Close but no cigar on two occasions yesterday. These are my thoughts on what’s a class day of racing:
Jamie Spencer had a red letter day at The Curragh on Saturday and he has a bigger chance than the market suggests of claiming a Guineas double in the shape of East in the Irish 1,000 Guineas today.
East might well have come closer to taking the French Guineas, had it not been for a dire draw in 13 and a slow pace which saw her race more freshly than we needed on heavy ground. She travelled well into that race, but her earlier efforts told before she was a creditable third, another good run at the top level after her second in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies’ Turf.
She may well improve from that and a draw of 7 is much more suitable than 10 today, especially over The Curragh’s straight mile, and the main question we have her is over the ground, although she was a good winner of the Prix Thomas Bryon on decent ground in October.
1,000 Guineas winner and third Hermosa and Qabala are both the horses to beat here, although on juvenile form and promise East might not be that far behind them and she looks value in the field.
Just Wonderful and Iridessa were slightly disappointing at Newmarket, a comment that applies more to the latter than the former, who has been the subject of a good amount of support after her sixth at Newmarket. Fairyland ran a fine race in the Guineas when fifth, but she looked as if she might appreciate a drop back in trip then.
Pretty Pollyanna was a high-class juvenile although she was behind Fairyland in the Cheveley Park and then third in the Fillies Mile’, so must improve here. Coral Beach found the ground too heavy in the Pouliches behind East and might be exposed whilst Dean Street Doll can keep on improving although she was second in a very weak trial indeed.
In the Tattersalls Gold Cup (3.50), there isn’t a whole lot to oppose Magical with so it’s off to Paris for a quality set of races today. The Saxon Warrior Coolmore Prix Saint Alary (3.28) is a fascinating contest where Siryarafina can lay down her Diane credentials. Alain Du Royer Dupre’s filly was an impressive winner of the Prix Parade d’Amour on her debut at Saint-Cloud and then doubled up with another taking win the Prix du Louvre. That day she had Commes in second, form which was boosted hugely when she ran Castle Lady to a nose in the Pouliches.
She will need to be on her game to get the better of Vanteaux winner Platane and the two-time winner Fount amongst others, but the step up in trip could bring out more in her and a big run is expected.
The Prix d’Ispahan (4.03) is a cracking contest, with a number making big appeal. The form of Zabeel Prince’s Earl of Sefton win has worked out better than anyone could have hoped for and if he can back that race up, then he’s got every chance here although that could be said for about 5 or 6 contenders.
Wild Illusion is the horse to beat, although With You and Knight To Behold won’t be very far behind at all, but the horse that makes most each/way appeal is Study of Man. He needed the run when giving too much of a start to Knight To Behold last summer at Deauville and then he couldn’t quite go with the best in the Irish Champion and the Arc. A second on his return in the Ganay wasn’t a bad effort at all and with a decent pace he can go nicely here, or certainly better than 10/1.
2 pts each/way East, Irish 1,000 Guineas (8/1 general)
2 pts win Siyarafina, Prix Saint Alary (13/8 general)
1 pt win Zabeel Prince, Prix d’Ispahan (7/2 general)
1 pt each/way Study Of Man, Prix D’Isphahan (10/1 general)