With the first Irish classic of the season, the Tattersalls 2000 Guineas heading Saturday’s racing in Curragh, as well as some top quality racing in Goodwood, Haydock and York, it is sure to be a thrilling opening to the weekend’s action.
Aiden O’Brien will saddle four of the ten entries in Curragh’s feature event at 3.20, with his Group 3 winner Magician currently leading the betting at a best price of 5/2 with Boylesports. O’Brien’s favourite drops back in trip for this, but his impressive 4l victory over Contributer at Chester puts him in with a superb chance of securing a season double.
Leading UK trainer Richard Hannon has two entries with Van Der Neer and Havana Gold. Hughes will ride Van Der Neer who finished third to Dawn Approach in the UK’s version of this race and provides the best chance of the rest.
O’Brien also saddles the favourite Coach House in the Class 1 2.15, who was beaten by today’s rival Fast In The Wind last month. He may well reverse that result here after beating the talented Heart Focus at Tipperary last time.
Stubbs ran nicely to victory at Navan last time and causes the biggest threat to his stable mate here. Joseph O’Brien has chosen to ride the favourite although it could be competitive.
Maarek and Slade Power are both leading contenders for the 17-runner, Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes, which is shaped up to be an extremely competitive race and a tricky one for punters. Jimmy Styles and Parliament Square symboolise good each-way value.
The final Class 1 event of the meeting is the Abu Dhabi Stakes and last year’s winning partnership of Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen again lead the betting with their entry, Caponata. She beat We’ll Go Walking at Gowran Park previously, as well as holding today’s opponent Aloof to a 9l third.
Sir Henry Cecil’s entry, Chigun ran superbly to finish a short head behind Dank at Newmarket and should trouble the favourite, whilst Epsom Oaks winner, Was will need to find her best form to win this, which looks unlikely.
Action from Goodwood starts at 2.05 but it is the listed Tapster Stakes that makes the most appeal although only 5 are entered. Noble Mission has lost to the hot prospect Universal on both starts this season, but this looks easier. Ladbrokes are offering the best price of 4/6 whilst likely contenders Genzy and Bana Wu are 6/1 with Paddy Power and 7/1 with BetVictor respectively.
The renewal of the Betfred Temple Stakes at Haydock looks a highly competitive contest with Sole Power and Reckless Abandon the two likely to battle it out. William Hill present the best prices with Sole Power at 9/4 and the latter at 7/2. The favourite beat a number of this opposition last time but the unbeaten Reckless Abandon may have enough to win on the back of a fine victory at Newmarket in October.
Address Unknown was the surprise winner of the Chester Cup on his stable debut and may improve again here to win the Stowe Family Law LLP Grand Cup. Songcraft will lead the market though and looks the pick here, although he may not find it easy. Stan James offer 15/8 for him, whilst 10/3 is the best price for the former.
Mad Moose improved last time when second and represents value again in this exciting contest.
Decent racing is also on offer from Chester during Saturday Afternoon, with evening racing for those wishing to bet later on available from Cartmel and Ffos Las.
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