A matinee meeting at the Curragh hosts the first Irish classic of the season, the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas, and Armory can give Aidan O’Brien a 12th win in the race.
He was well beaten on his final start of the season, in a two-horse Group 1 in France, but is better judged on his run in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere in which he finished a close third behind subsequent French 2000 Guineas winner Victor Ludorum.
That form gives him leading claims in this evening’s race, which has an open look to it, and odds of 9-2 are more than fair.
Siskin is the only unbeaten runner in the field, and Ger Lyons’ horse was on an upward curve when last seen in action, in the Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes.
The furthest he has won over is six furlongs, though the way he finished in the Phoenix Stakes suggested he would get at least seven.
He blotted his copybook somewhat when withdrawn late having got upset in stalls before the Middle Park and today’s mile is an unknown and he won’t be helped if the rain arrives, giving enough reason to oppose him despite his obvious claims.
Vatican City is another interesting runner for Ballydoyle. He was pitched into a hot maiden in a Newmarket maiden and wasn’t disgraced in fifth place behind Kinross.
He won an all-weather maiden on his next start and looked a very smart sort in doing so. This is a massive step up and he will need to be from the very top drawer to win with his lack of experience, but he is, at the very least, worth noting for the future.
O’Brien can take the finale — a cracking renewal of the Group 2 Coolmore Magna Grecia Irish EBF Mooresbridge Stakes — with Fleeting.
She didn’t manage to win a race last season but ran some superb races in defeat. By the end of a season which yielded two runner-up finishes in Group 1 races, she finished behind Star Catcher four times, never beaten more than two lengths.
Most of her runs were over further than today’s trip but the drop back to 10 and a half furlongs should be much less of a convenience to her than it will be for Irish Leger winner Search For A Song, who was more than five lengths behind the selection in the Irish Oaks.
Former Irish Derby winner Latrobe may also find this trip plenty sharp enough.
Despite being a maiden, Gold Maze makes plenty of appeal in the Group 3 Coolmore Ten Sovereigns Gallinule Stakes. Jessica Harrington’s horse ran a fine race on debut in a maiden won by Sinawann and was even better when pitched in deep next time for the Group 2 Beresford Stakes.
Although beaten four lengths into third place behind Innisfree, it was a smart effort and, as on debut, he looked as though a step up in trip would help greatly.
He gets that today and, while he may want further still, he is a fine prospect and worth an each-way bet to upset better-fancied rivals.