Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 16 June 2019

Dettori's mount set to light up Curragh and spoil O'Brien bid for 2,000 Guineas double

Too Darn Hot's duel with Aidan O’Brien’s Magna Grecia in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (3.35) is an intriguing one. Stock photo: Getty
Too Darn Hot's duel with Aidan O’Brien’s Magna Grecia in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (3.35) is an intriguing one. Stock photo: Getty
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Authorities at the Curragh must be licking their lips all week at the prospect of Too Darn Hot lighting up the Guineas meeting and his presence provides the prestige needed as they officially re-open their gates.

There have been some discerning voices about snags with the refurbishment at the Kildare track - and there are likely to be a few more after this weekend - but the quality on the track is second to none.

Last season's champion European juvenile Too Darn Hot is an unexpected visitor with John Gosden's charge having only made his seasonal debut in the Dante nine days ago.

The son of Dubawi suffered the first defeat of his career that day - when racing beyond a mile for the first time and not staying the 1m2½f trip - but was far from disgraced in second and takes aim at English 2,000 Guineas winner Magna Grecia.

Too Darn Hot had been warm-order favourite for the first Classic of the season before being ruled out with a small setback and his duel with Aidan O'Brien's Magna Grecia in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (3.35) is an intriguing one.

Distinctive

The all-conquering O'Brien makes a five-pronged attack on a 12th success in the Irish Classic and today will tell a lot about the form of Magna Grecia's Guineas win when the field split into two distinctive groups with the stand-side rail at Newmarket holding an obvious advantage.

Gosden landed this €400,000 prize five years ago with Kingman and Too Darn Hot - 8lbs superior to Magna Grecia on official ratings - can provide him with his second success.

He looked special as a juvenile and dropping back a mile, Frankie Dettori's mount can bounce back to winning ways while Paddy Twomey's Decrypt shouldn't be discounted by each-way punters as the Tipperary handler bids for the biggest victory of his training career.

Other pattern action today sees Tom Hogan's globe-trotting 11-year-old Gordon Lord Byron tackle the Group Two Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes (3.0) while William Haggas sends over One Master and Beshaayir for the Group Two Lanwades Stud Stakes (4.10).

It's 22 years since O'Brien landed his first Irish Classic in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas (4.25) and tomorrow, the Ballydoyle maestro will be hoping Hermosa becomes the fourth filly to win the English/Irish 1,000 Guineas double.

There's much more depth to this 10-runner affair than the male equivalent with Roger Varian's Qabala supplemented to the field on Tuesday morning and holding particular intrigue under Kildare native David Egan.

Egan - grandson of the late Dessie Hughes - grew up in the shadows of the Curragh and the 19-year-old holds decent claims of landing his first Classic success just a few miles away from where he grew up.

O'Brien also sends out lively contenders in Just Wonderful and Fairyland while his son Joseph will be hoping that Iridessa - which got the better of Hermosa in the Group One Fillies' Mile last autumn - can bounce back to her best.

The raiding party is a strong one and preference is for Pretty Pollyanna at the prices. Michael Bell's charge - winner of the Group One Prix Morny as a juvenile - is rated 4lbs superior to Hermosa and may cause a surprise under Dettori.

Five go to post in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (3.50) with Magical - second to Enable in last year's Breeders' Cup Turf - the shortest of favourites and she should lead home an O'Brien 1-2 with stablemate Flag Of Honour.

Irish Independent

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