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1000 Guineas Tips - Outsider could cause an upset at Newmarket

  • The 1000 Guineas will take place at Newmarket
  • Hot-favourite Santa Barbara can be beaten
  • Fev Rover is our best each-way bet against the favourite
Fev Rover (red cap) finishing just behind Dandalla at the July meeting. (Getty)
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The day after the colts take center-stage on the Rowley Mile, the best three-year-old fillies in the land will lock horns in the 1000 Guineas. 

This Classic was first run at Newmarket in the early 1800s, and one of the shortest-priced favourites in history will enter the stalls ahead of the 2021 renewal next Sunday.

We've taken a look through the ante-post betting and picked out our best 1000 Guineas tips.

1000 Guineas Tips – Hot Favourite

The big story leading into this year’s 1000 Guineas is the monster gamble on Santa Barbara. Aidan O’Brien’s filly made just one appearance as a juvenile, winning a maiden over a mile at the Curragh, after which she was installed as a 33/1 shot for the first fillies’ Classic of 2021.

That price shortened dramatically once Aidan O’Brien’s pre-season stable tour had been published. O’Brien waxed lyrical about this daughter of Camelot, claiming she had filled out so much during the winter, that she’d come back “looking like a five-year-old colt.” 

Santa Barbara had been cut into 10/1 by the beginning of March, and her price has continued to tumble ever since. 5/2 looked exceedingly short when bookmakers again slashed her price on April 1st. Today, the best price you’ll find anywhere on the 1000 Guineas favourite is an astonishing 6/4.

There’s every chance she could be the next big thing to come out of Ballydoyle and, true, this year’s Guineas doesn’t look the deepest of renewals. However, Santa Barbara’s price is based purely on the words of the genius who trains her.

The 17 horses Santa Barbara beat easily at the Curragh have managed just three placed efforts in 13 starts between them. They were all achieved by the runner-up, Kailash, who’s now rated 87. Her half-brother, Order Of Australia ran once as a juvenile, and was beaten on his first three starts as a three-year-old. Her sire, Camelot may have been a Guineas winner himself, but he’s yet to produce a Grade One winner over a mile.

I haven’t the time to trawl through the 200-year history of the 1000 Guineas, but I would be surprised if there were many winners with as little experience as Santa Barbara, especially in recent times. O’Brien has trained six winners of this Classic, four of which raced between five and eleven times as juveniles. Winter and Virginia Waters only ran three and four times at two respectively, and both had to prove they were worthy of a run in the Guineas by impressing in the Trial at Leopardstown.

For a filly with seemingly plenty going against her, 5/4 is an incredibly short price.

1000 Guineas Tips – Single Figures

Pretty Gorgeous ended last season with an impressive victory in the Fillies’ Mile, holding off Indigo Girl and Mother Earth to claim a half-length success. Joseph O’Brien’s filly won the Debutante Stakes earlier in the season, and also placed second to Shale in the Silver Flash and the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes. (RULED OUT THROUGH INJURY)

Shale did nothing to boost that juvenile form when fifth on her reappearance in the Leopardstown Trial. Pretty Gorgeous beat that rival by seven-lengths in the Fillies’ Mile, though, and Joseph said a few weeks ago that his star filly has enjoyed a fantastic winter.

Alcohol Free upstaged Miss Amulet to win the Cheveley Park Stakes in September, and proved she was a strong stayer at seven furlongs by winning the Fred Darling on her reappearance. No Nay Never isn’t known for producing strong milers, and winners of both the Cheveley Park and the Fred Darling haven’t fared well in the Guineas in recent years. Alcohol Free could run a big race, but there are others who appeal more at longer prices.

Sacred was slashed into 8s from 50/1 after beating Saffron Beach in the Nell Gwyn Stakes. Immediately following that race, jockey Ryan Moore didn’t seem confident that the step up to a mile would suit William Haggas’ filly, and her breeding certainly points towards a future over sprinting distances.

1000 Guineas Tips – Outsiders To Watch

Saffron Beach lost nothing in defeat to Sacred in the Nell Gwyn, and her trainer, Jane Chapple-Hyam was adamant she would have needed the run both before and after that outing. Her sire, New Bay excelled when stepped up beyond the mile, so jumping up to eight furlongs could bring about significant improvement.

Aidan O’Brien doesn’t always win Classics with his supposed first string, so Mother Earth has to be respected. This daughter of Zoffany won once in eight juvenile starts, placing on her final two starts in Group Ones. The only poor performance of her 2020 campaign came when she attempted to make the running in the Moyglare, so expect to see Mother Earth played fast and late.

Statement had enough speed to cross the line alongside Alcohol Free in the Fred Darling, despite the fact she’s bred to stay middle-distances. She cannot be discounted. Neither should Fev Rover, who beat Dubai Fountain in a Listed race at Sandown last season, and went on to win a Group Two out in France.

1000 Guineas Tips – Final Verdict

I analyse form, breeding and historic trends to come up with my selections. I wouldn’t back Santa Barbara if she was 6/1, let alone 6/4. She may well prove herself too good for this field, but I’m perfectly happy taking her on.

The draw could play a big part in the outcome of Sunday's race. Santa Barbara has been drawn in stall one, with stablemate Mother Earth in two. There's a chance Mother Earth could be sent forward to make the running for her stablemate. Given her inexperience, Santa Barbara could be drawn towards the inside rail to help guide her home, which would cause the whole field to drift towards the far side of the track. 

Sacred, Alcohol Free and Saffron Beach have been drawn on the opposite side of the track, and could be forced to work hard early to latch onto the pace coming from the low stalls. One who could be well-placed to mount a challenge from stall four is FEV ROVER, and I fancy having an each-way punt on Richard Fahey's filly.

Having finished behind Method on debut last year, Fev Rover then went down by a head to Dandalla at the July Meeting. Victory over Dubai Fountain followed at Sandown, after which Fev Rover made a splash in France, beating the well-regarded Plainchant - who went on to win two Group prizes of her own - rather cosily in the Prix du Calvados.

Fahey then took his chance in the Prix Marcel Boussac, where Fev Rover was backed into favouritism. That Group One turned into a very messy race. Fahey's filly was bumped and barged around on a number of occasions, and could only stay on to finish fourth.

I'm not sure Fev Rover really appreciated heavy ground that day. One of her best runs last season came on quick ground at Sandown, so ground conditions during the Guineas Festival could really suit. If she's progressed during the winter, then I see no reason why Fev Rover can't challenge for the 1000 Guineas crown.


Fev Rover has been drawn nicely alongside the raiders from Ballydoyle, and she showed enough last season to suggest challenging in this Classic is certainly not beyond her.

1000 Guineas Tip: Fev Rover Each-Way @1600.0 at BetMGM - 10 Units

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