Godolphin fillies on the march in 1000 Guineas

Bullish Charlie Appleby targets first Classic with Soliloquy and Wild Illusion

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Charlie Appleby feels Soliloquy’s superior pace could give her the edge over stablemate Wild Illusion in the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday.

The affable trainer will head to the Rowley Mile in search of a first British Classic success and fires a formidable twin assault at the fillies’ showpiece.

Wild Illusion brings the stronger form to the table, having struck Group One glory as a two-year-old in the Prix Marcel Boussac at Chantilly.

However, jockey William Buick has sided with Soliloquy, who made an impressive reappearance in the Nell Gwyn at Newmarket less than three weeks ago.

Appleby said: “We’re very happy with both fillies.

“William rode Soliloquy in the Nell Gwyn and rode her in plenty of work before that. He was always very happy with her and she shows more pace than Wild Illusion, but Wild Illusion has never been a work horse, so it was a hard decision for him.

“Visually, on race evidence, Soliloquy has got a bit more of a pace angle, whereas with Wild Illusion we are working back from an Oaks with her.

“Wild Illusion is ready to run and she brings Group One form into the race.”

James Doyle will partner Wild Illusion, just as he did on each of her three starts last season.

Aidan O’Brien saddles four runners as he bids to claim the first fillies’ Classic of the year for the third successive season – and a fifth time overall.

The quartet is headed by Happily, who was a dual Group One-winning juvenile.

O’Brien said: “Happily is in good shape. She hasn’t run (this season), but she’s in good form.

“She won a Moyglare and ran against the colts and won in France. She’s a very good, professional filly with a good mind.”

Ryan Moore misses Saturday’s 2000 Guineas to partner the O’Brien-trained Mendelssohn in the Kentucky Derby, but returns to Newmarket on Sunday to partner Happily.

O’Brien is also represented by the well-fancied I Can Fly (Seamie Heffernan), Sarrocchi (Wayne Lordan) and Sizzling (Donnacha O’Brien).

He added: “I Can Fly ran twice as a two-year-old and then we ran her at Leopardstown (finished third in 1,000 Guineas Trial last month). She’s experienced enough too, we think.

“I’m happy with where they are.”

Laurens is a major contender for North Yorkshire-based Karl Burke having won three of her four juvenile starts including the Fillies’ Mile over this course and distance in October.

Burke said: “She’s a well-balanced filly for one who is so big and who has such a massive stride. Now she’s that bit stronger, if she can keep that great gallop up, it’s going to be a good horse that gets by her.

“The thing is, although we want to win a Guineas, there’s a long season ahead of her. You can risk turning the screw with these fillies too early and we haven’t done that.

“She’s going to improve through the year, just naturally, more than us doing anything, and that’s the balancing act we have with her.”

Other contenders include the Mick Channon-trained Fred Darling victor Dan’s Dream and Anna Nerium, the Free Handicap winner for Richard Hannon.

Nell Gwyn runner-up Altyn Orda, trained by Roger Varian and ridden by Frankie Dettori, has also been declared.

Godolphin fillies on the march in 1000 Guineas
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