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Irish Guineas Festival Betting Tips

Irish Guineas Festival Betting Tips

The first Irish Classics of the new season take place this weekend at the Curragh, with two days of fantastic action at the Co Kildare Headquarters. The Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas headlines Saturday's card at 3.20pm, while on Sunday it's the fillies in the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas at 3.15pm taking centre stage. Two days of high-class action await in Ireland and the Racing Post bring you their betting tips and selections for the best of the Curragh action this weekend.



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SATURDAY

 

2.15 - GAIN Marble Hill Stakes (Group 3, 6f)

Aidan O'Brien has won this contest 11 times already and the Ballydoyle supremo has a strong hand to play here with a pair of once-raced winners in CADAMOSTO and The Entertainer.

The latter is by 2016 winner Caravaggio and should build on his opening win at Navan (5½f, good) a week ago, but it's No Nay Never colt Cadamosto that looks to have more going for him.

Ryan Moore sides with the Dundalk Polytrack winner and they've got bundles of scope for better after that smart opening success, which was gained in a solid time back in April. If the ground turned very soft it would be of some concern, but Royal Ascot was mentioned in the aftermath of that first-time-up success and Cadamosto can stamp his passport by winning this.

Fozzy Stack's runner Castle Star is a big danger. He's improving with each run and opened his account on third start by winning a Listed 5f race here this month in good style. He'll handle the ground and should be on the premises over this slightly increased trip.

Celtic Times and Strapped give Jim Bolger a keen interest too and prize money for either of them wouldn't be a shock. All told, Cadamosto could be a cut above these and can bag the opening Group race at this meeting for his top connections.

Selection: Cadamosto

Next Best: Castle Star

 

2.45 - Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes (Group 2, 6f)

A trio of British raiders add spice to this Greenlands Stakes and it's worth pointing out that seven of the last 12 winners were UK-trained. Glen Shiel, Royal Commando and Summerghand carry the flag this time.

The last-named is a solid performer who has shown himself to excellent effect in recent months, and the booking of Colin Keane is a big plus, but Glen Shiel is the most likely of the raiding trio on paper it seems.

He enjoyed a fine season last time, including a Group 3 win over C&D in August, and it ended with a narrow success in the Group 1 Champions Sprint at Ascot (6f, soft). He returns to action for the first time and is a player, albeit with a penalty to concede.

Speak In Colours won this race last year for Joseph O'Brien and is closely matched with Glen Shiel on form here subsequently. His run in the 7f Gladness Stakes here five weeks ago didn't really go to plan and he's a key player dropping in trip now.

Indigo Balance must bounce back from a disappointing showing at Naas only six days ago, though perhaps Jessica Harrington's colt wasn't able to show his best on heavy ground there. Interesting to note what the market makes of him.

Despite the claims of Glen Shiel (price will reflect his hopes) it's the third UK raider that gets the nod. ROYAL COMMANDO won a Doncaster Listed race (6f, good) on his seasonal return in March for Charlie Hills and that form is pretty solid (Summerghand almost four-lengths behind in fourth).

The No Nay Never colt could be one to go to better things at four-years-old and this is an interesting place to see him turning up. He warrants a shot in this grade and could become the latest cross-channel raider to pocket the prize.

Selection: Royal Commando

Next Best: Glen Shiel

 

3.20 - Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas (Group 1, 1m)

Poetic Flare won the Newmarket Guineas three weeks ago in a frantic finish with Lucky Vega (third) nearest of these that pursued him. Jim Bolger's charge was sixth in the French instalment six days ago, a heavy-ground affair where things didn't go his way as he met traffic at a crucial stage before running on. He's likely to fare better here and isn't one to dismiss in haste despite this third Group 1 race in 21 days.

Lucky Vega was well supported at Newmarket and Jessica Harrington's charge put up a strong showing. He's a Group 1-winning juvenile (6f) at this track and is high on the shortlist again now.

Craven runner-up La Barrosa deserves lots of respect given the winner - and Charlie Appleby-trained stablemate - Master Of The Seas was only narrowly denied back at Newmarket by Poetic Flare. The Rosstafarian has ground to make up on that earlier Craven form but Hugo Palmer's charge should be more suited to this venue and, with Colin Keane booked, could be an outsider offering some value in the market.

Just one win in the last five years isn't perhaps what we'd expect from Aidan O'Brien in this contest. He fires Van Gogh, Wembley and BATTLEGROUND at this prize, the trio all well beaten at Newmarket three weeks ago.

None of the trio appeared to relish the undulations of the Rowley Mile and both Wembley and Battleground were eased home. Ryan Moore sticks last season's National Stakes second Wembley and there's more to come but maybe Battleground will do better here. He moved well for a long way in the Guineas but lost his chance in the dip and wasn't given a hard time by Frankie Dettori afterwards. He, too, had attracted market support on the day and he's worth chancing on his first start at this venue as his trainer seeks a remarkable 12th win in this race.

Selection: Battleground

Next Best: Master Of The Seas

 

3.55 - Lanwades Stud Stakes (Fillies' And Mares' Group 2, 1m)

Champers Elysees could only manage fourth in a Group 3 over 7f here at the start of the month in which she was the favourite. Johnny Murtagh's charge ought to be fitter now and the return to a mile will aid her cause. She can likely reverse the form with Soul Search (third) from that race here but she does look short enough in the betting.

The lack of a recent run counts against Valeria Messalina, who has lots of ground to make up with Champers Elysees on their Matron Stakes clash at Leopardstown last September in any case.

Last-time-out winners Ive Feeling and Too Soon Too Panic are treading into deeper waters this time. The former is unexposed and can go on to better things but this Group 1 introduction may serve as a learning experience.

Willie McCreery's EPONA PLAYS bagged a Naas Group 3 on soft ground in March on her comeback. She has scope to build on that now and the Australia filly should give a good account of herself. She gets 3lb from Champers Elysees and is entitled to give her a proper race with this better surface sure to suit Billy Lee's mount.

Selection: Epona Plays

Next Best: Champers Elysees

 


SUNDAY

 

2.05 - Heider Family Stables Gallinule Stakes (Group 3, 1m2f)

Snapraeterea took advantage of a return to Listed company to win the Owenstown Stud Stakes at Naas (7f, soft) a week ago and she will represent last year's winning trainer Joseph O'Brien - alongside stablemates Max Mayhem and Vafortino - in this contest. The rain that poured down overnight on Thursday ensures ground conditions can be in her favour again for this relatively quick turnaround.

Aidan O'Brien also saddles a trio - Matchless, Hector De Maris and Arturo Toscanini - as he bids to win this contest for a quite remarkable 17th time. Matchless shaped with some promise in last month's Leopardstown Guineas Trial won by Poetic Flare and should be sharper now. A pair of blinkers are added and the Galileo colt is a contender with improvement deemed likely now upped significantly in distance.

ERZINDJAN has twice won on testing ground already for Dermot Weld in the Aga Khan colours and the Lope De Vega colt arrives into this after a good second in the Amethyst Stakes at Leopardstown over a mile a fortnight ago (a race in which Snapraeterea was fourth). Colin Keane gets the nod to return again here and his mount looks set to improve for the longer trip. He can upset the O'Brien mob and give his trainer a third win in this race.

Selection: Erzindjan

Next Best: Matchless

 

2.40 - Tattersalls Gold Cup (Group 1, 1m2½f)

Talk of Love's comeback in this race failed to materialise and we'll have to wait a while longer for the superstar filly to reappear. Her trainer isn't short on alternatives, with Broome, Serpentine and Tiger Moth representing Aidan O'Brien.

Last year's runaway Epsom Derby winner Serpentine ran well in a pair of Group 1s after that shock Classic win, without looking like winning. This trip will perhaps be sharp enough for him on his return, and the same rings true of dual Irish St Leger winner Search For A Song for Dermot Weld in the Moyglare colours.

Broome (close fourth in the 2019 Derby at Epsom) has quickly recorded a hat-trick on Irish soil this spring over this trip. He's the form choice on the strength of those efforts but, at times, it's been hard enough work and so the rise back into Group 1 company has to be a minor concern.

Jessica Harrington's CAYENNE PEPPER finished second to the outstanding Magical over C&D (good) on her comeback run last season and the Australia filly also bagged herself a Group 2 win on Irish Champions Weekend before a disappointing visit to the Breeders' Cup (easily enough forgiven).

Very testing ground would pose a question (untried) but she strikes as a filly that might make more progress at four and her ability to go well fresh is key today. Tiger Moth is another that goes well fresh and he's still very lightly-raced. He was last spotted finishing second in the Melbourne Cup and has the scope to handle this drop in trip.

Selection: Cayenne Pepper

Next Best: Tiger Moth

 

3.15 - Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas (Fillies' Group 1, 1m)

Aidan O'Brien, seeking a record-extending 10th victory in the race, relies on Joan Of Arc, Friendly and Empress Josephine. The first-named looks his best chance. She improved to win a Leopardstown Group 3 (1m, good) Trial for this race earlier in the month and won't mind if the ground is much softer now. We've certainly not seen the best of her just yet.

Last year's leading juvenile filly Pretty Gorgeous returns here for Joseph O'Brien. The Fillies' Mile winner missed the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket due to an unsatisfactory scope, which may be a lingering worry for anyone taking a short price about her now. She could still be the class act, however. Her trainer has yet to win this race - either as a trainer or jockey - and maybe the wait will endure.

Ken Condon's Miss Amulet has some superb juvenile form but lacks a run, though No Speak Alexander improved to win a Group 3 over 7f here at the start of the month and could harbour each-way claims.

UK trainers have won this three times since 2012 and FEV ROVER might be the latest to export the ?232,000 winners' bounty. Richard Fahey's filly improved in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket sporting first-time cheekpieces. She cut out a lot of the running but really battled on when asked and was a close third in the end. She could easily come on for that comeback run and she has proven herself to handle the softer ground that's forecast for the Curragh on Sunday.

Selection: Fev Rover

Next Best: Joan Of Arc

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