Guineas Festival 2023: Mammas Girl looking ‘a million dollars’ ahead of 1,000 Guineas assignment

Richard Hannon insists it would be a ‘life goal’ for football super-agent Kia Joorabchian should he taste glory in the QIPCO 1,000 Guineas with Mammas Girl, who is reported to be looking a ‘million dollars’ ahead of her Classic assignment at Newmarket next Sunday (7th May).

In what has already been a whirlwind start to the season for Joorabchian and his Amo Racing Limited operation, the daughter of Havana Grey will bid to turn it up a notch by securing him a breakthrough Classic success on her return to the Rowley Mile. 

Although Joorabchian, who has been responsible for the transfers of current Premiership football stars Philippe Coutinho and Willian, among others, is used to plying his trade with the biggest football clubs he is yet to sample a domestic victory at Group One level.

After making a winning a debut at the track over seven furlongs at the track in October Mammas Girl advertised her Classic credentials with a resounding success back over course and distance on her return in the Group Three Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes on 19th April.

And on the back of that success Hannon insists they have all got ‘her to beat’ in the mile prize, which the Herridge handler claimed back in 2018 with 66/1 chance Billesdon Brook. 

Hannon said: “This would be exactly the shot in the arm that will create something that Kia will never forget. Racehorses like this and days like this bring you something money can’t buy. You can’t come into it with millions of pounds and just buy a Guineas winner. 

“Kia has had bad horses and good horses and he has invested heavily in the sport. It is important people like him get success. This would be like a life goal for him and it would be a nice story. 

“I think this filly has an awful lot of scope and arrives in the Guineas with a perfect track record. 

“Nobody could see Billesdon Brook coming, but this filly it wouldn’t be a surprise as she has won a Group Three very well and they have all got her to beat.”

With neither Meditate or Tahiyra, the two fillies above Mammas Girl in the betting, yet to be seen this season Hannon feels that adds more in the favour of his exciting prospect, who he remains confident will see out the mile trip given her latest finishing effort.  

He added: “We’ve not seen anything of the first two in the market this spring and she has the advantage of a run and she will improve massively for that run going into the Guineas. 

“There is only one way to get match fit and that is playing matches. She actually had a little haematoma on her thigh in February and we lanced it but that got infected so that slowed us up for between a month to six weeks so that wasn’t ideal timing-wise.

“She wasn’t there in her coat when we went to the Nell Gwyn but she looks a million dollars now as she is there in her coat. I thought she would run very well but I didn’t think she would win like that. 

“I was surprised she won going away as she did as she is by a sprinter and out of a mare by a sprinter. Other people have said it will be doubtful if she gets a mile but she didn’t look like she was stopping to me.

“I don’t think the trip will be a problem as she wasn’t stopping in the Nell Gwyn. She doesn’t pull and they will go faster in the Guineas which will help her. She looks like a Group One filly.”

Despite only getting one run into Mammas Girl as a two year old Hannon was always confident she would develop into the smart filly she has become after giving off all the right signs from an early stage. 

Hannon said: “I’ve always liked her and I thought she was a Queen Mary filly. She then got sore shins and never really got her act together so we gave her a bit of a break over most of the summer then we got her back in October.

“We thought she would go well and she won very well. If ours win first time, they are usually pretty good. 

“She won first time out there but she is a big, long striding rangy filly and so it is probably not the ideal track for her.

“But she handled it very well the other day again and that is what good horses do. They can handle pretty much anything you throw at them.”

Both Billesdon Brook and Night Of Thunder, Hannon’s 2014 QIPCO 2000 Guineas winner, suffered defeat in their respective trials before going on to Classic glory, however he believes if any horse is capable of changing that statistic it is Mammas Girl.

He added: “Billesdon Brook got beat in her trial, as did Night Of Thunder. It helped move them along and they all improved significantly on their trials. She doesn’t have to improve as much as they did. Hopefully she can buck the trend.

“I’m delighted she has won her trial as it confirms she is a very good filly. If you have beaten everything that is put in your way you go into a Guineas with your chest out.

“When they haven’t been beaten you can’t put a ceiling on them and until that day comes we don’t know what her limits or capabilities are, hopefully they are endless.

“She has got a nice pedigree but she is not by a whizz kid stallion out of a celebrity mare but she has every right to be there and deserves a lot of respect.”

Everyone has their favoured place to watch a race in progress, and while not one for being overly superstitious Hannon intends to return to the same spot at the Rowley Mile where he watched Billesdon Brook storm to victory in the race five years ago. 

He said: “When you walk through the grandstand there is a television on the right near where all the food outlets are and there is a little cubby hole there and that is where I watch from.

“I stand in the cubby hole and move over to the television when the race is off. That’s where I watched her win the Nell Gwyn and that is where I watched Billesdon Brook win her Guineas.

“I was with Tom Ward, my former assistant, when Billesdon Brook won the Guineas. I stood there with my mouth open and Tom said can you look happy as you have just won the 1000 Guineas!

“That is where I watch a lot of the races now and that is where I will probably watch this race unless I get dragged out to watch it live.”

Victory for Mammas Girl would reward the work of a lot people behind the scenes but none more so according to Hannon than senior head girl Emma Christian, who over sees the day-to-day running of his other yard Everleigh. 

He said: “Emma has worked for us for 25 years and she has always been a big mate of mine. She runs the yard down there at Everleigh and she is doing an amazing job.

“She is the epitome of someone in your inner sanctum that is utterly central to everything we do here. She is totally committed to the firm.

“Emma is coming to the Guineas and she has a new outfit especially for it. If she wins, it will be one of the best days of her life.”

Mammas Girl might represent the best chance Hannon has of securing a second QIPCO 1,000 Guineas success, however he believes that in the twice raced Powerdress he has another ’dark horse’ that is capable of running well at a big price. 

He said: “Powerdress is a gorgeous big filly and she is effectively a bit of Billesdon Brook. This filly under the radar. She ran a super race against the colts at Newmarket last time.

“She was very big going into that race and she had not run since winning as a two year old on her debut at last year’s Craven meeting.

“She just blew up coming out of the Dip but she was the last one of the bridle. She will probably come on a stone for that. She is a dark horse in the Guineas and she could run very well.

“Her owner Martin Hughes (owner) is keen to have a go at it and I’m behind him as I think he is right to roll the dice.”

Report by Graham Clark.

QIPCO 1000 Guineas Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) 1m

3.40pm, Sunday 7th May

Horse, Owner, Trainer, Jockey

  • Caernarfon, Hunscote Stud, P Humphreys & J Sweeney, Jack Channon, Connor Beasley
  • Dance In The Grass, Mr Jaber Abdullah, Charlie Johnston
  • Dream of Love (IRE), Godolphin, Charlie Appleby, William Buick
  • Embrace (IRE), Mr Ahmad Alkhallafi, Owen Burrows, Daniel Muscutt
  • Fairy Cross (IRE), Godolphin, Charlie Appleby, James Doyle
  • Juliet Sierra, Juddmonte, Ralph Beckett, Rossa Ryan
  • Karsavina, Cheveley Park Stud, Clive Cox
  • Lezoo, Marc Chan & Andrew Rosen, Ralph Beckett, Frankie Dettori
  • Mammas Girl, Amo Racing Limited, Richard Hannon
  • Matilda Picotte (IRE), Matilda & Kilmichael Racing Partnership, Kieran Patrick Cotter
  • Mawj (IRE), Godolphin, Saeed bin Suroor, Oisin Murphy
  • Meditate (IRE), M Tabor/D Smith/Mrs J Magnier/Westerberg, Aidan O’Brien
  • Naomi Lapaglia, Edward Babington & Phil Cunningham, Richard Spencer
  • Never Ending Story (IRE), Mrs J Magnier/M Tabor/D Smith/Westerberg, Aidan O’Brien
  • Olivia Maralda (IRE), Amo Coutinho Syndicate, Roger Varian
  • Polly Pott, The Megsons, Ben Pauling
  • Powerdress (IRE), Mr Martin Hughes, Richard Hannon
  • Queen Me (IRE), Mr Jaber Abdullah, Kevin Ryan
  • Remarquee, Mr JH Richmond-Watson, Ralph Beckett, Rob Hornby
  • Stenton Glider (IRE), Mrs J Mairs and Mr T S Mairs, Hugo Palmer, Tom Marquand
  • Sweet Harmony (IRE), Phil Cunningham, Richard Spencer, Billy Loughnane
  • Tahiyra (IRE), H.H. Aga Khan, D. K. Weld

22 confirmations

4 Irish-trained

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Eclipse Magazine
Newsletter Signup

Racing News, What to Wear, Competitions, Features, Betting Tips and More

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team. We'll bring the news to you about once a month. We NEVER share your data.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Scroll to Top