A Classic Godolphin-Coolmore confrontation is on the cards as the Group 1 winners Wuheida and Rhododendron are set to take each other on in the 204th running of the £500,000 QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile Racecourse on Sunday, 7th May.
This Group 1 mile contest for three-year-old fillies - the second race of the 2017 QIPCO British Champions Series - attracted 57 initial entries before it closed on Tuesday (7th March).
Both Godolphin and Coolmore have an eight-strong team of entries with Wuheida, winner of the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac, leading the way for ‘The Boys In Blue’ and Rhododendron, who got the better of her stablemate, Hydrangea, in the Group 1 Dubai Fillies’ Mile, spearheading the Aidan O’Brien-trained team.
Alongside Wuheida, trainer Charlie Appleby has three other strings to his Guineas bow in the form of the Group 2 May Hill Stakes second, Grecian Light, the ten-length Newmarket maiden winner, Sobetsu, and the promising Dubawi filly, Fashion Theory.
O’Brien has another top level scorer among his octet in the shape of the Cheveley Park Stakes heroine, Brave Anna, not to mention the filly who pushed her right to the line that day, the Group 2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes heroine, Roly Poly.
The top British-trained hopes include Sea Of Grace, winner of an Irish Group 3 who has recently transferred to the William Haggas yard; Andrew Balding’s Poet’s Vanity, successful in the Group 3 visionsport.com Oh So Sharp Stakes; and the Group 2 Shadwell Rockfel Stakes runner-up, Fair Eva, a member of unbeaten World Champion Frankel’s first crop from the Roger Charlton stable.
The winner’s trophy has been exported across The Channel three times in the last nine years and the Group 1 Prix Morny runner-up, Alrahma, heads a six strong French raiding party this time around.
Charlie Appleby trainer of Wuheida, Grecian Light, Sobetsu and Fashion Theory, said:
“Wuheida is going great and has strengthened up – she’s always been a lovely scopey filly and everything that you would like to see happen in terms of physical development has happened.
“Her preparation is all being geared towards the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and it has always been the plan for her to go straight there without a prep race as she is a very clean-winded, straightforward filly.
“The stiff mile at Newmarket will suit her. We have always thought that the further she goes the better she will go and in the longer term we see her as an Oaks filly.
“Grecian Light has stayed in England and has done a lot better than we could have imagined over the past few months. We will take in a trial with her and then see where we are.
“Sobetsu scoped dirty after her fifth in the Fillies’ Mile and is another one that is currently in Dubai.
“We toyed with running her out there but decided against it and she looks a million dollars at the moment. She needs to redeem herself and will be pointed towards a trial.
“Fashion Theory is still a maiden and has the highest mountain to climb to get to the Guineas. But she has done particularly well through the winter and if she were to post an impressive maiden win it could put her in the picture.”