15:35 Curragh – Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas
The feature race today sees us take a trip to The Curragh for the Irish 2000 Guineas, a race established in 1921 and in recent years won by the likes of Rock Of Gibraltar, Dubawi, Canford Cliffs and Kingman.
Magna Grecia bids to become the tenth horse to win this race following success in the English 2000 Guineas, and if victorious would bring up a dozen victories in this race for for trainer Aidan O’Brien. A winner of three from four to date, with a neck defeat to Persian King his only defeat, he travels smoothly through his races and stays on strongly right to the line. His performance at Newmarket was a particularly impressive one so if arriving here in the same form it would be no surprise to see him in the winners’ enclosure.
The main danger looks to be Too Darn Hot who was somewhat of a surprise inclusion having finished second to Telecaster in a Derby trial just nine days ago, however trainer John Gosden must be happy with how he has come out of the race to risk running the Dewhurst winner again so quickly. An emphatic winner over a mile on debut and with similarly impressive victories over seven furlongs since, the drop back from ten furlongs looks a wise move and I feel he will be a big danger to Magna Grecia if this doesn’t come too soon.
Skardu was no match for Magna Grecia when they met in the 2000 Guineas, finishing a respectable third but still four lengths adrift of the winner. With trainer William Haggas struggling for winners in recent weeks it looks a tall order for Skardu to reverse that form.
Phoenix Of Spain had to settle for second behind both Magna Grecia and Too Darn Hot in two separate races over two different trips last summer and returns to tackle both rivals following a seven month absence. A Group 3 winner at York last season, there is no doubt he will be winning races over the course of the year but may find this a little tough on seasonal re-appearance against race-fit opposition.
Prior course form can be an advantage so a mention must also go to Decrypt who has a win and a second from two runs here at The Curragh. Both came over six furlongs but he was an impressive winner over seven when last seen and was staying on strongly in the final stages so with both Magna Grecia and Too Darn Hot looking evenly matched I am happy to take an each way play on Decrypt in the hope that he can snatch a place.
13:55 Goodwood – Fabricate (E/W)
14:15 Haydock – Lucky Deal (WIN)
14:30 Goodwood – Dubai Legacy (WIN)
14:50 Haydock – Aweedram (WIN)
15:05 York – Bayshore Freeway (E/W)
15:25 Haydock – Calyx (WIN)
15:35 Curragh – Decrypt (E/W)
15:40 York – Leodis Dream (E/W)
16:00 Haydock – Battaash (WIN)
The Cambridge News – PicksfromthePaddock.co.uk:
16:00 Haydock – BATTAASH (WIN)
The Jersey Evening Post – Rory Paddock:
18:20 Salisbury – RAINCALL (WIN)
East Anglian Daily Times – Dean Kilbryde:
16:10 Curragh – READ TEA (WIN)
Norwich Evening News – Chris Connolly:
14:55 Chester – BARAWEEZ (WIN)
Ipswich Star – Matt Polley:
14:55 Chester – KAESO (WIN)