Aidan O’Brien has declared three runners for this 5 furlong maiden and is hoping to secure another two-year-old winner this week following success with Most Beautiful and Chief Little Hawk. Seamie Heffernan rides Merchants Quay, a son of No Nay Never, but Wayne Lordan might secure victory with ADMIRAL NELSON at a decent price in the opener at the Curragh.
This juvenile is a son of Kingman, which might suggest an extra couple of furlongs would be better suited on debut. However, Admiral Nelson has some interesting speed on the dam side of his pedigree, out of an Exceed And Excel mare, Shamandar, who managed to secure some black type success for William Hagges over 6 furlongs in 2009.Jessica Harrington and Shane Foley are enjoying an excellent week and team-up with Cooper’s Hawk.
The Harrington runners require even more respect and attention at present, but on pedigree this son of Awtaad might have to settle for minor honours.
Brokers Tip should be watched as Darren Bunyan can produce a nice horse from time-to-time – he trained Beat The Bank to win his maiden before being sent to Andrew Balding.
Aidan O’Brien has trained the winner of the Gallinule Stakes 16 times over the years since his first success with Johan Cruyff in 1997 and will strike the net again this year with MYTHICAL.
The son of Camalot stands out on ratings (106) and is 10 pounds clear of his biggest danger Crossfirehurricane (96) with both running off level weights.
He was behind this week’s Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial winner, Cormorant on debut last August before hacking up at Gowran Park last September. O’Brien sent him to Newmarket for the Zetland last October where he finished fourth behind Max Vega. The second horse, John Gosden’s Miss Yoda boosted the form recently with victory in Lingfield Oaks Trial.
He was tried at the highest level in Group 1 company in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud and finished third behind Mkfancy.
The fifth horse home, The Summit was recently second in the French 2000 Guineas and that form is rock solid for Mythical to win on his season debut. Crossfirehurricane should chase him home for Joseph O’Brien having improved to land the listed Patton Stakes at Dundalk in February.
It was a surprise to see jockey Seamie Heffernan down to ride Lope Y Fernandez in the feature Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh on Friday evening. The son of Lope De Vega has plenty to find on ratings with many rivals and runs over the one-mile trip for the first time.
Aidan O’Brien has not won the first Irish classic of the season since 2017 with Churchill and runs six of the eleven runners.
ARMORY gets the verdict to see off the Ger Lyons-trained Siskin with these two runners doing battle for the first time. He was outclassed by Pinatubo in the National Stakes and finished placed in two final runs as a juvenile in Paris last October. Wayne Lordan is no-stranger in securing Classic success for the Coolmore team and the son of Galileo should use his stamina to out battle Siskin to win.
It is extremely hard to side against Siskin because he did nothing wrong last season and it would be a delight to see Ger Lyons and Colin Keane secure Classic glory.
The Juddmonte runner has seen off many of these rivals as a juvenile but has not raced beyond 6 furlongs yet. His pedigree suggests he will get the trip but for me, Armory has raced against better opposition last season and represents value.
The Paddy Power-sponsored Irish Lincoln is the exciting Premier Handicap on the Guineas card with €44,250 heading to the winner.
Dermot Weld last landed the race with Stuccodor in 2014 and I hope the Rosewell team can strike gold again this year with the Aga Khan owned BASHIYR, under champion apprentice Andrew Slattery.
The four-year-old runs off a mark of (91) having finished a staying on sixth under hands and heels from Chris Hayes here last September. It is a bonus that young Andrew Slattery takes off five pounds and this lightly raced son of Invincible Spirit can be knocking on the door at the business end and reach the frame.
Adrian McGuiness runs Current Option with last year’s winning jockey Colin Keane booked to ride. The ex-William Hagges trained runner has only had three-starts in Ireland which included victory at Leopardstown (off a mark of 89) last September.
It would be wise to keep a close eye on reserve Patrick Sarsfield who could be extremely well handicapped off (86) for Joseph O’Brien. Nebo would normally bring the house down if securing victory (but we have no spectators on track) for Tom Hogan following the sad death of Gordon Lord Byron earlier this week.
Aidan O’Brien has dominated the Moorsbridge Stakes for many years, having claimed success in nine of the last 10 renewals of the Group 2 contest. His sole representative is FLEETING who can continue the winning trend for team Ballydoyle with jockey Seamie Heffernan in the saddle.
Surprisingly, the daughter of Zoffany did not secure a single victory last season, but ran creditable races in defeat at the highest level.
She found the John Gosden-trained Star Catcher a pain in the backside on four occasions when finishing behind in the Ribblesdale Stakes, Irish Oaks, Prix Vermeille and British Champions Fillies and Mares.
Fleeting starts her 2020 campaign on home soil having travelled to Britain, Canada and France last season and can finally get back to winning ways following her last victory in September 2018.
Irish Leger winner Search For A Song is the obvious danger (racing off an improved rating of 116), but she needs to reverse the form with Fleeting when beaten just over five lengths behind Aidan O’Brien’s filly in the Irish Oaks last July.
It’s extremely hard to split these two fillies’, but with Aidan O’Brien’s horses in great form this week, along with the fact he’s taken this race with mares (Found, Minding an Magical) in recent years, Fleeting just gets the vote.
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