Anna leads Godolphin bid for Guineas glory
A top-class renewal of Sunday's Irish 1,000 Guineas under the banner of new title sponsor Etihad Airways is in prospect with two significant supplementary entries boosting the competitive element.
Anna Salai, which is one of Godolphin's recent classy recruits from ace French trainer Andre Fabre's yard, and Tommy Stack's unbeaten Lolly For Dolly were added to the field at yesterday's noon deadline.
American-bred Anna Salai and Lolly For Dolly both succeeded at Group Three level on their most recent outings, prompting connections to fork out €32,500 apiece to include them in the line-up for the first fillies' Classic here.
Thus there were 20 initial acceptors for the traditional Sunday highlight as the main bookmaking firms plumped for Mick Channon's Music Show as ante-post favourite to improve on her run in the English equivalent.
Despite leading home the runners on the far side at Newmarket, Music Show finished only sixth with Jim Bolger's outsider Gile Na Greine taking a highly creditable third place in a close, controversial finish.
Kevin Prendergast's undefeated Termagant, not seen since landing the Moyglare Stud Stakes here last autumn, plus the Dermot Weld-trained Bethrah and Paul Deegan's Lady Springbank, which both won their Guineas trials at Leopardstown, are other real contenders for local outfits.
Victorious on her Irish debut in last year's Weld Park Stakes at headquarters, Lady Springbank, which is one of 15 horses owned by Mark Gittins in the expanding Deegan team, will be the handler's first runner at this level.
A native of Dunlavin, Co Wicklow, the 31-year-old has booked English-based Jim Crowley to renew his winning Leopardstown association on Sunday with Lady Springbank, which looked primed for action when breezing at Maddenstown yesterday.
However, he's hoping that the forecast for a reasonable amount of rainfall overnight will have materialised to ease the Curragh going, which was described as good to firm on the round track and good in the straight.
One high-profile absentee is Luca Cumani's Seta, among the favourites at Newmarket. Michael Stoute's Tabassum is another missing from the list.
The 1,000 Guineas shares the afternoon's billing at headquarters with a similar Group One race, the Tattersalls Gold Cup for which Godolphin likewise opted to supplement Cutlass Bay for a fee of €25,000.
The latter four-year-old made it five wins from as many career outings from the Fabre stable in the Prix Ganay before this United Arab Emirates-bred was transferred to Saeed Bin Suroor's care in Newmarket.
Michael Stoute's progressive Glass Harmonium and Channon's veteran Halicarnassus could join Cutlass Bay on the trip from England for a race being targeted also by Aidan O'Brien with Fame And Glory.
This hero of last summer's Irish Derby is likely to have the benefit of Dixie Music acting as pacemaker again after that strategy saw the Montjeu colt return to winning ways at Recharge's expense over this route earlier this month.
Fame And Glory boasts a current rating of 128 and next best of the home defence is Chinese White (113) which returned to action with a comprehensive success for the Weld yard at Gowran Park.