Aidan O’Brien bids for a record-breaking eight victory in this classic event, which he last won with Winter in 2017. The master of Ballydoyle is represented by four fillies’ this time around with English Guineas heroine Hermosa who’s the mount of Ryan Moore.
I thought going into the Guineas that Hermosa would be more of an Oaks type but Wayne Lordan made plenty use of her and she ultimately ran out a good winner. She’s far from unbeatable but that being said she brings the best form into the race and is a worthy favourite.
It would be a great story if David Egan was to win his first classic on a track he grew up beside. The son of jockey John Egan has been making waves in recent seasons and partners the Nell Gwyn winner and Guineas placed Qabala. The daughter of Scat Daddy stayed on well at Newmarket having raced in rear throughout and is still very unexposed, so she’ll be a threat to all concerned.
Just Wonderful won the Rockfel last season and rounded out the year by finishing fourth at the Breeders’ Cup. She ran a perfectly fine race in the 1000 Guineas to finish less than three lengths behind stablemate Hermosa. She doesn’t need to improve much to feature and should go close.
The unexposed East is an interesting contender for Kevin Ryan. She won a Group 3 in France last season before finishing runner-up at the Breeders’ Cup meeting behind runaway winner Newspaperofrecord. She kicked off the current campaign with a fine third in a Group 1 at Longchamp earlier this month and could surprise the principals.
Others of obvious interest include Fairyland and Pretty Pollyanna.