Jamie Spencer gives his thoughts on last weekend’s Guineas
When watching the 2000 Guineas back on the VT I was surprised how early in the race Kingman was off the bridle. For me looking from the outside he didn’t seem that comfortable on the ground as quick as it was. In fairness to the horse he found plenty, fought to get to the lead and was unfortunate to get run down close home. He clearly likes cut in the ground and on another day on easier ground, and if the race had panned out differently, he’d have won.
In the race, because the two groups split, everyone was racing from a long way out. When that happens, and you get two groups, you’re always looking across at the other group and trying to keep up with them and inevitably you end up going flat out maybe a furlong earlier than usual. Both sides got racing very early and Kieren Fallon (Night of Thunder) was tucked in at the back of the bunch and was able to reserve energy and that magnified that fact that in the final furlong he was finishing strongly and the leaders were stopping. I wouldn’t necessarily say that the winner would confirm form with Kingman if they met on another day.
Australia ran a lovely trial for the Derby. Joseph had him in the race from a good way out because of the way the race panned out as the group he was in just weren’t able to lead him much further than the two pole. Joseph also said he idled a bit. In terms of a trial for the Derby you’d have to be really impressed with his effort and obviously on pedigree the distance at Epsom shouldn’t be any problem.
In the 1000 Guineas it obviously paid to be close to the pace. The horse that made the running and ended up in fourth, Manderley, was a maiden who’d run six times so it clouds the form of the race. The winner, Miss France, got a nice lead and it was like a piece of work for her. She just tracked the leader and the race worked out perfectly for her. I think in terms of class the 1000 Guineas was a good race without being an outstanding race as there were a lot of horses together at the finish.
Taghrooda was highly impressive in the Pretty Polly Stakes and her pedigree screams stamina. It’s a big help to go to Epsom with a horse whose stamina is assured and she’s not slow either so I’m sure Paul Hanagan will be very pleased with the position he’s sitting in.