The Irish 2000 Guineas is today’s Group 1 highlight from the Curragh and market leader Elarqam (4.10) is taken to improve on his Newmarket fourth from earlier in the month. The selection lost his unbeaten record in the colt’s classic but was slowly away and gave the impression he would improve for what was only his third career start.
This son of Frankel is likely to get further as the season progresses, but the Newmarket form has already been franked by Roaring Lion’s Dante success last week. Trained by Mark Johnston you got the impression connections were disappointed with his run at HQ although I felt it was an excellent effort for such an inexperienced horse.
The selection is 7/4 with BetVictor and is taken to see off the home challenge which is led by Gustav Klimt (3/1 at BetVictor) who is bidding to give Aidan O’Brien a record 12th win in the race.
A cracking card from Haydock Park this afternoon and I feel Crack On Crack On (2.50) is potentially well treated on his handicap debut for Clive Cox stepping up to a mile for the first time. He was dropped in up from his poor draw at Lingfield on his handicap debut earlier in the month, but finished like a train and a 5lbs rise is not a true reflection of his dominance.
The selection was beaten a length by Qaysar at Kempton back in November but is 12lbs better off with the Richard Hannon-trained runner who has the valuable assistance of Frankie Dettori. Crack On Crack On (5/1 at BetVictor) has yet to prove he stays a mile but if he does, he will be hard to beat. He has a good draw in stall six and I will be disappointed if he does not reward each way support- first four.
Heartache (3.25) is another Clive Cox-trained three-year-old stepping up in trip, but I was a big fan of the filly as a two-year-old and I hope she can make a winning reappearance stepping up to six furlongs for the first time in the Gp 2 Sandy Lane Stakes. The filly is 7/2 with BetVictor and is currently just 8/1 for the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot next month.
Teodoro did us a number of favours in his three-year-old season but he must give weight away all-round on his seasonal debut. He could improve again this term but I thought there was more to come from Karawan (6.15) this term after a good return from a long lay-off and gelding operation at Newcastle earlier in the month.
In the opener at York, I hope to see Gilgamesh (2.00) go close having run a very good race at Ascot off this mark in the valuable Victoria Cup. The selection may have finished seventh but he actually won his race (1st of 8) in the group who raced stands’ side and I hope he can build on that.
The chance of Ronnie Lawson (7.05 Ffos Las) might not be obvious but I am convinced there is a chase to be won with Tim Vaughan’s nine-year-old on fast ground. The booking of champion jockey Richard Johnson would suggest the gelding is ready to do himself justice after a four-month break.
I like both the booking of the talented apprentice David Egan and the step up in trip to ten furlongs for Starboy (8.20 Salisbury) who was only beaten 4l but was never nearer at Windsor over a mile last time. His pedigree does not suggest he is crying out for an additional quarter of a mile but he looks worth a try such is his style of running.
At Uttoxeter on Sunday I hope to see Remind Me Later (4.15) go one better than when second at Kempton last time from a 2lbs lower mark. Harry Teal take off a valuable 7lbs tomorrow and he looks worth a step up in trip to 3m 2f for the first time.