All eyes will be on the Curragh this weekend for the Irish 1000 and 2000 Guineas.
Aidan O’Brien saddles the main hopefuls in both renewals, with Happily top of the market in the 1000 and Gustav Klimt just behind Mark Johnston’s Elarqam in the 2000.
Keen to know about the runners and riders and their form? We’ve previewed the races below…
Irish 2000 Guineas
According to our traders, this is a five-way shootout at best or a three-way shootout at worst.
Elarqam is at the head of the betting after a promising fourth in the English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month.
He finished just over 2l behind the indomitable Saxon Warrior that afternoon. He should go better for that run and is expected to mount a strong challenge at the Curragh.
The son of Frankel finished slightly in front of Gustav Klimt that day, and it’s O’Brien’s charge who will provide the main danger in his native Ireland.
Regular jockey Ryan Moore should be back on board for the colt who has won in Listed and Group 2 Company before now. An improvement is needed here, but it’s impossible to rule out the Galileo progeny in only his second start over 1m.
US Navy Flag will need to come on considerably to mount a challenge. His 15l defeat by Gustav Klimt in April’s 2000 Guineas Trial leaves a lot to be desired, even if it was on heavy ground.
Imaging is an interesting proposition after landing back-to-back Listed contests. However, it’s the far from ideal ground that could do for his chances.
The unbeaten Zihba will also be worth a check in the markets on race day after landing a Group 3 contest last time out.
Symbolization, Would Be King and Threeandfourpence could also figure on each-way terms.
Irish 1000 Guineas
Happily is the name on everyone’s lips ahead of Sunday’s 1000 Guineas.
O’Brien’s filly was beaten into third by 66/1 shot Billesdon Brook in the English renewal three weeks ago but has shown his class in winning back-to-back Group 1 races last season.
Ballydoyle horses are notoriously better on their second run of the campaign which should give punters great confidence in the daughter of Galileo here.
If Happily disappoints, then stablemate Clemmie looks a fair shout to do the business instead.
This will be her seasonal reappearance after chalking up a hat-trick at the back end of last season, including the Group 1 Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket.
She looked primed for the step up in trip last year and will get her wish at the Curragh. O’Brien’s second runner provides the value from those at the front of the pack.
Charlie Appleby’s Soliloquy is also a contender but will have to improve on a sixth-place finish last time out at Newmarket after landing the Nell Gwyn Stakes the time before.
Laurens was second and ahead of the main contenders in the second Classic of the year and must be taken under due consideration as a result.
Elsewhere, Who’s Steph is bidding for an unlikely four-timer, while Threading showed plenty of promise with a maiden victory over 1m on her first go over the distance at York last week.
Lightening Quick, Magical and Chiara Luna will all be eyeing the frame at more than handy prices.
Click here for our latest Irish 2000 and 1000 Guineas odds.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing