Racing tipster Tony Calvin has picked out three selections from 1,000 Guineas day at Newmarket...
"I think this could be a repeat of the 2012 Guineas, in which the Aidan O’Brien 13-8 favourite Maybe could finish only third to their runaway 25-1 winner Homecoming Queen, and I am going in three-handed on Alice Springs, in the win, place and without favourite market at 22.021/1, 5.04/1, and 11.010/1 respectively."
When Ryan Moore is impressed, and says so publicly, then it is fair to assume that we could have a monster in our midst, so it wouldn't surprise me in the least were the "exceptional" Minding to bolt up in the 1000 Guineas in the 15:40 at Newmarket on Sunday afternoon.
So if you want to take odds of around 2.3811/8 for her, even this gnarled anti-favourite merchant is not going to put you off.
Go and have a look at the video of her destroying Nell Gwyn-winner Nathra in the Fillies Mile over course and distance last October - or even her earlier snug defeat of stablemates Ballydoyle and Alice Springs in the Moyglare - and she is undeniably the best filly in this race, and by some distance, too.
But that was seven months ago, and who knows if she still remains the dominant member of her sex, and plenty of juvenile hotpots have come unstuck in this race down the years.
If you want to take her on, I think the options are pretty limited. Second-favourite Lumiere was laughably as short as 7-2 with one bookmaker earlier in the week and although she has drifted to a more realistic 7.26/1 on the exchange, I still think that is too short.
Yes, she has a big reputation and will look to get the run of the race from the front, but nothing in the formbook suggests she should be as short as 6-1.
She was put in her place by Besharah in the Lowther Stakes and wasn't overly-impressive in gaining her revenge in the Cheveley Park, where she beat Illuminate by ½ length, with Besharah a head away in third and Alice Springs a further ¾ length adrift in fourth.
Not the kind of performance that had me falling of my bar stool in amazement. And, while bred to get this trip, I don't think that she was crying out for a mile myself.
So what do we oppose the favourite with? I am not a massive fan of the third favourite Ballydoyle, like Air Force Blue fitted with a first-time tongue tie here, at the prices either, for all she is a Group 1 winner.
I think this could be a repeat of the 2012 Guineas, in which the Aidan O'Brien 13-8 favourite Maybe could finish only third to their runaway 25-1 winner Homecoming Queen, and I am going in three-handed on Alice Springs, in the win, place and without favourite market at 22.021/1, 5.04/1, and 11.010/1 respectively.
One horse, three darts. Let's hope one of the punting arrows hits the bullseye or else I won't be feeling ok on the oche.
Alice Springs actually has a very similar profile to Homecoming Queen, too. She was kept busy as a 2yo, ran at the Breeders Cup, and used the 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown in early April as a stepping stone for this race.
But Alice Springs has a much classier profile coming into the race. She was only beaten 1½ lengths over an inadequate 6f in the Cheveley Park, ran away with a valuable sales race over 7f here afterwards, and then rounded off her campaign with a slightly unfortunate second in the Juvenile Fillies Turf over 1m in Keeneland.
Her reappearance third to Jet Setting was underwhelming on first viewing, and some way detached of her 2yo form, but Moore has said that they wanted to get her to settle in bad ground. And in hindsight she never really had a chance of winning from so far off the pace in those conditions.
On better ground, back up in trip, with fitness guaranteed, and on a course that we knows she handles well, I think her price in all three of the aforementioned markets underplays her strong juvenile form. She may be kicked out of the way by Minding - and she was beaten only 1½ lengths by her in the Moyglare, remember - but hopefully she can beat those who trail in the favourite's wake at least.
Mix And Mingle is another to consider here at a bigger price with the ground drying out, and she could easily out run her odds of 50.049/1 given the promise of her Nell Gywn fourth on rain-softened ground now that the sun seems set to shine up until off-time. But I'll stop short of putting her up.
No big opinion in the 6f handicap at 15:00, though Yeeoow would be my token selection in there, but I do like one in the Dahlia Stakes at 14:25, as I think Arabian Queen is a massive price at 13.012/1.
It is a very strong renewal but Jazzi Top hasn't done enough for me to justify short-priced favouritism in this field, and Crystal Zvezda should be a lot bigger in the betting, but what Arabian Queen is doing at 12-1+ is anyone's guess.
She is the second highest-rated horse in the race for starters - just 1lb behind Amazing Maria and 1lb in front of Jazzi Top - and bolted up first time up last season over an extended 1m and she has that infamous Juddmonte defeat of Golden Horn on her dance card.
And even a reproduction of her four-length win in the Diomed Stakes first time up at Epsom last season may be good enough here, especially as similar tactics are likely to be adopted.
She ran them ragged from the front there and, with a lot of hold-up horses in here, she is likely to get her own way out in front. They could find her very hard to peg back, and she looks more like a 6-1 poke to me.
Snoano is also worth a small interest at 8.07/1 or better in the 13:50 although the recent form of the stable going into the weekend is a touch worrying.
No big story here. Even though the winner won well enough in the end, I think he was given enough to do from off the pace when second at Thirsk last time, so a 2lb rise for his good effort there was justified. He remains well-handicapped on his Classic Trial third for John Gosden at the start of last season.
Back Snoano at 8.07/1 in the 13:50 at Newmarket
Back Arabian Queen at 13.012/1 in the 14:25 at Newmarket
Back Alice Springs at 22.021/1 in win, 5.04/1 in place, and 11.010/1 in without favourite market in the 1000 Guineas