Wednesday 13 November 2019

Impossible to oppose favourite as Moore glory awaits

Richard Hughes celebrates Sole Power’s victory in Dubai – the horse bids for his first win on Irish soil today
Richard Hughes celebrates Sole Power’s victory in Dubai – the horse bids for his first win on Irish soil today

Richard Forristal

Gleneagles could today become the shortest-priced winner of the Irish 2,000 Guineas in modern times if he reproduces the superiority that he showed at Newmarket.

Aidan O'Brien's exciting Galileo colt was as low as 1/3 last night, shorter than the 4/7 SP that both Barathea (1993) and Rock Of Gibraltar (2002) returned. As the Ballydole colt seeks to become the eighth horse to complete the Classic double on the Curragh, he will be re-opposed by Richard Hannon's Newmarket third Ivawood, and it is 10/1 bar the two of them.

The €300,000 Tattersalls-sponsored mile feature has already been plundered nine times by O'Brien, but it is a Group One that the exceptional Ryan Moore has yet to conquer.

Intriguingly, a victory on Irish soil is something that Sole Power has yet to claim. Eddie Lynam's decorated sprinter's only home wins came on the all-weather at Dundalk, so his first start here since 2011 in what is a fascinating edition of the Greenlands Stakes is a real treat.

1.40 Kilashee Fillies Maiden 6f

The suggestively-named Ballydoyle is a Galileo full-sister to Misty For Me, a four-time Group One winner that landed the 2011 Irish 1,000 Guineas. Godolphin's Dubawi filly Mrs King is another newcomer to note in the market, with Miss Katie Mae possibly the pick of those with experience. She steps up in trip after staying on nicely in a good race at Naas.

Verdict - On track evidence, Miss Katie Mae appeals.

2.15 Marble Hill Stakes 5f

State Of Emergency has knuckled down well to win twice in heavy ground. This is a better race on better going but he is a player. While Blood Moon beat Washington DC at Dundalk, he was held in third behind State Of Emergency here last time.

Washington DC appeared to improve a ton on his second start, skating up in style at Tipperary, form franked when the third, Blood Moon's Ger Lyons-trained stable-mate Birdcage, hosed up at Dundalk. Round Two beat Lyons' winner Argentero on its Naas bow. He is another with a bright future.

Verdict - Washington DC really looked the part at Tipperary.

2.45 Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes 6f

Sole Power bounced back to his brilliant best in Dubai. However, he has never shown his best over six furlongs, and slow going here won't help his cause. Contrastingly, Gordon Lord Byron might need softer ground at this trip, as evidenced by his autumn Ascot win. But, taking everything into account, he is the standard-bearer in this.

Maarek is another accomplished performer that would appreciate rain, while the likes of Astaire, Flight Risk and Majestic Queen have to step up on previous form. Mustajeeb was brilliant over seven in the Jersey Stakes last summer and it will be interesting to see how fares at this distance.

Verdict - Mustajeeb gets the vote.

3.20 Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas 1m

Glengeagles won with real authority at Newmarket and, on all known evidence, there doesn't appear to be any chink in his armour. Ivawood had the benefit of a run there and emerged with credit when "winning" the race on the far side to finish third. He is a fine specimen but he has three lengths to find with Gleneagles, which will likely improve a little for the run, and he has never won beyond six furlongs

The Roger Varian-trained Belardo was a Group One-winning juvenile that didn't perform on his Greenham return. A slightly slower surface here will be more to his liking and he could do much better yet.

The rest have plenty to prove at this level. Endless Drama gave Tombelaine a lovely tow into a Listed race here last month, having finished second to the classy Zawraq in similar circumstances. Both re-oppose now, with Endless Drama possibly open to more improvement on better ground if slightly more patient tactics are deployed.

Verdict - Impossible to oppose Gleneagles.

3.55 Lanwades Stud Stakes 1m

A spread of just 10lbs covers the entire field, so this is really competitive. Brooch was unbeaten in three last year.

The best horse that she beat was the subsequent Group One-placed Odeliz in a Gowran Park Group Three, and she should have plenty scope to improve this term.

On the negative side, this dead mile is as short as she might want. Marco Botti saddles Lady Dutch and Pelerin, with Ryan Moore on Pelerin, which ran out a stylish winner of a Dundalk Listed race when last seen in October.

Of the rest, Amazing Maria is interesting. A smart juvenile, she lost her way last term, but she showed up well in an Ascot handicap on her first start for David O'Meara. She should build on that yet.

Verdict - A chance is taken on Brooch being ready to confirm her potential.

4.30 Hanlon Concrete Handicap 1m 2f

Back On Top was third to later Group One winners Found and Together Forever here in August, when the Guineas-bound Bocca Baciata, whose 2015 form is exceptional, was back in third.

Back On Top then beat Kissed By Angels on her Limerick return, and Kissed By Angels also tackles the fillies' Classic after sluicing up at Leopardstown. Fran Berry's mount is in here off a mark of 86.

Gowran winner Tuk Tuk also has loads of potential, likewise the smooth Tipperary winner King Of Aragon.

Verdict - Back On Top's credentials warrants the nap vote.

5.05 Irish Stallion Farms EBF Habitat Handicap 1m

Plenty seasoned campaigners on duty, with the likes of Texas Rock, Vastonea, Maskoon, Tennessee Wildcat all worth considering. Indian Tomahawk, Portage, Salariaq and Ripples Effect fall into the unexposed bracket off low weights.

Ripples Effect justified market expectations on his belated recent Limerick debut and has immense scope to progress.

Verdict - Time might show Ripples Effect to be thrown in off 82.

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