The unfortunate injury to Minding has robbed the Tattersalls Gold Cup of its main star but we do have a fascinating contest headed by Deauville. The weather there this week will be music to the ears of connections, who will be hopeful of taking glory here if he repeats his second in the Gordon Richards Stakes or high tight win in the Huxley. Moonlight Magic’s return second to Minding was a fair effort and this looks a fair opportunity on fast ground for him especially if he improved from his return there.
Decorated Knight took a weak Group 1 (Jebel Hatta) before running a respectable race in the Dubai Duty Free when the rain wouldn’t have helped his chances. Today’s surface ought to suit more so he has to be respected. Somehow has improved a great deal in just over a year and would have found Newbury’s mile on testing ground a tough challenge. The worry is that this is another quick return, her third within four weeks.
Johannes Vermeer has had a tough time with injuries but he appears to have had a clear run at this season and we’ll know how much ability he retains after Sunday. He was fourth on his return in the Moorsbridge but that will have bought him on a fair deal. Success Days was beaten just a head on his return and the form of his encounters with Fascinating Rock through the last season ought to give him a decent shout here.
The Gallinule Stakes (2.50) is a race where there’s not a lot between many of the likely main contenders on form and it might make sense to wait for a market. Homesman is the pick of Ryan Moore and the run of Irishcorrespondent on Saturday is likely to tell us a lot about his recent second.
The Irish 1,000 Guineas double has been done just twice in 100 years – yes, really – but it will take a big effort to stop Winter from following up her fine Newmarket success. Hugely eye-catching when she should have won her trial, she was dominant at Newmarket, travelling beautifully into the race and then kicking clear to win by a pretty emphatic two lengths. It will take a big effort to stop her if she repeats.
Rehana was third in that trial and then won the Atahasi Stakes in good style and should be respected, although she was behind Hydrangea on more than one occasion last year and her return. Hydrangea was a bitter disappointment in the Guineas (like Intricately, for Joseph O’Brien), but that surely isn’t her running and any other effort would give her realistic chances, far bigger than her price suggests.
Bean Feasa was a taking winner over Asking at Leopardstown but is held on that form whilst Intricately is tempting as a 20/1 shot.
Roly Poly was sixth in the Pouliches but would not have liked the ground there and appeared for the first time to be happy over this longer trip. She’ll love this ground but does have a little to prove on her Nell Gwyn run.
Aneen was a really impressive maiden winner here last backend and is certainly a group class horse with this having been the target for a good while. She’s the most unexposed horse in the field who might be the biggest threat and any market support would have to be hugely significant.
Advice – Irish 1,000 Guineas
1 pt each/way Hydrangea
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