Guineas favourite Clemmie doubtful for Newmarket after suffering setback

Qipco 1,000 Guineas market leader Clemmie and Investec Derby second favourite Amedeo Modigliani could miss those Classics after suffering setbacks, their trainer Aidan O'Brien has revealed.

Clemmie, who had been a best-priced 3-1 favourite for the Newmarket Classic on May 6, won the last three of her five appearances at two, notably the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes.

However, whether she is ready to return to Newmarket next month is in the balance.

O'Brien reported last month the filly had a stone bruise, and issuing an update he said: "Clemmie had a hold-up last month and is only back walking. It's possible the Newmarket Guineas might come too soon for her and we might decide to aim her at the Irish 1,000 with possibly a race before then."

The trainer added: "Her brother Churchill got a mile but only just, so there are no guarantees she will get the distance. If she doesn't then we can always drop her in trip. She showed last season she has plenty of speed, winning the Duchess of Cambridge and the Cheveley Park."

Clemmie was eased to a general 5-1 shot for the 1,000 Guineas, with her stablemate Happily leapfrogging her into favouritism at 4-1.

Amedeo Modigliani, winner of a Galway maiden on his second and final start as a two-year-old, has only Saxon Warrior ahead of him in the Derby betting with those firms still quoting him – he is 8-1, with his stablemate generally 7-2.

However, O'Brien reported: "He's had a setback and is only walking and trotting. We're going gently with him and won't be forcing him. He might not be ready for the Classics and most likely it will be the second half of the season for him. He's a smart colt and we like him."

O'Brien added: "He belongs in the 'could be anything' category. He showed nice improvement from his first run to win easily at Galway in August."

Nelson and Delano Roosevelt had on Saturday shown their credentials for a possible crack at the Derby on June 2, finishing first and second in the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown, although O'Brien's other runner The Pentagon was rather disappointing in finishing third, beaten nine lengths.

At Newmarket on Tuesday another of O’Brien’s Classic contenders, Kew Gardens, will face seven rivals in the bet365 Feilden Stakes. He is a general 25-1 shot for the Derby, having won two of his five starts as a juvenile, signing off with victory on the Rowley Mile in the Zetland Stakes.

O’Brien also runs two-year-old debutant Van Beethoven on the first day of the Craven meeting on Tuesday. He contests the Montaz Restaurant EBF Novice Stakes and, like Kew Gardens, will be ridden by Ryan Moore.

The ground at Newmarket on Sunday was soft, with occasional light rain forecast.