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May 21, 2012

Hot Competition for Irish 2000 Guineas on Saturday

Irish Guineas Festival THE Group One Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas is the showpiece contest on the opening afternoon of Classic weekend at the Curragh next Saturday 26th May and the race has attracted some exciting colts including Hermival, Power, Takar, Born To Sea and Parish Hall.
The Mikel Delzangles-trained Hermival ran a blinder when keeping on to finish a neck and two and a quarter lengths third behind Camelot and French Fifteen in the Newmarket 2000 Guineas earlier in the month and had one and a quarter lengths to spare over Richard Hannon’s Trumpet Major on that occasion. Born To See (12th) and Camelot’s stable companion Power (17th) finished well adrift at Newmarket but a much better showing is expected from that pair on Saturday. Born To See’s trainer John Oxx is also represented by the very promising Takar.

Aidan O’Brien has won this contest on no less than seven occasions (Desert King gave him his first success back in 1997) and the Ballydoyle maestro is responsible for seven of the 15 horses left in the first Classic of the season. Apart from Power, O’Brien can also choose between Crusade, Daddy Long Legs, Nephrite, Reply Vault and Wrote. Parish Hall, game winner of the Group One Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October, makes his seasonal debut on Saturday and is trainer Jim Bolger’s sole representative.

Alkazim (David Wachman), Foxtrot Romeo (Brian Smart) and Speaking Of Which (Dermot Weld) are the other three contenders in a fascinating contest.

Bookmakers Paddy Power have opened a market on the Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas and go 5/1 Hermival, Power and Takar, 11/2 Parish Hall, 6/1 Born To See, 9/1 Crusade and Daddy Long Legs, 11/1 Nephrite, 12/1 Reply, 20/1 Wrote, 25/1 Speaking Of Which, 40/1 Bar.
Emulous makes her long awaited seasonal debut in the Group Three TRI Equestrian Stakes and the Dermot Weld-trained mare is reported to be in great shape ahead of the task in hand. Alanza, who is also making her first appearance of the season, will offer stiff opposition as will the two overseas challengers Law Of The Range and Winter’s Night.

There is likely to be a very strong British-trained challenge for the Group Three Weatherbys Ireland Greenland Stakes. There are 25 still remaining in the six furlong contest and no less than 11 of them are trained across the pond, including last week’s York scorer Tiddliwinks. Interestingly Aidan O’Brien has also left Crusade, Power Nephrite and Reply in the race. The Listed Emirates Equestrian Federation Marble Hill Stakes, meanwhile, has attracted 14 entries, including the unbeaten Dawn Approach who was most impressive when scoring at Naas last week.

The first of seven races on Saturday commences at 1.40pm. Admission €20, under 25s and seniors €10.  Children under 16 (accompanied by an adult) go free. Special 3 for 2 admission offer available by booking in advance.