After picking out five winners from the first two days of the Irish Guineas meeting at the Curragh, Alan Marron presents his picks for 1,000 Irish Guineas day.
1.50 TALLY HO STUD IRISH EBF (C & G) MAIDEN (PLUS 10 RACE) 6f
ARIZONA ran a very respectable race when second to Sunday Sovereign over course and distance at the start of this month and it will take a very good performance from one of the newcomers to overturn this horse.
2.20 HANLON CONCRETE HANDICAP 6f
GOPSIES DAUGHTER is a very interesting runner here for those who may have watched his run last time out. He is a horse who has course form which is vital as we’ve seen with the win of Blairmayne in yesterdays preview. When we look closely at the Navan run last time out we see that he finished off the race under very considerate handling. He has two course wins off handicap marks of 60 and 65 so his mark of 64 for this race seems very lenient. Massive chance.
2.50 CURRAGH OFFICIAL OPENING DAY HANDICAP (3yo+) Winner €15,375 8 runners 5f
Like the horse in the previous race, course form comes to the fore here with the selection VERHOYEN. He is a speedball from the gates and could really take plenty of stopping here. He finished fourth to the impressive Jassar on Friday on the opening day of the Guinneas meeting off a revised mark of 83. He is dropped 2lbs back to 81 here and for me its not a great race. He should be more than competitive if Fridays race has not taken much out of him.
3.50 TATTERSALLS GOLD CUP (GROUP 1) (4yo+) Winner €236,000 5 runners 1m2f110y
This race should simply be easy for Magical at the prohibitive odds available. A small staking plan into this race may be to look at the betting without market. MUSTAJEER is well behind in term of form and ratings but the Lyons’ team are in cracking form this weekend and it may be that the horses have hit a purple patch and could be worth following.
4:25 TATTERSALLS IRISH 1,000 GUINEAS (GROUP 1) (FILLIES) (3yo) Winner €232,000
Following on from his win on Phoenix Of Spain in the 2000 Guinneas, Jamie Spencer will be full of confidence when he gets on board the Kevin Ryan trained EAST. East has some really strong formlines and with numerous questions over some of the opposition in terms of trip she could be a very solid pick here. Last time out she was third in the French 1000 Guinneas which was a cracking run. She was held up towards the rear and ran on strongly close home but didn’t have the pace to catch the leaders. The difference for me here is that the Curragh will really play to her strengths should she handle the quicker ground. She was impressive in a Group 3 at Saint Cloud under Stephane Pasquier in October last season. I think she has really strengthed this year and could quicken past the leaders close home.
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5:00 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF “HABITAT” HANDICAP (PREMIER HANDICAP) (3yo+) Winner €29,500
A typical competitive handicap here and it is noticeable that the Stack team have opted to run DREAM ASCOT here. Her last run last season was very noticeable for me to say the least. The listed Vincent O Brien Ruby Stakes was won by I Can Fly who now has a rating of 113. Dream Ascot finished fifth that day staying on close home to be nearest at the finish. She returns here off a mark of 87 and for me that is very lenient indeed. The very talented Andy Slattery claims 7lbs so that will lower the mark even further. The trainer has obviously waited for the nicer ground and it will be very disappointing should she not be competitive here.
5:30 BOODLES HANDICAP (4yo+) Winner €15,990 13 runners 2m
PERSIAN LION was much too keen for his own good when beaten on his season reappearance at Killarney last time out. He was ridden to lead and then got headed but only was outbattled close home but dual purpose performer Arctic Fire. With ground to suit here Jessica Harrington will surely have her charge in top fitness ahead of this weekends race. He is relatively lightly raced and has some course form to boot where he finished second in a maiden to the Dermot Weld trained Falcon Eight. He could be heard to pass here should Shane Foley get him into a nice early rhythm as the distance shouldn’t be much of an issue.
6:00 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF MAIDEN (3yo+) Winner €12,320
We finish the weekend with a typically strong maiden where all the top stables are represented. VERBALISE ran a very strange race last time out. She never travelled all the way through the race and Kevin Manning was at work from a long way out. She plugged on really well and to take on the colts here trainer Jim Bolger must think quite a bit of her. Whether it was greenness that beat her last time out I honestly believe she will prove to be a different proposition this time around. She has had three weeks to come to herself and she will be my nap of day 3.