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Just The Judge primed for QIPCO 1000 Guineas

3 May 2013

Trainer Charlie Hills' is upbeat about the chances of his unbeaten filly, Just The Judge, in the QIPCO 1000 Guineas on Sunday at Newmarket, race two in the QIPCO British Champions Series.

Charlie Hills (left), Jamie Spencer, Just The Judge’s jockey, and Sheikh Fahad (right), whose company, Qatar Racing, is the major shareholder in the filly, discuss how her piece of work went on the Rowley Mile last month. Image courtesy of racingfotos.com.

Trainer Charlie Hills is in positive mood as he prepares to saddle his unbeaten filly, Just The Judge, for Sunday’s QIPCO 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, comparing her in favourable terms with Ghanaati, who won the race in 2009.

Hills is just 34 years old and it is less than two years since he took over the training licence from his father, Barry, who first won the 1000 Guineas way back in 1978 with Enstone Spark.

Hills junior was heavily involved with the career of Ghanaati and says: "There are a lot of similarities between her and Just The Judge.

"Both are quite masculine in looks with good, straightforward temperaments and both are very athletic, although this filly is even more athletic than Ghanaati.

"We never intended to give Just The Judge a prep race unless she had a problem and she hasn’t missed a day all winter long. We took her to Newmarket for a racecourse gallop [on April 17] just to get the freshness out of her."

With plenty of stamina in her pedigree, some have suggested that the daughter of Lawman, winner of the Group 2 Vision.ae Rockfel Stakes at Newmarket last October, might find Sunday’s distance of one mile on the sharp side.

Hills disagrees. "You can’t be afraid of the distance because she is already a three-time winner over seven furlongs,” he insists, "but Sunday’s extra furlong will definitely help her.”

Asked what a Classic victory would mean in only his second full season with a licence, Hills responds: "It would be massive, a dream, especially since Just The Judge is owned in partnership by Sheikh Fahad Al Thani, who puts so much into racing through QIPCO, and the Sangster family, who have had such a long association with my father.”

Just The Judge will break from stall 13 of 15 on Sunday, directly alongside her two main rivals, Hot Snap (stall 14) and What A Name (stall 12).

Trained by Sir Henry Cecil, Hot Snap burst into the public eye with a brilliant victory in the Group 3 Lanwades Stud Nell Gwyn Stakes at Newmarket on April 17 whilst the French raider, What A Name, is already proven at the top level having finished second in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere in Paris last autumn.

Tickets are still available for both days of the QIPCO Guineas Festival this weekend as the 2013 QIPCO British Champions Series launches with the first two Classics of the season.

Visit www.newmarketracecourses.co.uk or call 0844 579 3010.