05/04/2012 1:11PM

England: Maybe heavy favorite to win 1000 Guineas at Newmarket


Maybe, a Galileo filly unbeaten in five starts but unraced since August, will be heavily favored to win Sunday’s Group 1 English 1000 Guineas for 3-year-old fillies at Newmarket racecourse.

Trained by Aidan O’Brien for the partnership of Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor and Sue Magnier, Maybe won four consecutive stakes to end her 2011 campaign, including the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes in Ireland last August. She was the joint champion 2-year-old filly of 2011 with Elusive Kate.

As of Friday, Maybe was listed as a 6-4 chance with British bookmakers to win the English 1000 Guineas, which is run over a straightaway mile.

O’Brien, 42, is seeking his second win in the 1000 Guineas, having won the race in 2005 with Virginia Waters. Maybe is one of two runners in Sunday’s field trained by O’Brien, joined by the outsider Homecoming Queen, who was last of 14 in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs last November. Homecoming Queen won the Group 3 Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial Stakes last month in Ireland.

Maybe’s principal rivals are the group stakes winners Lyric of Light and Moonstone Magic.

Lyric of Light, trained by Mahmoon Al Zarooni for Godolphin Racing, is unbeaten in three starts, but has not started this year. She won the Group 1 Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket last fall.

Moonstone Magic, trained by Ralph Beckett for breeder Lady Marchwood, made her career debut on April 13, winning an 18-runner maiden race at Leicester, England. She returned eight days later to win the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Stakes at Newbury, an important prep for the 1000 Guineas.

There is one notable French invader in Mashoora, an Irish-bred filly by Barathea. Trained by Jean-Claude Rouget, Mashoora won the Group 3 Prix Imprudence at Maisons-Laffitte on April 5 in her 2012 debut.