French trainer Mikel Delzangles may target What A Name at the 200th running of the QIPCO 1000 Guineas. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.
Unbeaten fillies Certify (Mahmood Al Zarooni), Just The Judge (Charles Hills) and Rosdhu Queen (William Haggas) head 69 star-studded entries for the historic 200th running of the QIPCO 1000 Guineas, race two in the QIPCO British Champions Series at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile on Sunday 5 May.
The inaugural running took place in 1814, won by a filly called Charlotte. The prize then was unsurprisingly 1000 Guineas – today it has risen to £400,000, up from £350,000 last year.
Certify, one of six Godolphin-trained entries in this year’s fillies’ Classic, won three of her four races at Newmarket, most notably the Shadwell Fillies’ Mile (Group 1) on the Rowley Mile in September.
Just The Judge, owned in partnership with the Sangsters by Qatar Racing, a subsidiary of race sponsors QIPCO Holding, completed her hat-trick of wins on Dubai Future Champions Day on the Rowley Mile in October when annexing the Vision.ae Rockfel Stakes (Group 2).
Rosdhu Queen has yet to race beyond six furlongs, but she too rounded off her season with victory at Newmarket when taking the Jaguar Cars Cheveley Park Stakes (Group 1) on the Rowley Mile in September.
The entry includes 11 French-trained fillies, up from eight last year, headed by a Mikel Delzangles-trained trio which includes the brilliant Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (Grade 1) winner, Flotilla, and the Jean-Luc Lagardere (Group 1) runner-up, What A Name, who took on the colts and finished second to Olympic Glory on Arc Day.
Delzangles, who has already tasted Classic glory on the Rowley Mile when Makfi landed the 2000 Guineas in 2010, said: "No final decision has been made, but What A Name is more likely for the QIPCO 1000 Guineas and Flotilla could be aimed at the Pouliches.
"What A Name has passed a good winter and I am very happy with her. She will reappear in the Prix Imprudence (4 April, Maisons-Laffitte).
"She took on the males in the Jean-Luc Lagardere and was only beaten by one and he was very good and now one of the favourites for the QIPCO 2000 Guineas.
"I think the filly will stay a mile as she finished second over seven furlongs on heavy ground at Longchamp.
"I am also pleased with Flotilla. I feel good ground could be an advantage for her. She will make her seasonal debut in the Prix de la Grotte (14 April, Longchamp)."
Fellow French-based trainers Andre Fabre (Alumna), Henri Pantall (Aquatinta), Francois Doumen (Dauphine Russe), Jean-Claude Rouget (Peace Burg), Freddy Head (Sara Lucille), Pascal Bary (Spinacre) and Eoghan O’Neill (Celtic Filly) are also represented in the fillies’ Classic.
Thirteen entries from Ireland include five from last year’s victorious trainer, Aidan O’Brien, who saddled Homecoming Queen to win the 199th running. The quintet features A Star Is Born, Hanky Panky, Infanta Branca, Magical Dream and Snow Queen.
Dermot Weld has entered three including the highly regarded Big Break, impressive winner of a Group 3 on his latest start, while there are two from Andrew Oliver including the Newmarket winner Sendmylovetorose, one from Edward Lynam in the shape of the very useful Viztoria, David Wachman’s maiden winner Hint Of A Tint and the Jim Bolger-trained Scintillula.