Dubai: Team Godolphin may not appear to have a genuinely strong hand in Sunday’s 1,000 Guineas (G1) at Newmarket Racecourse in England, with their two runners considered outsiders, but stranger things have happened in the fickle sport of horse racing.
Trainer Saeed Bin Surour, who has won the fillies’ Classic twice in the past with Cape Verdi (1998) and Kazzia (2002), sends out 33-1 chance Final Song, who was last seen finishing third behind Japanese raider Full Flat in the 1,600 metres Samba Saudi Derby on dirt in Riyadh.
Bin Surour was quietly optimistic about his prospects and told the Godolphin website: “Final Song looks better physically since coming back from Dubai,” he said.
“She has worked very nicely but it will be important to keep her nice and relaxed in the race, to give her every chance of finishing well over a mile.
“Final Song stayed the trip last time out in Saudi Arabia, so I am hopeful that she can do so again, and she goes into this race in very good form.”
Bin Surour’s Godolphin teammate Charlie Appleby relies on 25-1 shot Summer Romance, who was a very impressive winner of the Listed Empress Stakes over six furlongs at Newmarket’s July Course last June.
With only two subsequent starts, it was on her last appearance at Salisbury that the daughter of Kingsman produced an noteworthy performance when finishing a competitive third behind Dark Lady and Millisle in September’s Shadwell Dick Poole Fillies Stakes (G3).
Appleby is looking forward to seeing how his filly, who like Final song is a daughter of Kingsman, copes in a high-quality renewal of the 1,000 Guineas.
“Summer Romance was an impressive winner of the Empress Stakes but then disappointed on her next two starts,” he told the Godolphin website.
“It was soft ground when she ran at Ascot, and she also got upset in the preliminaries, while she looked weak at Salisbury, so we decided to put her away for the season.
“She has a bit to find with some of her rivals but has done well over the winter and I have been pleased with her work.”
Summer Romance will only be Appleby’s second 1,000 Guineas runner following Wild Illusion, who was fourth behind Billesdon Brook in the race two years ago.
The hot favourite is the Roger Charlton-trained daughter of Frankel, Quadrilateral, who has won all three of her starts.
Meanwhile British Champion jockey Oisin Murphy takes the ride on the Jessica Harrington-trained Millisle, who like Quadrilateral is a Group One winner, while Irish maestro Aidan O’Brien, who has won three of the last four 1,000 Guineas sends out Love, a daughter of the great Galileo who has won three of her seven starts.