Wednesday 13 December 2017

Found can find her best form in Guineas test

found trainer Aidan O'Brien
found trainer Aidan O'Brien
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Found will strive to atone for an inexplicable reappearance defeat when she faces 17 rivals in tomorrow's Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas on the Curragh.

Aidan O'Brien's Prix Marcel Boussac heroine is the only Group One winner in the field, and her Longchamp form received a fine boost when the well-held runner-up Ervedya recently claimed the French 1,000 Guineas. Found, somehow, contrived to get beaten on her comeback at headquarters.

O'Brien swerved Newmarket with the regally-bred daughter of Galileo, but she looked poised to record a routine triumph here in a seven-furlong Group Three a day later. Until, that is, the 100/1 shot Iveagh Gardens - beaten an aggregate 27 lengths in two previous runs - sprouted wings 50 yards out.

It was a disappointing reversal for a filly that has promised so much, but it was also forgivable on her first outing of the year on heavy ground.

Found had never previously raced on anything slower than good, whereas Iveagh Gardens had won her maiden at the course in similarly deep conditions. As such, now that Found returns to the mile distance that suited her so well in France on a drier surface, she is fancied to make amends under Ryan Moore, who last year won the €300,000 Group One aboard Marvellous, a Galileo full-sister to the precocious Gleneagles.

Only once this century, when 19 went to post in 2010, has a bigger line-up been fielded for this Classic. Found might yet stamp her class all over it, but it looks a cracking edition, with Joseph O'Brien aboard the impressive Leopardstown winner Kissed By Angels and Seamie Heffernan, who has partnered three of the stable's six Irish 1,000 Guineas winners, booked for the third string, Qualify.

On recent form, there is no more worthy contender than Bocca Baciata. Fourth to Found on her track bow last year, Jessica Harrington's daughter of Big Bad Bob readily accounted for Pleascach, Diamondsandrubies and Summaya on her Navan return.

Pleascach and Diamondsandrubies have since won a Navan Group Thee and Chester Listed race by a total of 14-and-a-half lengths, and Summaya was second to Success Days in the Derrinstown Stud Derby trial. Bocca Baciata has to be a real contender, though the drop from 10 furlongs to a mile is a concern for Fran Berry's mount. Harrington's Jack Naylor, third to Found when last seen at Longchamp, is another to note under Richard Hughes, as is Mick Halford's Raydara for Shane Foley.

Conqueror of the Guineas runner-up Lucida in the Debutante Stakes in the autumn, the Aga Khan's filly has great potential. A similar comment applies to - among others - Joailliere, Devonshire, Tamadhor and Pleascach.

In contrast to Found, stablemate Bantry Bay only barely lost a race he looked sure to from a long way out when pipped almost apologetically by stablemate Bondi Beach at Leopardstown. He ought to make amends under Moore in the finale, while the same firm test the Derby waters with Giovanni Canaletto in the Gallinule.


Deeply impressive on its second start at Leopardstown in October, this full-brother the 2013 Derby victor Ruler Of The World has to account for the likes of Clonard Street, Prince Gagarin and Bertie Le Belge with something to spare if he is to earn a trip to Epsom.

Moore is on The Grey Gatsby in the Tattersalls Gold Cup. Kevin Ryan's 2014 French Derby and Irish Champion Stakes winner lost little in defeat to Solow over a slightly shorter trip at Meydan in March, and last year's three-year-olds looked well above average.

The Grey Gatsby will doubtless have a big say back over 10 furlongs, but this might not be straightforward.

While Weld's Fascinating Rock isn't without a chance of stepping up, Roger Charlton's Al Kazeem is nap material. Successful in this Group One in 2013 at the expense of Camelot, James Doyle's mount has continued to operate at a high level. He won a Longchamp Group Two nicely on his reappearance before then finding only Cirrus Des Aigles too strong in the Prix Ganay.

That will have left him cherry-ripe for this, so he is trusted to foil The Grey Gatsby. In the six-furlong handicap, Ken Condon's in-form In Salutem will take a bit of stopping.

Sean Corby's mount won here in April and has been second twice since, latterly over five furlongs at Navan.

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