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Sunday is 1000 Guineas day at the Curragh and the prospect of heavy ground fills you with dread.
It almost makes you feel like there will be some surprise results, but horses proven on bad ground has to be a good place to start when you are picking out your bets.
Ryan Moore will be popular with punters and his ride, Hector De Maris, is a son of Camelot, who is proven on soft ground. He came over to Ireland for a few races last year and ran in a Derby trial at Epsom last month. He was disappointing in his last outing, but with that run under his belt, he will be much fitter now.
Erzindjan has form on a soft surface having won at Gowran Park earlier this year and he also won last season at Cork on heavy ground. He ran a very good race at Leopardstown in the Amethyst Stakes and will be competitive.
FLYING VISIT was a Leopardstown runner-up in April and ran in the Dante Stakes at York showing up for quite a long way there. He got a little bit left behind in the final furlong, but I’m willing to give him another chance. Jim Bolger is a dab hand at picking the right races and this fella won at Leopardstown last year on heavy ground as a two-year-old. That means he should be equipped to handle conditions.
BROOME was super impressive at this track earlier this month and he certainly looked a horse to follow on the back of that performance. Ryan Moore has chosen to ride him and that is good enough for me to tip him up.
Aidan O’Brien’ second string is Tiger Moth, this colt went down to Australia to finish second in the Melbourne Cup and was only beaten half a length on that occasion. He has good form on a soft surface but it’s his first run since that outing at Flemington and that is a slight worry.
Cayenne Pepper is very interesting for Jesse Harrington, but while this daughter of Australia has form on all types of ground, her best form seems to be on a quicker surface. That makes the likely very soft ground at the Curragh a little bit of a worry for her.
Last year’s Epsom Derby winner Serpentine is fancied too. But, I feel this horse would be more dangerous if he had a run under his belt, and for that reason I am going for the Broome.
Fev Rover is one for the shortlist after a very good run in the English 1,000 Guineas.
The ground will be much more to her liking and she has very strong form. The temptation was to go with the likes of Joan of Arc for Aidan O’Brien. She looked good when making all at Leopardstown earlier this month, and with Ryan Moore on board as well, she is definitely one who will be right at the head of the market. It’s for a good reason too, as she’s proven on the ground at this track.
I really like PRETTY GORGEOUS however for Joseph O’Brien. She won the Fillies’ Mile on soft ground at Newmarket last year. She’s a big filly, but certainly looked like she had some filling out to do over the winter. If she has filled that big frame, she will be a tough nut to crack. It could be a real red letter day for her jockey Shane Crosse.
ANNEXATION has been hurdling and actually fell at Killarney on his most recent start. He is proven on soft ground though, and with fitness on his side, he could be very well handicapped with only 8st 6lbs on his back. I’m going to take a punt on Henry de Bromhead’s runner with the conditions at the Curragh looking like they are going to be pretty testing.
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