This year’s Irish 1000 Guineas Trial has a very open look to it, with bookmakers going 9/2 the field at the time of writing and little to separate the first six in the betting. It is no surprise to see Aidan O’Brien, who has won the race a record seven times, with a representative towards the head of the betting, but Joan of Arc (Timeform weight-adjusted rating: 107p) has a bit to find with the principals on form.
She has a beautiful pedigree – she’s a sister to several winners, notably British and Irish 2000 Guineas winner Gleneagles – and she put up a useful performance when opening her account in a seven-furlong maiden at the Curragh in March. That form has taken some knocks since, though, and she found the 1000 Guineas Trial at this course last time too competitive, looking one paced in the final furlong. Joan of Arc still has the Timeform small ‘p’ attached to her rating, symbolising that she remains open to improvement, but she will need to find extra if she is to land a blow. The step up to a mile is in her favour.
Aidan’s son, Joseph, is responsible for the Timeform top-rated horse My Generation (117p), who looked potentially smart when winning a listed event at Dundalk by five lengths on her second start. She also contested the 1000 Guineas Trial last time, but shaped much better than the bare result on that occasion, hence why she was awarded the ‘Horse In Focus’ Flag by Timeform’s reporter.
👏 Smart effort— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 5, 2021
My Generation's half-brother Crossfirehurricane won the 2020 Listed Patton Stakes & the three-year-old emulates her sibling with victory in the €37,500 feature at @DundalkStadium for @JosephOBrien2 & @ShaneCrosse
Results ➡ https://t.co/sBcsavHpYf pic.twitter.com/OlkUWH5OyA
It was by no means a vintage renewal, a point highlighted by three lengths covering the first six home, but My Generation met with plenty of trouble in the straight which can often be the case at Leopardstown. She was travelling well and improving on the heels of the leaders when running up a bind alley over a furlong out, her jockey having to ease her heavily in the closing stages. That run can be excused and My Generation sets a good standard on form. She is also entitled to improve for the return to a mile and she is a big player.
Several other horses contested the 1000 Guineas Trial, notably My Generation’s stablemate Sense of Style (113), who fared best of them all in third. She was just touched off by Fantasy Lady (105) in a listed event over a mile at the Curragh on her final start last season, and showed improved form on her first outing for six months to out-run odds of 66/1. Sense of Style is a straightforward type who is going the right way and, while she doesn’t possess the potential of some of these, you wouldn’t rule out another big run.
Fantasy Lady was a maiden before opening her account at the Curragh, showing much improved form to cause a slight surprise up in class. She was strong in the market ahead of her reappearance in a Group 3 at Naas in March but was unable to improve and could finish only fourth. It could be that she needed the run – she looked one-paced in the closing stages – and better can be expected now, for all she must progress to figure.
Another with the ‘Horse In Focus’ Flag is the Ger Lyons-trained Acanella (98p), who beat Climate (93p) by two lengths when making a winning debut over this course and distance last month.
This could be a nice filly - Acanella (Dansili) is related to the high-class Flintshie and makes a winning start for @gerlyonsracing at @LeopardstownRC @ctkjockey @JuddmonteFarms pic.twitter.com/Mm4km3NAav— Racing TV (@RacingTV) April 14, 2021
Acanella is from a good Juddmonte family – out of a half-sister to high-class Flintshire – and was well found in the market for her debut. She never gave her backers a moment’s worry as she was always travelling best and took up the running entering the final furlong, winning in the style of a filly destined for better things. The bare form is nothing special, but there is potential for plenty of improvement, and she represents an in-form yard, which is why she also has the ‘Hot Trainer’ Flag.
Climate may have been no match for Acanella but she still shaped with plenty of promise on debut. She didn’t have the pace of Acanella in the finish, though, and could be one for longer trips.
Another once-raced winner is Shandra (103p) who is trained by Dermot Weld. She made a winning debut in a seven-furlong minor event at the Curragh last summer, showing that she does not lack for speed despite her smart middle-distance pedigree.
Shandra was always travelling comfortably and was well positioned to attack in what was a steadily-run race. She is the sort who will come into her own over middle distances later in the season, but she is tight enough in the betting for this seasonal reappearance and is a filly of considerable potential.
Timeform Analyst’s Verdict:
MY GENERATION was in the process of running a big race when running up a blind alley in a similar event here (7f) 4 weeks ago and is worth another chance. Aidan O'Brien has won this a record 7 times and Joan of Arc looks the pick of his pair with this extra 1f sure to suit, while impressive debut winners Shandra and Acanella also need considering.
You can view the ratings and much more for all seventeen runners in the Swinton Handicap Hurdle with our Free Race Pass.
Race Passes are the ultimate form guide, providing Timeform analysis, flags and ratings for every runner in every race in Britain and Ireland. Subscribers have access to additional features that add extra levels of insight, including complete performance histories, an extensive form archive and unlimited use of horse, jockey and trainer searches.