The 2012 renewal of the 1,000 Guineas takes place on Sunday May 6th 2012 and it looks to be one of the most competitive for a while, despite the presence of the highly rated favourite Maybe. A talented filly she might be, but at first glance, her odds look a little prohibitive. So is there any value to be had elsewhere in the 1000 Guineas field? Read on and find out, with our 1000 Guineas preview

The 1000 Guineas takes place on the second day of Newmarket’s Guineas meeting, which will be Sunday May 6th 2012. It’s the second Classic of the British flat racing season and is for fillies only, giving the girls their chance to shine after the events of the 2000 Guineas the day before. This year’s line up looks to be a strong one, and it will certainly be an interesting race – but which horse will win?

To give ourselves the best possible chance of answering that particular question, we need to reduce the current 1000 Guineas field to a more manageable number, which can be achieved by taking a look at recent winners of the race and attempting to pick out any trends, which can then be applied to the 2012 field.

The first strong trend to emerge from analysis of recent 1000 Guineas winners concerns race experience as a two year old – all of the past fifteen winners of the race had run twice or more during their two year old career.

It’s also important to note that nine of the last ten 1000 Guineas winners had tasted victory in at least two races prior to their Newmarket success, suggesting that we ought to avoid perennial losers; but more than that, we need to be looking for a filly with proven class, as nine of the last ten winners had also won a Class 1 race prior to winning the 1000 Guineas. The one exception to that particular trend had never lined up in a Class 1 race, so we shouldn’t write anything off with a similar profile, but we should certainly avoid those horses beaten in Group or Listed company, as they have already shown us that they aren’t likely to have the class to win the 1000 Guineas.

Looking at the recent form of past 1000 Guineas winners throws up some interesting trends too:

  • 13 of the past 14 winners had won at least one of their two races prior to Newmarket
  • All of the last ten winners had finished in the front three in both of their last two races prior to the 1000 Guineas
  • Six of the last ten 1000 Guineas champions were making their seasonal debut, while the other four had only run once – which suggests that we ought to be picking a fresh horse

The maturity of the horses in the 1000 Guineas line up would seem to play some part in the outcome too, as eight of the past ten winners were born before the April 1st, but experience over the one mile trip is not as relevant as one might expect, because 11 of the past 13 winners were winning over a mile for the first time in their careers.

Applying all of the above information to the 2012 field allows us to form a 1000 Guineas shortlist of five horses, but there are no surprises to be found here, as they are all to be found near to the head of the betting. We have Maybe, Mashoora, Lyric of Light, Lightening Pearl and Discourse.

I really wouldn’t be surprised to see any of these fillies win the 1000 Guineas, but it’s tough to back Maybe antepost at a best price of 2.62 (Paddy Power, William Hill) – especially when anything could happen this week and we would lose our bet. At this stage, I’m going to take a look at the bigger priced fillies on the shortlist, and the two that have the edge as far as I can see, are Discourse and Mashoora.

There doesn’t look to be much between Discourse and stablemate Lyric Of Light, but the former is of American breeding – a positive given the recent record of four winners and three places from just 27 US bred runners in the past ten renewals of the 1000 Guineas – and at a best price of 8.00 (Paddy Power) I’d be willing to take a small punt on her.

On a similar note, Mashoora is trained by Jean-Claude Rouget and is the only French trained filly in this year’s 1000 Guineas field. The French have a good record in the race in recent years, with two wins and two places from six runners in the past decade. Even the two unplaced horses finished fourth and seventh in their races, so I would be confident of a big run by Mashoora at a best price of 9.00 (Coral, William Hill).

Advice:

The QIPCO 1,000 Guineas Stakes
Sunday 6th May 2012, 15:15

Discourse @ 8.00 (Paddy Power)
Mashoora @ 9.00 (Coral, William Hill)