At the time of writing (Friday afternoon), the Classic action at the Curragh is due to proceed as planned on Saturday and Sunday, but there has been a great amount of rain in the lead-up to the meeting that has placed Saturday’s card in doubt. No one can seem to remember the last time a meeting at the Curragh was called off due to rain, so hopefully it dries out sufficiently to allow it to go ahead as planned.
Do the Dance
Looking ahead to Sunday, I don’t have a bullish fancy in the featured Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas, though I was surprised that Joan Of Arc was initially priced up as favourite over Pretty Gorgeous. The level of form that the latter showed last season leaves her clear of all of these and with the ground being set to suit her better than most, I’d be surprised if Pretty Gorgeous doesn’t go off as favourite and takes plenty of beating.
Joseph O’Brien also looks to have a particularly strong hand in theBetway Handicap (15:50) with all of his three runners look to have very good prospects. The case for Bright Idea is very clear, with his form with Champers Elysees from last year reading particularly well, but my own preference is for Dance Jupiter.
The five-year-old found significant improvement after joining O’Brien last season and gained an impressive victory in his first attempt at a mile-and-a-quarter at Naas last October. He shaped with promise on his return to action over a mile at this track and a combination of a return to this longer trip and softer ground will both very much be in his favour. Dylan Browne McMonagle claims a valuable 5lb off him and it wouldn’t surprise to see him run a very big race.
Dalton Highway can pass stamina test
The final race of the meeting is the Heed Your Hunch at Betway Handicap (17:30). It is a two-mile handicap that will be started via a flag start and is sure to be a strong test of stamina at the trip. A proven stayer will be an asset and one that fits that bill is the Dermot Weld-trained Dalton Highway.
As well as having proven stamina, the eight-year-old has also shown a notable liking for this course and distance. He has raced over it three times, winning twice and finishing second in the Irish Cesarewitch. His most recent run was a solid effort in a handicap hurdle at the Punchestown Festival and he is just 4lb higher than when gaining his last win over this course and distance in June 2020. While he has plenty of weight to carry, he could well be up to it and looks to have a strong chance.