laughing Lashes is among 30 fillies going forward following yesterday’s scratchings stage for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas.
Pathfork is unbeaten in three starts including a head victory over subsequent Group One Racing Post Trophy winner Casamento in the Group One Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh on 11th September.
The Distorted Humor colt is set to make his three-year-old debut in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, while stablemate Laughing Lashes will make her seasonal bow in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas.
Laughing Lashes defeated the Aidan O’Brien-trained Misty For Me in the Group Two Debutante Stakes at the Curragh before finding that rival a length superior when runner-up in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes at the same course on 29th August.
Harrington outlined today from her County Kildare yard: “As of this moment Pathfork and Laughing Lashes are both running and I’m happy with their progress. So far, touching all wood, it’s so good.
“Both of them had very good form last year. They did everything that was asked of them so I couldn’t ask for any more.
“I would like rain on the Saturday night for Laughing Lashes in the following afternoon’s 1000 Guineas.”
Frankel remains a hot favourite for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas following his impressive victory in the Group Three Greenham Stakes at Newbury on Saturday and is on course to give Henry Cecil (1975 Bolkonski, 1976 Wollow) his first runner in the race since 2000 as the trainer seeks a third triumph in the Classic.
The Khalid Abdulla-owned colt was jointly crowned champion European two-year-old last season after his Group One Dubai Dewhurst Stakes win, equal with the David Simcock-trained Dream Ahead who slammed the opposition to win the Group One Shadwell Middle Park Stakes, also on the Rowley Mile course, before running below par in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes.
Another colt with winning course form is the Ed Dunlop-trained Native Khan, who landed the Group Three Breeze Up Vendors Craven Stakes over the distance at Newmarket on 14th April.
A quartet from Godolphin remains on target for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, headed by Group One Racing Post Trophy hero Casamento who is trained, like Ecliptic and Neebras, by Mahmood Al Zarooni. Saeed bin Suroor could saddle Group Two Champagne Stakes victor Saamidd.
Among the four Irish-trained entries, Aidan O’Brien has a trio, consisting of Group One Criterium International winner Roderic O’Connor, who was runner-up to Frankel in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes, Group Two UAE Derby runner-up Master Of Hounds and Alexander Pope.
Eoghan O’Neill is responsible for the remaining French-trained entry Broox, fourth to Dream Ahead in the Group One Darley Prix Morny in August.
Fury is unbeaten in two starts for trainer William Haggas, the latest of which came in the £500,000 Tattersalls Millions 2YO Trophy on the Rowley Mile in October.
The Richard Hannon-trained Dubawi Gold has landed a pair of Listed races this season, while the others still engaged are Happy Today, Loving Spirit, Rerouted, Slim Shadey and the unraced Clive Brittain-trained Tlaad.
QIPCO 1000 GUINEAS
Also among the 30 fillies going forward for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, is last year’s champion juvenile filly Hooray. Sir Mark Prescott’s charge stormed to a four and a half-length victory in the Group One Adnams Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket in October.
Sir Michael Stoute has two fillies remaining, the unbeaten Group Three Sakhee Oh So Sharp Stakes winner Havant and Group Two Rockfel Stakes heroine Cape Dollar, while Richard Hannon is set to saddle Memory, winner of the Group Two Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cherry Hinton Stakes but only sixth to Misty For Me in the Moyglare Stud Stakes on her latest start.
White Moonstone won the Group One Fillies’ Mile at Ascot in September for trainer Saeed bin Suroor. Fellow Godolphin handler Mahmood Al Zarooni could saddle course and distance winner Blue Bunting, successful in the Listed bet365.com EBF Montrose Fillies’ Stakes, and the unbeaten Listed Radley Stakes winner Zoowraa.
As well as Misty For Me, O’Brien has Wild Wind, Together, Sakhee Oh So Sharp Stakes runner-up Look At Me and Group Three winner Empowering going forward.
Among the remaining fillies are a French-trained quintet, headed by Moonlight Cloud from the Freddy Head yard. The Invincible Spirit filly impressed when winning the Group Three Prix Imprudence on April 7 and her only career defeat came against colts when fourth to Wootton Bassett in the Group One Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp in October.
Robert Collet could run the smart Immortal Verse, while his son, Rodolphe Collet, has Listed winner Nova Hawk. Nova Step represents Francois Rohaut and Fabrice Vermeulen has Mixed Intention.
Others going forward include Group Two Queen Mary Stakes winner Maqaasid, Group Three winners Majestic Dubawi and Soraaya, as well as Group Two Rockfel Stakes runner-up Cochabamba.