Churchill and Winter are the two hot favourites for this weekend’s Irish Guineas with trainer Aidan O’Brien holding another strong hand in the upcoming Classics.
The former was last seen landing the English Guineas at Newmarket with the Ballydoyle team’s expert tactics, as well as their mount’s supreme ability over a mile, contributing to a one length success.
And with the Epsom Derby swerved, Churchill will aim to repeat the English/Irish Guineas double completed by Gleneagles in 2015.
Winter was a more surprisingly winner of her Classic, with Wayne Lordan steering the 9/1 shot to success ahead of the first string Rhododendron.
Both are currently odds-on to oblige at the Curragh. But are they worth taking on?
Churchill has put his rivals to the sword
With only six rivals set to oppose him, Churchill should be able to enjoy a clear run to victory on Saturday.
In the English equivalent the jolly had to navigate between nine others. But he got the protection he needed before stamping his authority on the contest.
And at the Curragh this son of Galileo has a chance to look even more impressive, albeit at skinny odds of 1/3.
The Michael Halford-trained Irishcorrespondent has won his first two races in emphatic fashion but he’ll need to find even more to stand a chance here.
Elsewhere, O’Brien’s second string Lancaster Bomber is an attractive price (9/1) and not without his charms but he’s already been beaten by the market leader on numerous occasions.
That leaves Thunder Snow as the remaining viable alternative with the Godolphin-owned charge impressive in landing the UAE Derby and Guineas over the winter.
His tilt at the Kentucky Derby didn’t go to plan and it’s also worth remembering Saeed Bin Suroor’s mount was beaten by Churchill in last year’s Dewhurst Stakes.
But punters have been latching onto the son of Helmet as the Irish 2000 Guineas looms large.
Winter has gone from big race gamble to odds-on jolly
Well done if you were in on the Winter gamble prior to her success at HQ.
However, she’s a very different betting proposition now at 4/5.
And you’ve been willing to take her on this week with the Kevin Prendergast-trained Aneen trimmed from 12/1 to 10/1 after seeing support.
However, Rehana is deemed the chief threat and her game victory in a Group 3 contest at Naas last time out marked a fine return to the winner’s enclosure.
On ratings she’s 9lb worse off than Winter and O’Brien’s second string, Hydrangea.
And while she’ll undoubtedly need to find more there’s plenty of juice in the price (5/1) of this fast-ground performer.
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of the date of publishing