The 2020 renewal of the Gladness Stakes is a match at the top of the betting between father and son, Aidan and Joseph O’Brien. The master of Ballydoyle has not won this race since Excelebration’s victory in 2012 but can take victory with LANCASTER HOUSE under Seamie Heffernan. The son of Galileo drops to seven-furlongs having finished fourth in the Boomerang Stakes at Leopardstown last September.
Speak In Colours has been running in better races and against superior opposition than our selection, but it has been noticeable that Joseph O’Brien’s horses are needing a run on return. A strong pace will suit Lancaster House, with 2018 winner Psychedelic Funk for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane not one to rule out at a bigger price if performing on a going day.
Jessica Harrington and the Niarchos Family can take the Irish 1000 Guineas for the second time in three seasons following success with Alpha Centauri in 2018. ALBIGNA caught my eye from day one when claiming her maiden here at the Curragh in May last year. She looked green but learned so much in victory, coming between rivals late to secure victory – she was impressive.
Her victory in the Group 2 Airlie Stud Stakes was even better when turning on the turbo boost in the closing furlong when looking beaten at the furlong pole. It was obvious a step up in trip was on the agenda, but she disappointed in the Moyglare behind Love and was later found in season.
Redemption came in Paris last October with victory in the Prix Marcel Boussac before finishing a cracking fourth when drawn badly in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf at Santa Anita.
Albigna is officially the best horse in this line-up with a rating of (114) and unless Aidan O’Brien has worked his magic with Peaceful or So Wonderful it is extremely hard to side against the daughter of Zoffany. It would be fantastic to see Fancy Blue and Ridenza run good races and reach the frame for both Donnacha O’Brien and Michael Halford, but Harrington and Foley are on fire this week and can take this classic.