Irish Guineas Festival

The top-class racing action once again continues into Sunday this coming weekend as the Curragh plays host to the 2017 edition of the Irish 1000 Guineas. An all-Irish affair this year, with not a British raider to be seen, this nevertheless looks set to be a decent renewal, and a contest likely to provide a few clues when looking ahead to the rest of the season.

Irish 1000 Guineas (The Curragh) Preview & Betting Tips – Sunday 28th May 2017

Race Analysis

In common with most - if not all - of the other British and Irish classics, it is Aidan O’Brien who has been the man to follow here in recent times. With the master of Ballydoyle responsible for eight of this year’s current field, and his son Joseph having an entry of his own, it would be a brave man to bet against the name of O’Brien featuring on the trophy again this year.

Realistically all eight of O’Brien’s entries won’t line up here, with Rhododendron in particular looking doubtful at this stage. One who does look set to go to post though is his English 1000 Guineas heroine, Winter. Having shown promise when with David Wachman last term, she again showed potential but not brilliance when second to stablemate Hydrangea on her first start for O’Brien in April.

Headed into the Newmarket Classic though, this daughter of Galileo was the subject of some pretty substantial market support, and in the end the money proved to be spot on. Rhododendron was the hot favourite that day, and whilst that filly wasn’t aided by a troubled passage, it seems doubtful whether she would have gotten to Winter in any case as she showed a turn of foot the others simply couldn’t match.

Of the rest, Hydrangea and Joseph O’Brien’s Intricately are surely better than they showed at Newmarket when finishing well down the field. It is too early to write off this nicely bred pair on the back of that and it would be no surprise to see them fair better here. At a similar price though we would be more interested in Dermot Weld’s Making Light and Kevin Prendergast’s Aneen. Having just their fourth and third career starts respectively, and their first of the current season, they showed enough in their two year old campaigns to suggest they may be up to this level and each hail from a yard who have taken this prize in the past.

Betting Tips

Whilst wary of the threat posed by the more unexposed runners in the field, we were really taken by Winter’s display at Newmarket last time. Watching the race back, the good looking grey could be called the winner some way from home, as she travelled ominously well on the heels of the leaders throughout, before putting the race to bed when popped the question. These O’Brien fillies often seem to improve as the season progresses and she looks a pretty tough nut to crack here. Take the 10/11 with Betfair.

Irish 2000 Guineas (The Curragh) Preview & Betting Tips – Saturday 27th May 2017

Another excellent day of racing action to look forward to this coming Saturday, with the highlight of the day coming over in Ireland. The Curragh plays host to the first Classic of the Irish flat season, with an intriguing field including the English Guineas winner assembling for the 2017 Irish 2000 Guineas. Here we take a look at the main contenders and pick out our best bet for the race.

Race Analysis

Bidding to become the ninth horse to achieve the English and Irish 2000 Guineas double, and hot favourite for the race, is recent Newmarket hero, Churchill. Hailing from the Aidan O’Brien yard which has tasted more success here than any other, and taking up this option in favour of a tilt at the Derby, it would be a surprise to see him beaten here. Nothing has really been able to get near him in his previous five starts with even his Guineas win coming in fairly comfortable style. He looks the class of this field by some margin.

The compilers make Michael Halford’s, Irishcorrespondent the chief threat to the jolly. This son of Teofilo has done exactly what has been asked of him in his two starts to date, winning both his maiden and his second start in most impressive style. That second win came over course and distance, which is encouraging, but this does represent a significant step up in class. The colt does appear to possess a useful turn of foot, and could prove particularly dangerous should this been run at a slow pace. However with the likelihood being that O’Brien will employ at least one pacemaker, we see this being run at a good clip.

Godolphin look set to rely on Saeed bin Suroor’s, Thunder Snow. This one blotted his copybook last time out in the Kentucky Derby, where he began bucking and kicking almost as soon as the stalls opened, but is better judged on his three prior runs, which resulted in three wins, one each at Group 3, Group 2 and Group 1 level. He has two lengths to find with Churchill on their Dewhurst clash last season but looks rock solid to threaten the places.

Of the rest, the Aidan O’Brien duo of Lancaster Bomber and Orderofthegarter make most appeal. Orderofthegarter does need to bounce back from a poor effort last time out at Deauville but remains a horse of potential, whilst a repeat of the run Lancaster Bomber produced when fourth in the English Guineas should see him on the premises.

Betting Tips

Thunder Snow looks an appealing each way option on form, but given his antics last time out and the ground he has to make up with the favourite, the most sensible option here looks to be to simply back Churchill for the win. He’s short but looks about as solid a favourite as they come. Take the 4/11 with Sky Bet.

Tattersalls Gold Cup (Curragh) Preview & Betting Tips – Sunday 28th May 2017

Curragh hosts a fantastic day of racing this Sunday with one of the main races being the Tattersalls Gold Cup. It’s an extended one mile and two furlong affair which has seen its purse increased to €300,000 this year.

Since the race has been established it has welcomed some fine names but on a much more regular basis since being awarded Group 1 status in 1999. From this point, we have seen top class winners such as Montjeu, Fantastic Light, Hurricane Run and So You Think.

Race Analysis

With this being a high quality affair, you want a horse with some winning experience at a high level. That’s highlighted by the statistic that each of the last 10 winners of this race had previously won at least one Group race, seven of them a Group 1.

Aidan O’Brien has won four of the last nine renewals but he’s also had three beaten favourites in this time. His entries are always one to look out for and although he didn’t have any runners last year, he has three this time, Deauville, Somehow and Johannes Vermeer.

With the small fields this race usually has, there has been an unsurprising trend towards short prices winners, none in the last 20 years priced over 7/1. Favourites have won half of the last 10 renewals but post a level stakes loss of £3.82.

Betting Tips

Given Aidan O’Brien’s heavy involvement in this race it seems only fair to discuss the chances of the favourite Deauville (11/4, Sky Bet) first. The four year old, ridden by Ryan Moore, was off the pace in Meydan in March but seems to have found his feet since. His last outing saw him narrowly win the Group 3 Huxley Stakes and you can rightly expect further improvements from him this time. He will certainly need them however, as he faces a stronger field here than he did at Chester and he’s not ended up with a favourable draw in gate eight.

O’Brien’s Johannes Vermeer (14/1, Bet365) doesn’t quite look like having the quality to compete in this race but the same cannot be said for Somehow (5/1, Ladbrokes). The bay filly has won at Curragh before and in some style too when cruising home in the Group 3 Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes. She’s been busy this season with four starts already, the best coming at Newmarket on good to firm going, which is expected this Sunday. The four year old didn’t have enough pace to challenge in the recent Lockinge Stakes so a step up in trip might be right for her providing she isn’t feeling any tiredness from her busy schedule.

As much of a decent claim that both Deauville and Somehow pose however, this race looks like going the way of Decorated Knight (9/2, Bet365). Roger Charlton’s horse is set to make his first performance on British soil since a Listed win at Lingfield in early February. He followed this up with a Group 1 victory a month later in Meydan on good going and it seems that the five year old does perform better when the ground doesn’t give too much. He’s looked very good at this distance in the past and with the going likely to suit, he will be tough to beat here from a favourable draw on the inside.