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It’s the second day of Irish Guineas weekend and it’s a tricky looking card with the extremely testing ground further complicating matters. This does sound like me getting my excuses in early, I grant you. Down with that sort of talk! There will be at least eight winners on the card and here are some of them.
As you might expect, a number of relatively unexposed middle distance horses go to post for the Gallinule Stakes. ERZINDJAN looks the best play here. He has built on three promising runs as a two-year-old, and brings the best form to this party. The form of his win on penultimate start in Gowran, and subsequent runner up finish in Leopardstown have been boosted since.
His seasonal comeback is best forgotten as he found trouble in running and he has been particularly strong at the line on those last couple of runs. There is also plenty of stamina on the dams side of his pedigree and I’ll be surprised if he doesn’t improve for this step up in trip.
Given that he’s already the standard setter, it would take a fair effort from those aforementioned less exposed sorts to beat him. The deep ground is no concern.
I’m pleasantly surprised that PRETTY GORGEOUS isn’t favourite for the Irish 1000 Guineas at the time of writing. Perhaps Paddy are conscious of the slightly negative vibes that surrounded her in the run up to the 1000 Guineas.
Ultimately, she didn’t travel to Newmarket and that was probably a wise decision. The quick ground that day wouldn’t have suited, so I will trust Joseph O’Brien to have her cherry ripe on Sunday. If that proves the case, connections should reap a rich dividend for their patience.
She was a hugely impressive winner of the Debutante Stakes on soft ground at this track last year and she capped off a fine juvenile campaign by winning the Fillies Mile in Newmarket. Given the troubled passage she endured that day, that run can be marked up and again, that win came on soft ground. That form is some way ahead of anything achieved by main market rival Joan Of Arc. Pretty Gorgeous should relish these attritional conditions, and looks a filly of considerable physical scope.
Paddy throws us an extra place bone in the mile handicap and that’s a generous concession. There are 16 runners declared. Given the weather, it would seem a longshot that all 16 show up, so in all likelihood we have two extra places on our side.
FAME AND ACCLAIM looks almost certain to run well and he has proven a generally consistent sort in a 13-race career. He arrives here in good form having run second to Raise You over this course and distance last time out. Raise You blotted his copybook next time out, but I’ll be surprised if that race doesn’t work out well.
Fame And Acclaim had previously shown the ability to handle heavy ground when running a close sixth in the Irish Lincoln. He is 7lbs better off with the winner Layfayette on Sunday. Fame And Acclaim has run well on all three visits to this track and The booking of crack claimer Dylan Browne McMonagle is another big positive. Everything looks in place for a peak effort. The horse will be very difficult to kick out of the five, and could well win.
A staying handicap closes the card, where BRAZOS can go well at what should be generous odds. This horse was very in and out on the Flat last season. There were a couple of efforts which would put him in the mix here and one of them came in the Irish Cesarewitch over Sunday’s course and distance. He did alright in three hurdles runs over the winner.
He’s not particularly adept at jumping hurdles, so we can expect better back on the level. He does have a bit to prove granted, but meets a host of rivals here with similar issues. The booking of young Dylan McMonagle catches the eye and the horse relishes testing ground. In a trappy heat, there are enough positives to take a chance.
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