Quality Guineas ride for Kinane

Robin Parke

IRISH champion jockey Mick Kinane rides last season's top-rated filly, Lyric Fantasy, in the 1,000 Guineas Classic at Newmarket today as South African Michael Roberts, who rode her last year, attempts to win his first major race for Sheik Mohammad.

Kinane, since his return from Hongkong 10 days ago, has swept straight into the championship lead in Ireland, winning six races in 48 hours for retaining trainer Dermot Weld.

''I am riding Lyric Fantasy and am very happy to be on her. She is third favourite for the race but on her form last season will be thereabouts.

''I would also have been riding in the 2,000 Guineas on Saturday but I am required in Ireland to ride for John Oxx. Things have gone really well here since I came back,'' said Kinane last night.

Roberts, who got the job with Sheik Mohammad when Kinane turned it down half-way through his six-month Hongkong stint, rides Elizabeth Bay who is best-priced at 9-4.

Sayyedati, to be ridden by Walter Swinburn, disappointed in the Nell Gwyn Stakes recently but is reported to be in much better shape now.


Legendary Lester Piggott rides 8-1 chance Niche and said yesterday: ''She is a small filly and would not win any beauty contests but she's a tough little thing and has won three Group races.'' Meanwhile, on the local front the Licensing Committee will meet tomorrow to put forward recommendations on which trainers should have permission to retain jockeys next season.

They will also decide on assistant trainers with jockey Dennis C. H. Yip, who took a tumble from Rising Sun last night in the fifth event, expected to get approval to switch to the training side of the game.