Bosra moves towards Pretty Polly perch

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The Independent Online
Bosra Sham will be the shortest-priced 1,000 Guineas winner since Saucy Sue in 1925 if she can overcome a field that is likely to be low in numbers and quality at Newmarket on 5 May.

The absence of her closest market rival, Blue Duster, was confirmed yesterday, along with that of A Votre Sante, the French filly that made such a big impact on her seasonal return but who now heads for the French equivalent of the 1,000, the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches at Longchamp.

With that pair out of their lists, the bookmakers cut Bosra Sham's price again -she had already moved to odds-on after her impressive win in Friday's Fred Darling Stakes -and the Henry Cecil-trained filly is now as low as 2-5 for the Classic with Ladbrokes.

That puts her on a lofty perch. Apart from Saucy Sue only one 1,000 Guineas winner this century has started at shorter odds and that was the illustrious Pretty Polly in 1904. Like Saucy Sue she was a 1-4 chance but unlike Bosra Sham -who has run just three times -Pretty Polly had already raced and won all nine of her starts as a two-year-old. Even Sceptre, who won four of the five Classics in 1902, started at 1-2 for the 1,000 Guineas and more recently One In A Million was evens in 1979, Ravinella 4-5 in 1988 and Shadayid 4-6 in 1991.

"Bosra Sham seems likely to scare off much of the opposition and has the 1,000 Guineas at her mercy," Ian Wassell, of Ladbrokes, said. "Bint Salsabil may be better over further than a mile, while there has been very little confidence behind Bint Shadayid since the Dubai trials. It's difficult to find any other credible candidates."

Anthony Stroud, racing manager to Sheikh Mohammed, confirmed the disappointing news on Blue Duster, in doing so substantiating the negative reports which had surrounded the filly since over the weekend.

"Sheikh Mohammed respects the wishes of David Loder," Stroud said, "and while he is very sorry for all connected with the horse, this is the right decision for the horse."

Loder yesterday denied rumours, circulating in the light of Blue Duster's withdrawal from the field, that the filly had not trained on. "I know it's been reported that she hasn't trained on but she's really been fine," he said. "The problem has been that she has suffered a recurrence of a back problem which troubled her last season. It didn't interfere with her runs last year, but this year it has reared up at the wrong moment."

Also in explanatory mode was Pat Eddery who will ride Cecil's Storm Trooper in the 2,000, rather than Danehill Dancer on whom he won Saturday's Greenham Stakes.

"I think Storm Trooper has an excellent chance, and he bolted up for me in the Feilden Stakes," Eddery said. "I'm worried that fast ground would not suit Danehill Dancer, who is a bit of a heavy horse. Yet, saying that, he will have a first-class chance if it is good ground."

1,000 Guineas (Newmarket, 5 May): Ladbrokes: 2-5 Bosra Sham, 5-1 Bint Salsabil, 6-1 Bint Shadayid, 16-1 Dance Sequence, 20-1 others; Coral: 4- 9 Bosra Sham, 5-1 Bint Salsabil, 6-1 Bint Shadayid, 16-1 others.

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