Delegator giving the right signals

OWNER Poilin Good is keeping her fingers crossed Delegator will handle the testing conditions as he bids for glory in the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh today.

Good’s blue and yellow silks have already been carried to Classic success thanks to Holding Court’s victory in the 2000 Prix du Jockey-Club at Chantilly.

An impressive victory in the Craven Stakes on his seasonal reappearance ensured Delegator was sent off favourite for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket but he had to settle for the runner-up spot behind Sea The Stars.

Good, who also bred the colt, felt the firm ground was lively enough for him at Headquarters and although he faces conditions at the other end of the scale on Saturday, his breeding suggests he should handle cut in the ground.

“I think we were beaten by a superstar on the day and the ground was a big no no for us. It was firm and the horse needs a bit of juice in the ground, so that went against him.

“He didn’t pick up the same way as he did in the Craven so from that point of view we weren’t disappointed at all. The horse has come out of the race very well and Brian (Meehan) is still very pleased with him.”

John Oxx’s Rayeni comes into the race unbeaten after two juvenile starts, with jockey Mick Kinane looking forward to the ride.

“He needs soft ground, and it’s going to be just about bordering raceable,” Kinane said.

“Very few people will have encountered conditions as tough as they are going to encounter this weekend.

“I know my horse is going to handle the conditions, but we don’t know if he is a Group One horse.”

Aidan O’Brien is confident the testing conditions will not hinder the chances of Mastercraftsman, fifth in the Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month.

“The ground is not ideal for any horse, but Mastercraftsman won two Group Ones last year – one on firm ground and one on heavy ground – so he is a very versatile horse,” said O’Brien.

“He is well. We’ve been happy with him since Newmarket and all the horses have been improving from their first runs, so we’re hoping that is the case with Master.”

Mastercraftsman is one of four O’Brien contenders for the Group One contest, with Drumbeat, Hail Caesar and Viceroy Of India all lining up for Ballydoyle.

“Hail Caesar is a horse we have always liked. He ran in a Group One last year and ran well and has run in two trials this year and run well, so he is in good form and we’re hoping that he runs well,” O’Brien continued.

2000 Guineas: Cashmans bet - 2 Mastercraftsman, 9/4 Delegator, 4 Rayeni, 8 Recharge, 10 Soul City, 12 Drumbeat

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