Yes, finally! The Irish flat season kicks off! It’s the Guineas weekend at the Curragh – should be really good! I like the entries for most of the big races and look particularly forward to the 2.000 Guineas – of course it’s all about Gleneagles – isn’t it?! Well, more about that later.
Not sure if I go both days, but surly won’t miss Saturday. While looking through the first couple of races, there is one race that sticks out immediately – so let’s have a look…
2.15 Curragh: Marble Hill Stakes (Listed)
This could be an early pointer for Royal Ascot – a lovely race with some really nice individuals going to post. Plenty of strong form on offer, it’s bound to be competitive! The stiff five furlongs might not suit everyone though, however there won’t be many excuses as the ground is drying all the time with warm temperatures clearly helping the cause.
Jim Bolger is training more and more horses for Godolphin these days and with Teofilo son Round Two he has a smart prospect on his hands. Round Two won a good Conditions race on his racecourse debut at Navan, beating a fine LTO winner in second. He’s bound for major improvement and his trainer is pretty sweet on him. Concerns are the drop in trip since his debut came on soft over 6f and he seemed to take a while to hit top gear that day. That may have been greenness, nonetheless any flaws will be exploited here.
Exiting Stae Of Emergency is already a two times course and distance winner this season. He followed up here from his successful debut in a hot Conditions Race earlier this month with a gutsy performance to take the scalp of a well fancied Bolger inmate. There is likely more to come and this Listed contest will tell us whether he’s an Ascot horse or not. He has all his form on soft ground, so the drying ground conditions are a question mark
A race like this wouldn’t be complete without a highly promising Aiden O’Brien inmate. His Washington Dc makes plenty of appeal after he showed tremendous speed at Tipperary four weeks ago. Six days earlier he was very green at Dundalk on his racecourse debut – that day beaten in a tight finish. He improved dramatically at Tipperary. Quick at the start, he was soon travelling like a dream all over his rivals and won that 5f maiden easily on the bridle. O’Brien said afterwards the big target for Washington DC this summer is the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.
The second Bolger runner Taisce Naisiunta was a fine maiden winner in bottomless ground. He probably has a bit to find with the better fancied rivals. In contract Blood Moon has beaten already Washington Dc this year, last month at Dundalk. And he was not far behind State Of Emergency in a Conditions Race here at the Curragh. He might be able to outrun is big price-tag. Neither out of the equation is Athas An Bhean. A fine debut winner, he followed up with a good effort in the Listed Marygate Fillies’ Stakes.
Verdict: The first three in the betting are all set to become future pattern class performers. But it is Washington Dc who could have the brightest future ahead of himself. The minimum trip will suit this speedy Zoffany son down to the grounds and I’d surprised if he isn’t a much shorter price when the gates crash open. Therefore I’m happy to get on him now for a price which in my book is too big, taking the likely big improvement into account.
Washington Dc @ 9/4 Betfred – 10pts Win