Racing Preview: Irish 1,000 Guineas card, The Curragh on Sat

It is Irish Derby weekend The Curragh, the three-day fixture beginning on Friday

Alan Marron marks your card for Irish 1,000 Guineas day at The Curragh on Saturday

Our regular racing pundit Alan Marron is again on hand to preview a key meeting, which this time is the Irish 1,000 Guineas card on Saturday at The Curragh.


Bar One Racing prices for Sat’s racing at The Curragh can be found here



4.00 2m EquiNectar Handicap (4yo+)

If you follow my previews you will be well aware that the Noel Meade-trained JERANDME has featured on a number of occasions and I think he looks nicely handicapped on his return to the turf and could give them plenty to do with Colin Keane on board.

He needed every yard of the two miles last time we saw him at Dundalk to get up close home. He was campaigned over further by Noel Meade over obstacles so stamina could be his forte in this competitive race.

When the others are coming to the end of their tether he could be coming with a wet sail late and fast to win going away.


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4.35 5f Tally-Ho Stud Irish EBF Fillies Maiden (Plus 10 Race) (2yo)

Following on from the maidens on Friday, where the juvenile colts and geldings got to strut their stuff, it is the turn of the juvenile fillies this time around. FINEST looks to be a very interesting runner for the Ballydoyle team as she is by first-season sire The Gurkha.

The Gurkha was an excellent horse for Aidan O Brien and it could well be that his first crop of juveniles prove to be the same.

This looks a race to watch for future reference but keep an eye on the market moves around Finest as she could be very smart indeed.



5.10 1m2f Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden (Plus 10 Race) (3yo)

Dermot Weld has had plenty of good horses through his care in the colours of Moyglare Stud and his filly here FLORENCE CAMILLE ran a race full of promise at Cork on her debut when she finished a closing third to the Ger Lyons-trained Yaxeni. Even though this race looks to be a deeper one than she contested that day, she looks the type to have improved for the layoff and could be better as a three year-old.

In a tricky-enough contest, she just could be the each-way value.



5.45 5f Platinum Bloodstock & Eyrefield House Stud Handicap (3yo+ 50-75)

ON TICK looks a very interesting runner here for the stable of Katy Brown after a respectable run in a Listed race at Naas on Monday. He finished well down the field behind the Jessica Harrington-trained Punita Aurora but the run wasn’t devoid of promise.

This race will be more to his liking and, while he might be a big price, he could surprise quite a few. He won nicely at Dundalk back in October and he is one that I wouldn’t discount at a price.



6.15 1m4f Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Ragusa” Handicap (Premier Handicap) (4yo+)

The “Ragusa” handicap is a race that could potentially throw up a decent horse for later in the season. Many of the runners in here are dual purpose horses, but the one that I like the look of is the Tony Martin-trained MELBURNIAN.

The last time we saw him was when he was very impressive in the October Handicap at Leopardstown. He is a better horse when the ground is on the soft side but he still has bits and pieces of form on better ground.

The booking of Seamie Heffernan really heightens my enthusiasm around this horse and I expect him to go very close.



6.45 7f Coolmore Calyx Gladness Stakes (Group 3) (4yo+)

A very good renewal of the “Gladness” Stakes and my nap of the day runs here in the shape of the Joseph O’Brien-trained SPEAK IN COLOURS.

He finished a very good fourth in Saudi Arabia when last seen and this is a noticeable step down in grade. The one run that really stands out for me is when he was third in the Prix De La Foret behind One Master trained by William Haggas and the French-trained City Light.

He has to carry a penalty here but I don’t think that will affect him as he looks head and shoulders above this field and should take all the beating. He has been victorious on his last two visits to The Curragh so that will enhance his chance even more. He should have no ground worries at all here.



7.15 1m Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas (Group 1) (Fillies) (3yo)

The feature of the day and it looks to be another cracking renewal of the Irish 1000 Guineas. Much of the focus surrounds the Jessica Harrington-trained Albigna, but they might just have underestimated her stablemate VALERIA MESSALINA.

I remember her win her maiden at Naas where she travelled extremely well throughout the race and got up close home. I was really looking forward to her second-time out and she ran a cracker to finish second in the Oh So Sharp Group Three at Newmarket to the Mark Johnston-trained Rose Of Kildare.

I agree that she will have to improve again to be successful in Group One company but I think it could be a race that might throw up a bit of a surprise.

The Harrington team have been in flying form and this filly looks a solid each-way proposition here.



7.45 1m Lanwades Stud Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) (4yo+)

This race is all about MAGIC WAND and she looks like she will be extremely hard to beat.

She has been on her travels across the world in recent times but this looks a real step down in grade. The last time we saw her at The Curragh she finished second in the Pretty Polly Stakes to Iridessa, back in June 2019. She was second in Group Ones at Sha Tin and also at Gulfstream and if she comes back to any sort of form close to that then she really is a backable proposition here.

This race might not be about if she wins, but rather by how far she wins.

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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article