The opening day of Irish Guineas weekend. Unseasonable weather means we're looking at testing ground. That's not ideal. We do get a competitive renewal of the colts' Classic, mind you. Some sort of case can be made for most of the field. The supporting card looks up to scratch too.
1.45 Tally Ho Stud Maiden
Pinar Del Rio put in a solid shift on debut at Naas. He sets the standard of those that have run. Experience could prove crucial in these conditions. It will take a smart performance from one of the newcomers to lower his colours. The Acropolis represents team Ballydoyle. He's obviously entitled to respect.
Selection: Pinar Del Rio 11-4
2.15 Gain Marble Hill Stakes
The Entertainer made a taking winning debut in Naas. He was particularly strong at the line, and should improve plenty for that outing. The ground is a big unknown. Those same going concerns apply his stablemate, and first string on jockey bookings, Cadamosto. It would not come as a surprise were one or both of them withdrawn. If that proves the case, Strapped would appeal. He took a massive step forward when winning on second start. That form has been boosted since.
Selection: The Entertainer 4-1
2.45 Weatherbys Ireland Greenland Stakes
It's hard to separate Glen Shiel and Sonaiyla here. At the prices, Paddy Twomey's mare rates the selection. She improved out of all recognition last season. Her final run of the campaign in Ascot can be forgiven. Further progression can't be ruled out. She goes well fresh and has winning form on deep ground. She hails from an in form yard too. Glen Shiel looks certain to run well. The penalty he carries makes life tough but this hardy performer could well defy it.
Selection: Sonaiyla 7-2
3.20 Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas
Poetic Flare and Lucky Vega were separated by a narrow margin in the 2000 Guineas earlier this month. There probably won't be much in it this time around either. Poetic Flare is fancied to confirm the form. His subsequent effort in the French 2000 Guineas is best forgotten. He never got the chance to hit full stride in a tactical affair. The ground on Saturday probably isn't optimal but he has won on soft, and it will bring his considerable stamina into play. Mac Swiney will relish the ground and would be dangerous if allowed an uncontested lead. Van Gogh is another who will handle conditions.
Selection: Poetic Flare 6-1
3.55 Lanwades Stud Stakes
Champers Elysees will be very hard to beat. She was relatively weak in the betting for her seasonal comeback. Her run that day confirmed the impression that the outing was needed. She should strip fitter here. The extra furlong is in her favour and the ground will hold few terrors. Too Soon To Panic should hold a tactical edge here. That may be enough to secure second.
Selection: Champers Elysees 5-4
4.25 Betway Spring Fillies Handicap
Holly Golightly looked to be getting the hang of things when getting off the mark last time out at Gowran. This well bred sort doesn't look to be overburdened on handicap bow. She should handle the ground and is likely to race up with the pace. That's often the place to be at this track. Elizabethan drops in grade and is feared most.
Selection: Holly Golightly 7-2
5.00 Betway Handicap
An almost impossible puzzle. Verhoyen ran well on his recent comeback in Naas. He likes this track, is ground versatile, and races off a competitive looking mark. Blairmayne heads a long list of dangers.
Selection: Verhoyen 11-1
5.30 Heed Your Hunch At Betway handicap
Liffey River was a tad disappointing on comeback in Gowran last month. That form has been boosted subsequently though, and the horse has scope to improve. He's fully effective in the ground, and probably enjoys a class edge here. Saatty runs off what looks an appealing opening handicap mark.
Selection: Liffey River 15-2
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