Maureen and Moohaajim can depose favourites in Newbury Guineas trials
Hot on the heels of Newmarket’s recognised Guineas trials the Nell Gwyn and Craven Stakes, Newbury hosts two contests that rate the next stop for potential classic clues in the Fred Darling and Greenham Stakes at 2:55 and 3:30 on Saturday. The fillies race is all about whether unbeaten market leader Rhosdu Queen – 16/1 in the 1000 Guineas betting – can stay 7f, whilst Olympic Glory will strive to emulate his stablemate Toronado’s stunning trial win on Thursday in the colt’s equivalent.
On the face of it Willam Haggas’ five-race-unbeaten filly Rhosdu Queen should have a fairly simple task in dispatching highest-rated foes Maureen and The Gold Cheongsam having finished four-lengths to the good of the pair when taking the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at the end of last season. However there has been some debate over whether the first two mentioned will stay the extra furlong on Saturday.
It seems the Haggas filly has more question to answers on that front than the Richard Hannon-trained Maureen. Both are out of dams sired by French Guineas winners – Green Tune and Linamix respectively – but whereas Maureen’s sire Holy Roman Emperor begat last year’s 1000 Guineas heroine Homecoming Queen, the most successful progeny of Rhosdu Queen’s sire Invincible Spirit are sprinters Moonlight Cloud, Fleeting Spirit and Mayson.
According to jockey Richard Hughes, Maureen “wasn’t quite right” when defeated by Rosdhu Queen in the Chevely Park, with the jockey suggesting “you can put a line through that run” and given her breeding offers encouragement that she’ll stay the extra furlong it may be worth backing her to end Rhosdu Queen’s unbeaten sequence.
The Greenham, famously won by Frankel two years ago looks like a straight shoot-out between Olympic Glory and Moohajim and the good to soft ground could favour the former, who is the only runner in the field to have previously scored on good to soft.
However, Moojahim finished just a quarter length behind Reckless Abandon in the 6f Group 1 Middle Park stakes on good to soft last term and given that one is bred to be better over longer trips – his sire also brought 1m4f classic winners Sea The Stars and Ouija Board into the world – he could well improve past the Hannon horse at Newbury on his first attempt at 7f.