Santa Barbara backed into favourite by punters for 1,000 Guineas

Santa Barbara is as short as 5-2 favourite for the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas as money continued to flow for Aidan O’Brien’s filly yesterday.

Punters started backing the daughter of Camelot, the winner of a Curragh maiden last September on her sole start at two, for the May 2 Newmarket Classic on Wednesday afternoon.

And the half-sister to Iridessa, whom O’Brien’s son Joseph saddled to victory in four Group 1 races, is now a best-priced 7-2 market leader for the mile test the trainer has won six times in the past.

“We always loved everything about her,” the master of Ballydoyle said yesterday. “Everything we did was always very impressive.

“She’s incredible in her work. She always looks like she’s only in first gear, no matter what she works with.

“That’s the way she was last year, and that’s the way she is so far this spring.

“She has developed very well. Physically, she was always a big, powerful filly, and we’re really happy with her.”

While three of O’Brien’s winners – Virginia Waters (2005), Homecoming Queen (2012) and Winter (2017) – warmed up for Newmarket in Leopardstown’s 1,000 Guineas Trial, Minding (2016), Hermosa (2019) and Love (2020) made their seasonal debuts on the Rowley Mile.

“It’s possible she could go straight to Newmarket, or she could go to Leopardstown before it.

"We’ll decide in the next week or two where she’s going to start,” added O’Brien.

Ladbrokes go 7-2 about Santa Barbara giving Ballydoyle a fifth 1,000 Guineas in the past six years.

“We were 8-1 when the support started coming on Wednesday afternoon,” said the Stratford firm’s Jon Lees.

“Given Aidan O’Brien’s recent record in the 1,000 Guineas, the Ballydoyle No 1 is sure to be strongly fancied – and it looks like that’s Santa Barbara.”

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