Aidan O’Brien’s Moth has been supplemented for the Qipco 1000 Guineas at Newmarket on Sunday. Beaten in both starts as a juvenile, the daughter of Galileo appeared much improved when running out an impressive winner of a Curragh maiden on her three-year-old debut at the Curragh in early April. O’Brien revealed afterwards the first fillies’ Classic of the season would be considered and she has now been added to the field at a cost of £30,000. The master of Ballydoyle also has Magical Dream and Snow Queen in the mix. Press Association Sir Henry Cecil’s hugely impressive Nell Gwyn scorer Hot Snap is the ante-post favourite and features among 18 confirmations. Charlie Hills’ star filly Just The Judge remains in the hunt, as does the Mikel Delzangles-trained French challenger What A Name. Richard Hannon could saddle Fred Darling winner Maureen and Nell Gwyn runner-up Sky Lantern, but one significant absentee is William Haggas’ Rosdhu Queen. Unbeaten as a juvenile but beaten into fourth when seemingly failing to stay seven furlongs in the Fred Darling, the three-year-old is set to revert to sprint distances. Haggas said: “We think she’ll be better over shorter and we’ve decided to give up on the Guineas. She worked at the weekend and is in great form. “I think that race (Fred Darling) has done a lot of good, but she needs to be better than that at a mile and I can’t see it. She has a lot of speed, she is good at going fast, so let’s use that as a major weapon.” Leading Irish handler Dermot Weld has Big Break and Rasmeyaa in the field, while other contenders include Roz, Ollie Olga and Diaminda.
The Trojans added to their list of recruits for next season after three-star power forward Nick Rakocevic committed to USC on Monday, marking the Trojans’ fourth freshman recruit to sign a letter of intent.The news follows the transfers of forwards junior Darion Clark, sophomore Malik Martin redshirt junior Katin Reinhardt. Junior guard Julian Jacobs is also reportedly entering the NBA draft.Rakocevic, a 6-foot-10 forward from St. Joseph High School, received offers from multiple top-25 teams and has a composite three-star rating from ESPN, Scout and Rivals to go along with First Team All-State honors and a Division 3A Illinois State Championship in 2016.At just 210 pounds, Rakocevic’s frame is undersized in comparison with other top forwards in the nation. Luckily though, his Tim Duncan-esque play in the paint makes him a scoring presence in and outside of the paint.Prior to signing with the Trojans, Rakocevic received 16 offers from many top schools, including the NCAA Tournament runner-up North Carolina Tar Heels.“Honestly, [USC] was just the best situation for me,” Rakocevic said to Scout.com. “I think that the people there and the coaching staff really love me, and I really love them. When I was on the official visit, I knew it was the place for me.”In terms of Rakocevic’s potential playing time in 2017, he is on board with a backseat, complementary role as head coach Andy Enfield described to him during his visit last Thursday.“His plan is to develop me my freshman year,” Rakocevic said. “It’s going to be a lot in the developmental process, but I’m going to be playing. My sophomore year, I’m going to be one of the guys to step up and be one of their main big guys … I’m just excited.”On the roster the Trojans will have three core forwards in rising senior Nikola Jovanovic, and rising sophomores Bennie Boatwright and Chimezie Metu who will share time with Rakocevic and fellow freshman recruit Harrison Henderson.Rakocevic should earn some playing time considering that the departed Martin, Clark and Strahinja Gavrilovic’s combined 13.7 minutes per game earned in 2016 will be distributed among him and Harrison.Forwards Boatwright and Metu came in and succeeded as freshmen last season, and Enfield will look to groom Henderson and Rakocevic the same way to be the prominent interior players that Boatwright and Metu were in USC’s 2016 campaign.Rakocevic is unique in his supreme length that allowed him to dominate the glass in high school and play much like Metu above the rim.Also, Rakocevic is slightly taller than Henderson and will most likely be utilized in bigger packages along with Jovanovic to pick up rebounds and prevent any further scoring. Rakocevic and Jovanovic have similar games on offense and could potentially be a pain to defend.With an underrated shooting and defensive capabilities, Rakocevic is an intriguing prospect with a virtually unlimited potential if he can increase his size and strength. The summer and fall camps will prove if he is up for the challenge of big freshman minutes.