A Classic weekend to look forward to in Ireland with the Curragh hosting both the 2000 (Sat) & 1000 Guineas (Sun). Dubawi Gold who finished runner up to the mighty Frankel in the Newmarket equivalent has been market leader for the race since we began betting on the event, but I’m not convinced the favourite, who will be bidding to give trainer Richard Hannon back-to-back wins in the race, is in the same class as last year’s winner Canford Cliffs and I think the prize will remain at home.
Dunboyne Express (3.45) represents Kevin Prendergast who first won the Irish 2000 Guineas with Northern Treasure in 1976 and, after a 35-year wait, can win the race for the second time with his son of Sharmadal especially if the 6mls of rain forecast for Saturday morning is correct. A winner of three of his four starts Dunboyne Express found the ground too fast at Doncaster on his sole defeat in the Racing Post Trophy and if he runs well he could be aimed at the Derby in a fortnight’s time. Note if the morning rain arrives expect him to go off market leader as Dubawi Gold has been largely friendless.
Irish 2000 Guineas: prices from
Dubawi Gold 15/8 (from 7/4)
Dunboyne Express 9/4 (from 5/2)
Roderic O’Connor 11/4
Slim Shadey 20/1
High Ruler 33/1
Goodwood stage an informative card and Al Zir (3.20) who had a disappointing 2010 can make a winning reappearance for Godolphin. The selection has a bit to find on last year’s form but he was a very good juvenile and is a magnificent looking horse. He is a horse I am very keen on following throughout the year although again he wouldn’t want the ground too fast.
At Haydock the feature race is the Gp 2 Temple Stakes (3.00) which sees the British debut of the Hungarian sprinter Overdose nicknamed the “Budapest Bullet.” Overdose is 2/1 favourite with and I think he’ll take all the beating. A winner of 15 of his 16 starts he could just be in a different class to the home challenge led by last year’s winner Kingsgate Native. His main British target is the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot next month and it really would be a fairytale for the horse’s owners given they paid just 2000 Gns for the sprint sensation.
The big betting race of the day is the Silver Bowl and a low draw has been crucial in recent years with the last six winners coming out of stalls 3, 8, 4, 4, 6 and 3! That said they came up the middle of the track at the Lancashire track on Thursday and the hope is that stall 15 doesn’t prevent Sagramor (2.30) giving a good account.
The selection made a pleasing reappearance when no match for a lightly-raced and progressive Barry Hills 3-y-o at Warwick last time. He is likely to get further than a mile in time and stall 15 is a negative, but he is a colt who went into the notional notebook last time and is worth following this season however he fares at Haydock.
Later in the card I am interested in Tariq Too (4.40) dropping back in distance to 7f. Connections don’t seem too sure of the selection’s optimum trip given he was asked to run over trips in excess of a mile last year. His brother Tariq was a 7f specialist, however, with three of four career wins at the trip including two at Group level. David Simcock’s lightly-raced 4-y-o finished runner up over a mile at Ffos Las on his reappearance and a 1lb rise is fair.
The C4 cameras are also at York and Theology can put behind a very disappointing effort at Ascot last time in the listed 1m 6f event due off at 3.10. Jeremy Noseda was making bullish noises ahead of his reappearance and is given another chance dropped in grade.
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