US ace Newspaperofrecord a cut above British rivals says BHA handicapper
The most exciting two-year-old filly of 2018 was one who got away, for BHA handicapper Graeme Smith admitted his private figure for the British-bred Breeders Cup Juvenile Fillies' Turf winner Newspaperofrecord would put her "head and shoulders" clear of Pretty Pollyanna and the other leading domestic fillies in what looked a relatively ordinary bunch.
The filly is priced at around 10-1 for the Qipco 1,000 Guineas in May, but trainer Chad Brown has yet to commit her and if she travels to Europe at all it is more likely to be for Royal Ascot's Coronation Stakes.
Smith said: "It's not always easy to bring an American filly over to Europe because of the different way they race there, but in terms of ability she's head and shoulders above what we saw in Europe.
"She looked very, very impressive in her prep, and was just as good in the Breeders Cup itself, where she recorded a fantastic time – a great overall time and a great run through the sectionals.
"She smashed them up by nearly seven lengths and if she can translate that form to Britain they will have a hell of a job coping with her.
"As things stand I think she's set for the Coronation Stakes, and she's not the stereotypical US-bred, US-foaled American filly coming over as she's British bred and British sold. She has the pedigree to cope over here and I'm really looking forward to seeing her as she's potentially very, very special."
Smith said he does not have quite the same confidence in his American figures but said: "There's nothing published for Newspaperofrecord but my private figure is 123 – 7lb ahead of Pretty Pollyanna."
"I wouldn't go to war on that figure, but historically it's massive. Minding was 120 and Lady Aurelia 121, and she's clearly better than them. Further back Queen's Logic was 122."
Only Sigy (129), Forest Flower (125) and Ravinella (125) have been rated higher among champion fillies since 1978, and they were all in an era where historically the figures for the top juveniles tended to be a little higher than they are nowadays.
As Smith said: "Newspaperofrecord is very, very, very good, there's no two ways about it."
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