herald

Saturday 3 December 2016

Irish to prevail in Newmarket

IRISH ROOKIE can defy her outsider tag and claim a famous Classic success for trainer Martyn Meade in the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket.

Perhaps if the Azamour filly were trained in a different yard she would be a few points shorter as she certainly has plenty to recommend her for the mile heat.

A shock 50-1 winner at Newmarket on her racecourse bow, Irish Rookie went on to land the Listed Montrose Stakes over the Guineas course and distance in November before being put away for the winter.

She had a handful of previous winners behind her that day and showed a nice turn of foot when switched to challenge, impressing in her half-length victory.

The fact she has already shown she handles the Rowley Mile is a big plus, as is the fact she hails from the family of Zafonic, although heading here without a prep run might be seen as a negative by some.

She lags behind the field on official ratings, but having had just two runs, she is open to plenty of improvement and this does appear to be the strongest renewal of the Classic.

RIZEENA looked as though she would appreciate a step up in trip when second on her final start last term and she duly switches up in distance for her return in the Charm Spirit Dahlia Stakes.

ZANNDA won what looked like a decent maiden at Leopardstown last month and is the pick in the Tweenhills Stallions Pretty Polly Stakes. Short-headed on her sole juvenile start, she made amends when winning on her first outing of 2015 and is already proven over this 10-furlong trip.

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