Lady Nouf can advertise 1000 Guineas claims in Nell Gwyn Stakes
The Nell Gwyn Stakes is recognised as a key trial in which fillies can assert their claims for the 1000 Guineas – taking place in just over two weeks – and this year is no exception with Sky Lantern, 12/1, Nargys 14/1, and Waterway Run, 20/1 all currently among the 10 most fancied in the 1000 Guineas betting with Coral.
Given it’s role as portent for future champion three-year-old fillies it’s hardly surprising that a Group 1 winning pedigree has been a leading guide to winners in the past decade. Nine of the last 10 winners were sired by a horse that taken a Group 1 over a trip of a mile or less in it’s two or three year-old season.
In this year’s renewal Exactement, Hot Snap, Lady Nouf, Nargys, Reyaadah, Sorella Bella and Waterway Run all boast sufficiently auspicious parentage. Sky Lantern and Winning Express however, do not – the former’s sire finally won a Group 1 over 6f at the age of six, whilst the latter never scored above listed level.
In the last four years the breeding bar has been raised again with each winner sired by a past first or second in either the English, Irish or French 2000 Guineas.
Of all those sired by Group 1 winnings sires only Sorella Bella – daughter of French Guineas victor Clodovil – is the progeny of a Guineas winner, but her one win from 11 tries ledger doesn’t suggest she’s inherited all of her father’s class.
William Haggas’ Lady Nouf was sired by unbeaten champion two-year-old Teofilo who had been long-time ante-post favourite for the 2000 Guineas in 2007 before being withdrawn through injury, never to race again. It would not take a great leap of faith to imagine that one as a Group 1 winner and the local handler may have a live contender on his hands here.
Being lightly-raced is not overly problematic, with two of the last 10 winners scoring in maiden company last time and the second and third in that Leicester affair scored next time out.
Her trainer’s yard has scored with both it’s runners in the last fortnight and given she’s likely to open up at any each way price, she could rate a value alternative to the favourite and could be worth backing to avenge her father’s misfortune in the 1000 Guineas at 25/1