Nell Gwyn Preview

Nell Gwyn Preview

April 11, 2016

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Named after the mistress of Charles II, the Nell Gwyn (Tuesday 4.30 Newmarket) is a prestigious trial for the 1,000 Guineas. It is run over a distance of 7-furlongs at Newmarket, and last produced the winner of the fillies first classic in 2006, when Speciosa took the spoils.

Nell Gwyn

In the last decade, Frankie Dettori has ridden 3 winners, whilst the Hannon stable has won it twice, and the Gosden stable once.

This year 12 fillies are set to go to post.

Illuminate 9/2

Highly regarded Royal Ascot and group-2 winner, who went on to be second to the equally highly regarded Lumiere in a group 1, before flopping at the Breeders Cup. Top-rated by upwards of 5lb, but has to concede 3lb to all her rivals. Hails from the Hannon stable.

Ashadihan 22/1

Has just 1½ lengths to make up on Illuminate on their running at Royal Ascot, and best to put a line through her only subsequent run when starting awkwardly at York when well-backed. Expected to have a good season, and looks over-priced.

Coolmore 6/1

7-furlong group 3 winner on good ground, but has a middle distance pedigree. Ryan Moore rides for first-time, but may well be here as a form marker for the Aidan O’Brien stable.

Doubly Motivated 33/1

Class 5 winner who was outclassed in subsequent group-1.

Epsom Icon 33/1

A bit to find, but is a Listed race winner hailing from an in-form stable.

First Victory 7/2

Won both starts at 7-furlongs, though first-time headgear is a little worrying in regard to her temperament.

Fourth Way 20/1

Third in a Listed Race, but may benefit from running in a lower-class and at a longer distance.

Mix and Mingle 28/1

Won a class-5 maiden and a class-2 nursery in the style of an improving filly, but still has plenty to find on official ratings.

Nathra 7/2

Won first two races on soft ground, and was 2½ lengths in front of Coolmore when 4½ lengths behind that one’s stablemate Minding. Every chance if not hindered by quicker ground. Ridden by Frankie Dettori for John Gosden.

Only Mine 16/1

Dual 6-furlong winner, who flopped only start at 7-furlongs. Also held on collateral form by a couple of these.

Robanne 25/1

Won on debut despite being very green, and again green when only 1½ lengths behind First Victory on second start. Silvestre De Sousa retains the ride, and could be the surprise package.

Squash 50/1

Highly-tried in 5 class-1 races without success, getting closest to Only Mine, which may be a negative for both horses in the context of this race.

Yeah Baby Yeah 125/1

Commentators would love to call this one the winner in the voice of Austin Powers but, sadly, that’s very unlikely.

Summary

Working out the balance between collateral 2-year-old form and which fillies may have progressed the most over the winter is always tricky, but First Victory, Nathra and Illuminate all have obvious chances. However, it may be worth chancing Robanne each-way, as she looks sure to progress this year, and her stable are in fine form. Meanwhile, Ashadihan is another who looks over-priced.

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