Johnston realistic about QIPCO 1000 Guineas hopes of outsider Kilmah

Mark Johnston, who saddled Attraction to win the QIPCO 1000 Guineas back in 2004, is responsible for Kilmah, one of eight Pattern Race winners among the 14-runner line-up for the first fillies’ Classic of the season at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Sunday (7th May).
This one mile event boasts total prize money of £500,000 and is the second of 35 races that make up the 2017 QIPCO British Champions Series. Please click here for the 2017 QIPCO British Champions Series press pack
Kilmah enjoyed her finest hour to date when landing the Group 3 Prestige Stakes at Goodwood last August, beating her fellow QIPCO 1000 Guineas candidate, Urban Fox, into third place.
A daughter of Sepoy, she has run just once this year, finishing sixth in the Group 3 Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket on 19th April. She now reopposes the fillies that filled the first three places that day – Daban, Unforgetable Filly and Poet’s Vanity – and should appreciate this step up from seven furlongs to a mile.
Irish Champion Aidan O’Brien, winner of this race twice in the last five years and three times in total, is the only trainer with more than one runner in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas field.
He is three-handed with the favourite, Rhododendron, plus Hydrangea, the filly that chased Rhododendron home in the Group 1 Dubai Fillies’ Mile over this course and distance last October, and Winter, who was touched off by Hydrangea in the Group 3 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown four weeks ago.
The British challenge is led by the John Gosden-trained Daban and Roger Charlton’s Fair Eva, a daughter of the dual World Champion racehorse, Frankel, and herself the brilliant winner of the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes (beating Kilmah into second place) at Ascot last July.
Mark Johnston, trainer of Kilmah, said:
“Kilmah has come out of her Nell Gwyn run very well. I am realistic that she will need to step up from that performance and produce a new personal best to feature in the finish on Sunday but I wouldn’t be running her if I didn’t think that was possible.”
“She seemed to take a breather during the Nell Gwyn and then stay on again at the end, so I am hopeful that the extra furlong will be in her favour.”
Notes to Editors
The 14 declared runners for the Group 1 QIPCO 1000 Guineas run over a mile at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Sunday, 7th May, are as follows:
Ce La Vie (GB), Daban (IRE), Dream Start (GB), Fair Eva (GB), Hydrangea (IRE), Intricately (IRE), Kilmah (GB), Poet's Vanity (GB), Queen Kindly (GB), Rhododendron (IRE), Talaayeb (GB), Unforgetable Filly (GB), Urban Fox (GB), Winter (IRE) (14).
About Newmarket Racecourses
Newmarket’s two magical racecourses, the Rowley Mile and the Adnams July Course, together form the greatest venue in the East of England. Hosting exhilarating world class Flat racing, pulsating music nights, great value family days, award-winning restaurants and exceptional conferences, in 2016 Newmarket Racecourses celebrated 350 years of extraordinary royal patronage.
The Jockey Club runs the largest racecourse group in the UK by turnover (2014: £162.9m), courses (15) including those at Aintree, Cheltenham, Epsom Downs and Newmarket, attendances (2015: 1.95m), total prize money (2015: £43.9m), contribution to prize money (2015: £19.9m) and quality (number of Group and Graded races); more than 3,000 acres of world-class training grounds in Newmarket, Lambourn and Epsom Downs; The National Stud breeding enterprise and education provider; and the charity for racing's people in need, Racing Welfare. Governed by Royal Charter, every penny The Jockey Club makes is put back into British racing. More information is available at  
About QIPCO British Champions Series
The QIPCO British Champions Series is designed to throw the spotlight on Britain’s best Flat races and will climax on 21st October 2017 with the richest fixture in British racing history, QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot.
The Series features 35 Flat races staged at ten of the UK’s leading racecourses: Ascot, Doncaster, Epsom Downs, Goodwood, Haydock Park, Newbury, Newmarket’s July Course, Newmarket’s Rowley Mile, Sandown Park and York.
It encompasses the top races at British racing’s key festivals, including the QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket, the Investec Derby Festival at Epsom, Royal Ascot, the Newmarket July Festival, The Qatar Goodwood Festival, the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York and the Ladbrokes St Leger Festival at Doncaster.
The QIPCO British Champions Series comprises five easy-to-follow champion categories - Sprint, Mile, Middle Distance, Long Distance and Fillies & Mares.

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