Following her win in the Group One Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket on Saturday, Lightening Pearl was immediately cut for next year’s 1,000 Guineas, the only fillies classic of the UK Racing Calendar and is now on offer at around the 16/1 mark. Going off at 3/1, it had been expected that Ger Lyons trained filly would run a big race, but was not thought good enough to get the better of the previously unbeaten Best Terms, but not only she do that she won the six furlong race with some ease and half a length clear of the outsider, Sunday Times. Lyons confirmed that this win ended her juvenile career and she will be put away for the winter with the Guineas being her main target next season.
This win for many at least has strengthened the claims of the Aidan O’Brien trained, Maybe, who had Lightening Pearl more than 2½ lengths in arrears when she won the Group 2 Debutante Stakes over 7 furlongs at the Curragh early last month. Indeed Maybe has been shortened for 6/1 to 5/1 for the 1000 Guineas and might be next seen at Longchamp next week on ‘Arc’ day. This daughter of Galileo is now unbeaten in five starts including the highly prestigious Group One Moyglare Stakes also over seven furlongs at the Curragh.
Lightening Pearl in fact was not the only juvenile filly earning the plaudits at Newmarket last Saturday, as the meeting also saw the Mahmood Al Zarooni trained, Lyric Of Light under the strong urgings of Frankie Dettori win the Group One Fillies Mile on ground that was thought too fast for her. Dettori eased Godolphin filly into prominence from the back of the field and she looked all the way the winner, until the leader, Samitar, put up plenty of stubborn resistance and battled all the way to the line. Lyric Of Light obviously got the verdict but it was only by a head and both her and Samitar, who is trained by Mick Channon, will be aimed at the 1000 Guineas next season.
The win gave Lyric Of Light her third straight win from three starts which also includes the Group 2 May Hill Stakes. She is now around the 12/1 mark for the Guineas while Samitar is a 25/1 shot.
Godolphin in fact have two potential 1000 Guineas winners, as they Al Zarooni also trains Discourse who is thought to be the better of the two at home. Discourse has only been seen twice, she won her maiden in June and followed that up with an emphatic 4½ length win in the Group 3, Sweet Solera Stakes over 7 furlongs in early August. It is not sure when she will be seen next, but is likely to have one more run before the flat season ends.
Best Terms, who until Saturday was unbeaten in four starts including the Group 2 Lowther Stakes at York and the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, should not yet be ruled out of the 1000 Guineas thinking just yet. She is a very classy filly who struggled a tad on the very fast ground at Newmarket on Saturday and will no doubt become prominent again provided she matures well into her third year. She has been cut in 1000 Guineas market to 25/1, which is possibly a little unfair.
The 1,000 Guineas takes place on Sunday 29th April 2012 at Newmarket Racecourse.