Guineas punters could be in line for a Grand Reward

PUNTERS who backed Ballydoyle’s Grand Reward for tomorrow’s Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh were clearly on the right track following the withdrawal of stable companion, One Cool Cat, from the classic yesterday.

There had been persistent rumours One Cool Cat would miss the race, with Grand Reward having reportedly come in for some inspired support.

Indeed, such rumours were very much given credence when Paul Magee, spokesman for Boylesports Bookmakers who sponsor the race, said: "We laid Grand Reward at 33-1 earlier in the week and had to shorten him to 16-1. We are now only going 8-1.”

In contrast, however, Paul Cashman said his firm had seen no money for Grand Reward.

"We have nothing for him, Leitrim House each-way at 12-1 is the one who is stitching us up”, commented Cashman.

One Cool Cat, a star juvenile who was a huge punt for the English 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, performed deplorably to finish 13th of 14.

He was later found to be suffering from an irregular heart beat, although Aidan O’Brien was subsequently inclined to put the poor display down to banging his head as he entered the stalls.

All the indications were he would attempt to redeem his tarnished reputation at the Curragh. O’Brien, however, will now rely on Grand Reward (Jamie Spencer) and Newton.

Speaking at Tipperary last night, O’Brien said: "We routinely scoped One Cool Cat this morning and he scoped wrong.

"He will have a break now and then will be prepared for Royal Ascot and the St James’ Palace Stakes.”

Azamour (John Oxx) and Grey Swallow (Dermot Weld), third and fourth respectively at Newmarket behind the impressive Haafhd, will renew rivalry.

Also set to face the starter, of course, is Brian Meehan’s Leitrim House, who beat Grand Reward by three and a half lengths in the Tetrarch Stakes at headquarters earlier in the month. He will be partnered by Steve Drowne.

Boylesports bet: 6-4 Azamour, 7-4 Grey Swallow, 5-1 Leitrim House, 8-1 Grand Reward, 9-1 Bachelor Duke, 33-1 others.

Cashmans bet: 5-4 Azamour, 9-4 Grey Swallow, 11-2 Leitrim House, 9-1 Bachelor Duke, Grand Reward, 33-1 bar.

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