RESTRICTED TO 3yo fillies, Sunday’s 1000 Guineas, over the same Newmarket straight mile as the 2000 Guineas, has a strong favourite in the shape of Santa Barbara, to be partnered by Ryan Moore for Aidan O’Brien.
Jockey and trainer combined to win the race last year with Love, as well as in 2016 with Minding and Homecoming Queen in 2012. O’Brien is seeking a third consecutive success, fifth in six years and seventh overall while Moore has won the race on four occasions.
Their hope this year is the least experienced runner in the field having won her only juvenile start, a mile Curragh maiden at the end of September.
O’Brien said: "It is only her second run and running down Newmarket on quickish ground, she will be green," he said. "It will be interesting to see how she copes with it, but either way you would imagine that she will learn a lot from it.
"It'll do her absolutely no harm but you'd say if she'd had a run it might have been a little bit of an advantage to her. But she's a quick learner at home – she's very intelligent. It'll be very interesting."
Both winners of the main trials, over 7f, Sacred and Alcohol Free, are in opposition and seem to head the British challenge. The latter finished 2020 by winning the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes, over 6f, on this Newmarket Rowley Mile when Sacred was last of the eight runners.
Sacred bounced back to win the 7f Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes, on the same course where she also made a winning debut, over 6f, in June.
Saffron Beach chased home Sacred in that race almost three weeks ago, her first defeat after a pair of 2yo victories.
Her trainer, Jane Chapple-Hyam, said: "We call Saffron Beach 'Petal' in the yard as she is such a sweetie and her dam is Falling Petals.
"I would say she was around 90% fit for the Nell Gwyn, after which she had a good blow, and she shaped then as if she needs a mile already. She could even be an Oaks filly in time."