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Live Blog


Coverage of 1,000 Guineas day

Text commentary from Newmarket

  • Sky Lantern wins 1,000 Guineas at 9-1 for trainer Richard Hannon
  • Champion jockey Richard Hughes wins his first British Classic
  • Just The Judge beaten by half a length into second place
  • Moth finishes third; favourite Hot Snap disappoints
  • Dank (Ryan Moore) wins Group 3 Dahlia Stakes at 4-1
  • Blog by Oliver Brett; with Tom Thurgood at Newmarket

Richard Hughes celebrates a first

The Irishman celebrates the win that has eluded his trophy-laden career as he claims his first British Classics win on Sky Lantern in the 1,000 Guineas. Just look at his face!

Confirmation now that Hot Snap trailed home in ninth, with What A Name seventh. Seeing those two fillies well beaten ended the weekend on a high note for the bookies. And that's all from us for today. Enjoy the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend. Cheerio!


Our next live blog will be next Saturday with Victoria Cup day at Ascot, but before then we've got three days of the Chester May Festival to bring you on Channel 4 starting on Wednesday.


Interesting reaction from the bookies as far as the market for the Oaks is concerned. Hot Snap is as big as 20-1 after that very disappointing effort (no excuses offered by connections). Moth, third just now, is as short as 7-2, so perhaps there's a feeling that Aidan O'Brien's filly can improve and stay.


Winning jockey Richard Hughes: "My wife was more upset than me yesterday [following defeat on Toronado in the 2,000 Guineas], but today was great. It's about time. She's a very good filly and she loves that fast ground. It was all about getting there nice and smoth and finding plenty of cover. She was tough enough to stick he nose out."


There must be so much relief for Richard Hughes, who has done everything in British racing except win one of the top five races in the country. That monkey is now firmly off his back, and he's moved to tears.


Just The Judge would have had her supporters very excited for a while, but Sky Lantern always had a fraction more pace, and the line arrived just in time. Moth was third.


A first ever British Classic for champion jockey Richard Hughes! Such an intelligent, hold-up ride after so many others struggled following a fierce early pace.




Here comes Sky Lantern too!


Hot Snap is making her move, but can she get there?


Masarah is the early pace-setter. Hot Snap is in mid-division with What A Name in close attendance.


No real dramas at all - and they are off!


About half the field are in the stalls now.


Rasmeyaa has been backed into 9-1 now. "Strikingly impressive when she won her maiden," says Jim McGrath. The fillies are all standing stock still, facing the stalls now. You can sense the tension.


Roz each-way suggests highfivedave (see below). Second in a Group 1 last year, also won a listed race as a two-year-old? Certainly have been some placed horses at big prices, so why not?


They are cantering down to the off. The clouds have all drifted away now, and the excitement is really building. There were no negatives about Hot Snap at all for the past fortnight. It's just that pesky coat that isn't quite perfect. But how much does that really matter?


Aidan O'Brien on Moth: "She could be an exciting filly. Maybe I did too much work with her last year." The market didn't like that one earlier on, for whatever reason, but her price is finally contracting a little bit now.


Teddy Grimthorpe (racing manager for owner Khalid Abdullah) on Hot Snap: "She's come on a good deal, and she'll have needed to. The sun has helped and she's a little bit stronger."


Just The Judge's trainer Charlie Hills: "In the last 10 days, her coat has just started to come through. We're not really that bothered about it. She's certainly fit enough. She's quite masculine in looks, and has a wonderful stride."


Latest prices: Hot Snap 9-4, What A Name 4-1, Just The Judge 15-2, Sky Lantern 10-1...


What A Name is being well supported now, while Hot Snap's price is drifting. News of the contrasting qualities of their coats has clearly influenced some judges.


What A Name's jockey Christophe Lemaire is button-holed by Emma Spencer: "We were very happy with her prep race. She won well. When we kicked at the two-furlong marker she took time to react because it was a slow pace. For sure, she will be in much better condition today."


Jim McGrath has been unleashed from the studio and is eyeing up the fillies in the pre-parade ring. Interestingly, he reckons Hot Snap "looks a bit wintry" in her coat. But What A Name looks tremendous.


Just The Judge's jockey Jamie Spencer is keen on that one's chances: "Her preparation has gone well, she's won at the course, gets over the ground very easy and has got a good attitude. She's very, very easy. Normally in a Classic there's some sort of doubt, but there are no real worries for her. She's wintered well - it would be great to do it."


Sunny intervals at Newmarket - all the best to show off the gleaming coats of these fillies in the pre-parade ring. There was a big surprise last year when Homecoming Queen landed odds of 25-1. Can anything win at that kind of price again?


Moth is drifting like the proverbial barge on the exchanges. Not sure why she's such a negative - perhaps we'll find out soon. Another Irish raider, the outsider Rasmeyaa, has had her supporters on the other hand.


News that Hot Snap has opened up at 9-4 - now let's see if that price is "snapped" up as well. Some bookies got quite badly bitten by punters lumping on Dawn Approach yesterday. They definitely need the Cecil filly beaten.


Winning jockey Neil Callan: "He's got so much speed but he's in his comfort zone and that's what he wanted me to do. He's tough and he's very gutsy like a lot of [trainer] Kevin [Ryan's] horses." And a punter who backed the four-year-old calls out "Well done Neil!" Gabriel's Lad was second with Poole Harbour third.


Unusually for a six-furlong handicap, that was a very easy success for HAMZA, and it was easy to spot the winner from a long time out. Delivered from stall six, he just blazed a trail down the middle and nothing caught him.


Hamza has a two-length lead at the one-furlong pole.


Hitchens is being held up towards the rear by Richard Hughes. Hamza leads the way.


And they are off in the Harbour Watch Handicap! 


Tanya Stevenson: "It's relatively quiet in the betting ring. I sense people are waiting for the 1,000 Guineas. Gabriel's Lad is the current favourite for the Harbour Watch Handicap."


Hitchens is the horse with the best form of all, and despite carrying top weight, David Barron's eight-year-old has plenty of admirers. He's priced up at 11-2, and it won't hurt that Richard Hughes is on board.


The Harbour Watch Handicap is our penultimate televised race of the day. As with a lot of these high-class handicaps, picking a winner is no simple exercise, but the market isn't really taking to the 10-year-old Johannes. Richard Fahey's entry must be one of the most elderly horses in Flat racing.


Jet lag? Not a chance for Ryan Moore

Less than 15 hours after riding Lines Of Battle to seventh in the Kentucky Derby in the US, Moore guides Sir Michael Stoute's Dank to a photo finish victory in the Dahlia Stakes

"He's a sensible, serious horse who has got better the further he's gone" - Jim McGrath reviewing Dawn Approach's very stylish win in the 2,000 Guineas amid suggestions that colt could be a bit of a star three-year-old.


What's most interesting is that Cecil was telling journalists before the season started that he thought very highly of Hot Snap - and yet she was allowed to start at 10-1 for the Nell Gwyn, which she duly won. Connections of her rivals today will hope that - like Toronado yesterday - she might have showed her hand too early.


There seems to be a real belief among both the shrewd punters and the more amateur gamblers that Sir Henry Cecil has unearthed another top-class filly in Hot Snap. Her price has been tumbling all day, and she looks set to start at about 2-1.


No Heretic on song at Newmarket

William Buick guides David Simcock's charge to victory in the opening race at the home of the Flats, 2.05 Qipco Supporting British Racing Stakes

Very interesting that Ryan Moore described his experience of riding in the Kentucky Derby, in front of 150,000 fans in pouring rain, as being the best of his professional career. And he came seventh.


Here's Tom Thurgood again: "Sir Henry Cecil is bidding for a seventh 1,000 Guineas success with Hot Snap and Lord Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager for Prince Khalid Abdulla - Hot Snap's owner - is quoted in today's racecard about the trainer:

"He's got a tremendous understanding and rapport with his horses, which enables him to nurture and bring them on at the correct time just like the good gardener he is."


DANK is the winner for Ryan Moore. He says: "The race didn't quite work out for me. But she's very honest and stayed very well. She's probably not quite there yet and I didn't really want to get stuck into her too much."


Thistle Bird was definitely third, and Bana Wu fourth but we're waiting for the photo verdict...


Another photo finish. Chigun vs Dank... let's wait and see...


Chigun, the Cecil filly, is third passing the four-furlong marker.


Boonga Roogeta is taken to the front - just like yesterday. Thistle Bird is also racing keenly on the inside and overtakes Rosie Jessop now.


They're entering the stalls now for the Dahlia Stakes... and they're off!


Tom Thurgood: "Sir Henry Cecil, smoking a cigarette, is hunted down by an autograph-hunter who offers the great man his racecard. Sir Henry signs.

"Meanwhile, the lass for Dank, Sir Michael Stoute's runner in the Dahlia Stakes, looks on as a racegoer's tattered card from a newspaper drifts over the rail and into the enclosure. He beckons a gesture suggesting whether the woman could fetch it. Maybe he didn't see the several tons of horse-flesh she was currently occupying. A shrug of the shoulders - 'sorry'."

A foster mare is required for a foal 30 hours old in the Newbury/Berkshire area. Please contact 01468 657575 if you can help.

Boonga Roogeta is about 16-1 to win the Dahlia Stakes, a Group 3 for fillies at 1m 1f. Shirocco Star, Thistle Bird and Dank are all much stronger fancies in a small field of seven.


Remarkably, just 24 hours after winning a race at Newmarket in front of our cameras, Boonga Roogeta is attempting an unusual double. Again, she will be ridden by Rosie Jessop. Trainer Peter Charalambous says: "She's probably better off getting a lead than trying to make all". Though she DID make all the day before...


Sun Central is the winner, just beat Mysterious Man by the shortest of marings.


PHOTO FINISH: Sun Central and Mysterious Man, Scatter Dice was third.


Scatter Dice has put her foot down now and will take all the beating.


Sun Central, with Seb Sanders on board, has moved into fourth position and looks an obvious threat.


Scatter Dice and Al Saham are the two at the front with half the race still to go.


Castilo Del Diablo is towards the back of the field, but travelling well.


Lady Rosamunde is making up plenty of ground to join the leaders.


Unusually, this is a Flat race with no starting stalls, and is a fairly long one at 1m 6f. Mysterious Man and Castilo Del Diablo are both running for the first time since being gelded. Sun Central is the favourite at 9-2.


The Betfred City Bowl Handicap is our next race, and we're off to Salisbury to take it in. Castilo Del Diablo, who will be ridden by Graham Lee, is another of David Simcock's runners and has a decent chance - so expect that trainer to be hunting down a TV at Newmarket.


David Simcock: "He's a classic fast-ground horse. The Ebor is a very obvious [target] and we'll maybe look for another one to win before then."


A very fast pace was set by Apache, and not many of those chasing him had very much left in the tank approaching the closing stages. But William Buick did find a drop of gas on top of David Simcock's No Heretic for a tidy win.


No Heretic wins, Suegioo was second, Nordic quest third.


Silver Lime making up some ground and Stencive is also picking up a little bit of pace.


Apache leads with half a mile to go. Opinion is second.


Willie Wag Tail is right at the back at the 5f marker - Jamie Spencer looking to deliver that one late.


And they're off in the first race!


Tom's thoughts on the favourite for the first race, Stencive:

"One trainer who seems to be in fair nick is William Haggas. From his last 18 runners, seven have obliged while five have finished second. The local trainer saddles the favourite, Stencive, in our opening race here, the Qipco Supporting British Racing Stakes handicap.

"Even the racecard is impressed - Stencive has a five-star rating, while poor old Wildomar - the mount of Stevie Donohoe of John Ryan - has just one star. Hardly a star rating at all, is it?"


Tom Thurgood: "There's a 'Find a Guinea Treasure Hunt' around the course today – there are 200 of them aand I may go sniffing in a minute although, the last time I engaged in a treasure hunt of any kind, it was for Easter many moons ago and, convinced there were some eggs right at the top of a dresser chiming with china, I scaled it and..."


Jamie Spencer's mount in the Qipco Stakes Handicap, off at 2.05, has halved in price from 12-1 to 6-1 and is one of Tanya Stevenson's key betting-ring market movers. It's called Willie Wag Tail, by the way, and his young trainer Ed Walker is fairly upbeat about his chances.


Two other 1,000 Guineas contenders that are certainly worth mentioning are Just The Judge - unbeaten three times as a two-year-old - and Moth, supplemented at a late stage by Aidan O'Brien following an eye-catching success at The Curragh.


Hannon has never won a 1,000 Guineas but he's got two bullets to fire this time. Maureen, a winner at Newbury a fortnight ago, will benefit from the skills of the talented Frenchman Olivier Peslier. 


There have been some fairly bullish comments from Richard Hannon about Sky Lantern: "She bounces off fast ground, and the more the sun shines the better her chance. She was giving 3lb to Hot Snap in the Nell Gwyn Stakes last month, so on level terms we’d hope to get a bit closer."


More from Tom Thurgood: "Racemakers are assistants in British Champions Series garb on-hand to answer the questions and queries of the public about all things racing. Who knows how these effects will last on the not-so regular racegoer? If one thing's for sure, all of this can't do any harm."


Our man Tom Thurgood is safely ensconced at Flat racing HQ, and here are some thoughts from him: 

"The British Champions Series – of which the 1,000 Guineas is the second leg of 35 races in all - has rolled its presence all over Newmarket this afternoon in what must be an impressive sight for a first-time race-goer.

"Last year's winers are bedaubed by the entrance walls, starting stalls are on show, and a horse with its internal anatomy painted on its coat walks on the Hyperion Lawn."


Yesterday was a bad day for the often imperious team of Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes when the highly-regarded Toronado trailed home in fourth place in the 2,000 Guineas. Hughes, for all his achievements, has still not won a British Classic, but maybe Sky Lantern can get him off the mark today.


Then again, Tanya Stevenson, who will be giving us all the market moves later on this afternoon, believes the French filly What A Name ticks plenty of boxes based on previous trends. You can read her views below now.


What A Name has 1,000 Guineas claims

Channel 4's betting expert Tanya Stevenson on the French-trained horse bidding for Classic glory in the 1,000 Guineas


So, who are you on for the big race? Or are you still taking in Dawn Approach's stirringly impressive win yesterday? Gina Bryce is very keen on Hot Snap, who is bidding to give Sir Henry Cecil his first 1,000 Guineas this Millennium - and seventh in all. Read her thoughts by clicking on the picture below...


Hot Snap in sizzling form for 1,000 Guineas

Filly can land Sir Henry Cecil his 26th Classic win this weekend at Newmarket says Gina Bryce


I'm wondering how globe-trotting jockey Ryan Moore's jet-lag is this fine afternoon. He has rides in all seven races at Newmarket today, but while many of you were tucked up in bed at 11.30pm last night, he was trailing in seventh in the Kentucky Derby on Lines Of Battle.


Tom Thurgood will be tweeting away from Newmarket today. But we'd like some comments from you too please. So do send them to @Channel4Racing if you get a minute.


We have four races from Newmarket for you, and one from Salisbury. Cameras roll at 1.50, with the first race - a competitive 12-runner  mile-and-a-half handicap - off 15 minutes later.


A very warm welcome to the first Sunday live blog in the short lifetime of Channel 4 Racing text commentaries. Hope you're all set for another bumper afternoon of thrills and spills, climaxing, of course, with the Qipco 1,000 Guineas at 3.50.