|Thursday 10th April 2014|
Miss France Still the One to Beat in 1000 Guineas
Betting firms have taken something of a gamble in reacting negatively to the seasonal reappearance of the Andre Fabre-trained filly Miss France, pushing the Group 3 winner out from 7/2 to 7/1 following her failure to reach a place on her first start of the term at Maisons Lafitte, writes Elliot Slater.
On the face of it her sixth of 10 behind the surprise Francois Doumen-trained winner Xcellence in the Group 3 Prix Imprudence was significantly less than had been anticipated by punters who sent the daughter of Dansili off the 8/5 market leader, but there were definitely extenuating circumstances and she should not be dismissed as a leading classic candidate solely on the basis of this one effort.
While a win would have been a nice way to start the season there is little doubt that connections had more than half an eye on other more significant prizes this term, and all in all the run was satisfactory and shouldn’t really have resulted in her odds for a victory at Newmarket on May 4 in the Qipco 1000 Guineas being doubled.
Punters wouldn’t be taking too much of a gamble in stepping in and availing themselves of the current odds on offer as master trainer Fabre has made it clear that the events at Maisons Lafitte have certainly not put him off sending his filly back to Newmarket next month where she will bid to step up on a fine effort on the Rowley Mile last September. Then, she showed a fine turn of foot to land the Group 3 Oh So Sharp Stakes, beating Olly Stevens’ subsequent Group 2 Rockfel Stakes fourth Lightning Thunder by a head, after idling on the uphill run to the line.
There is no doubt that Miss France is far from a straight-forward ride and Guyon will surely be looking to get plenty of cover for her through much of the 1000 Guineas before unleashing her turn of foot coming out of the dip. He’ll also be wary of not hitting the front too soon and allowing her to take it easy as she did on her previous visit when partnered by Mickael Barzalona.
While he has won many of the world’s greatest races, including the 2011 Epsom Derby with Pour Moi, Fabre has yet to get his hands on the 1000 Guineas, but French-trained horses generally have a very good record in the race and have struck twice in the last six years, Pascal Bary’s Natagora landing the 2008 renewal, whilst Special Duty won for Criquette Maarek-Head two years later.