1000 Guineas runner in profile: Rockel winner Just The Judge
In his third season as a trainer of racehorses and at the beginning of just his second campaign since taking over the family operation from his father Barry, Charlie Hills is right in the mix at the head of the 1000 Guineas betting thanks to Just The Judge, who shares 5/1 joint-second-favouritism with What A Name behind 11/4 jolly Hot Snap.
The Lambourn handler looks set for a fine season, having already picked up 19 winners from 93 runners, with a further 26 of his horses garnering minor medal finishes.
His Just The Judge will head straight to Newmarket without a prep-run and finds herself firmly in the category of one who has done nothing wrong in her career to-date, winning each of her three races.
Having taken her maiden at Newbury, she returned to the course to take the listed Washington Singer Stakes – a race previously won by Barry Hills’ 2000 Guineas winner Haafhd – against adversaries of both genders, on her next start.
In taking that Newbury race she showed admirable stamina at the business end of the 7f trip to hold off her rivals with a bit to spare and these qualities were again in evidence when she stepped up to win the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket on her final start as a juvenile. In the latter contest she hit the front over 2f out, but never looked in danger of being passed.
After that impressive victory comments from her trainer suggested far more could be expected from his filly in future. Hills told the Racing Post “there´s been a few headaches because she´d completely gone in her coat and had a bad scope after her last run. We did think about not running at all, but we decided it was worth one more go.”
That race has proved a decent steer on the next year’s 1000 Guineas in the past, with two of the last eight Rockfel winners have gone on to Guineas glory and 2004 heroine Maids Causeway later taking second in the fillies classic.
Sired by Lawman – a Group 1 winner at 1m, 1m1f and 1m2f – she already has Group 1 winning milers Most Improved and Law Enforcement among her relatives and with her dam’s sire the 1m4f Prix De L’Arc de Trimomphe winner Rainbow Quest, there’s little doubt her stamina will ensure she’ll be taking a hand in proceedings come the final furlong.