Jessica Harrington has already saddled seven winners since the resumption of racing in Ireland, but Saturday’s Irish 1000 Guineas represents another step up as the trainer prepares to unleash the exciting Albigna, who spearheaded a strong team of two-year-old fillies for the yard last season. Her three wins included the Group 1 Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp on Arc day, showing smart form in France which is far superior to anything her 14 rivals here have achieved. With further improvement on the cards, she is a confident selection as she attempts to provide Harrington with a second success in this classic, following on from the brilliant 2018 winner Alpha Centauri.
Florence Camille is bred to be smart and shaped encouragingly when third on her sole juvenile start at Cork last August, keeping on well to be beaten just half a length. She wasn’t hard-pressed to do so, either, and everything about her points to her making progress as a three-year-old, especially now stepping up to middle-distances. Admittedly, there are several dangers who bring similarly lightly-raced profiles into this maiden, but the big-race entries held by Florence Camille – including in the Irish Oaks – give another indication of the high regard in which she is held. It will be disappointing if she can’t open her account here on the way to bigger and better things.
Sundance Star could be worth chancing in this competitive handicap, making her first appearance since being bought for just €800 in the autumn. The fact she made such little money suggests she has had her fair share of issues, but new trainer Denis Hogan has worked wonders with similar types in recent years, with no better example than Sceptical, a £2,800-purchase who has quickly developed into a very smart sprinter. Clearly, Sundance Star is never going to reach that level, but the pick of her form suggests there are more races to be won with her if proving her wellbeing, now 1 lb lower in the weights than when making a successful handicap debut at Dundalk in April 2019.
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