By Graham Clark/Jockey Club
GB: Leading British-trained 1,000 Guineas contender Indigo Girl is far from certain to run in the Newmarket Classic, with John Gosden eyeing the Pretty Polly Stakes on the same card for the Bet365 Fillies’ Mile runner-up.
Owner George Strawbridge’s daughter of Dubawi is a best-priced 12-1 chance for the Classic on Sunday May 2. She is the only non-Irish-trained filly in the top five of ante-post lists, where AIdan O’Brien ‘buzz horse’ Santa Barbara is 3-1 favourite.
However, Gosden has revealed that alongside the Qipco-sponsored Guineas, she will also be given an entry in the Betfair Pretty Polly Stakes over 1m2f on the same card. “The plan is to go to Newmarket the first weekend in May and she will be in two races,” said the trainer, fresh from his amazing exploits in Dubai and Doncaster in his new training partnership with son Thady.
“She is in the 1,000 Guineas but she will also be put in the Pretty Polly,” added Gosden. “We will just see how she is before making a decision but that is the weekend we are training her for.”
Indigo Girl, who won the May Hill before running in the Fillies’ Mile, is generally available at around the 14-1 for the Oaks, behind only Santa Barbara in betting for the Epsom Classic.
“She has had a good winter and we are quite happy with her,” reported Gosden. “She has only done half-speeds so far and she hasn’t done any fast work yet.
“The deciding factor of which route we take will be how she is training at the time. If we have races like the Prix de Diane in mind and we feel a mile and a quarter will suit her straight away, then we will go for that.
“If she is showing us the natural speed you want for the Guineas, then we would look at that instead.”
Unbeaten Derby entrant Uncle Bryn is set for a Classic trial at Sandown or Epsom. “Again, a decision will be made as to how he is going closer to the time but we would be looking at those two races for him as he has now won his maiden and his novice,” said Gosden.
Either way, the son of Sea The Stars will be making his turf debut after a pair of comfortable all-weather wins at Kempton and Wolverhampton.
“We wanted to get him on turf last season but it was either firm ground or it never stopped raining so we went from quick ground to bottomless ground,” said Gosden. “The autumn was frustrating as we couldn’t get a lot of the two year-olds on the turf.
“He was still learning last year but he has learnt a little bit more around Wolverhampton, so therefore maybe we look at the Epsom race with him,” he added.