Distant prospects for Guineas look rosier

There was better news yesterday for those holding ante-post vouchers on Distant Music for the 2,000 Guineas. Having headed the Classic betting throughout the winter, Distant Music lost his unbeaten record in the Greenham Stakes at Newmarket last week, returning lame on his off-fore leg.

However, his trainer, Barry Hills, reported yesterday: "He cantered this morning over five furlongs and he'll canter tomorrow and go half-speed on Wednesday. He seems nice and healthy and is eating well. We're happy with him."

John Dunlop's Guineas possibilities have been reduced to just two horses, the fillies Iftiraas and Aunty Rose.

"I have got nothing for the colts' race," the trainer said. "I will leave Aunty Rose and Iftiraas in [the 1,000 Guineas] in case it is very soft. Aunty Rose will probably run but Iftiraas is more likely to go to France."

Saturday's Classic Trial at Sandown is threatening to cut up unless the ground dries out at the Esher course. Only nine entries were confirmed yesterday, and both Henry Cecil's Derby favourite Beat Hollow and John Dunlop's Sakhee, winner of two of his three starts in 1999, are likely to bypass the Group Three event if conditions are testing.

The going at Sandown is described as soft, good to soft in places on the round course.

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