The Aidan O’Brien-trained filly won the Prix Marcel Boussac last season, but was disappointing on her return, on heavy ground at the Curragh early last month. However, she showed marked improvement for the outing when beating all bar Pleascach in the Irish 1000 Guineas on her next and most recent run.
Although the winner was beaten in yesterday’s Ribblesdale Stakes, the longer trip and the fact they didn’t go fast enough to allow her settle were contributory factors and should do little to detract from the Curragh form. Found is entitled to come on again for that run, and will take a world of beating.
Jim Bolger relies on Lucida – a stable companion of Pleascach – who finished second behind Legatissimo in the Newmarket 1000 Guineas. She flashed her tail under pressure in that race and that’s certainly a concern for punters if this turns into a battle.
The French 1000 Guineas is well represented, with winner Ervedya and runner-up Irish Rookie taking part. I think it’s safe to assume the former will confirm that form, but it didn’t look a vintage renewal.
Jean-Claude Rouget’s filly showed a willing attitude when coming from off the pace with a sustained effort at Longchamp, but has something to find with Found on last year’s form.
Today’s race should give us definitive answer as to which of the Irish, English and French Guineas was the best but, until taught differently, I’ll be with the Curragh Classic.
The Group 1 Commonwealth Cup sprint looks a cracking race, in which the four runners at the top of the market should dominate. There’s little to separate them, but the potentially very smart Anthem Alexander is relatively unexposed and has little to find on form to have a big say.
From the stable of Eddie Lynam, who excels with similar types, she has the pace to lie handy here and can improve enough to see off a top-class line-up, headed by Wesley Ward’s Hootenanny.
On ratings, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Aloft is a penalty kick in the closing Queen’s Vase, but he hasn’t been seen on a track since finishing runner-up to Elm Park in the Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster in October. The stable is in great form and if there’s confidence behind him at short odds then it’s likely he is the one, but it may pay to take a chance on stable companion Bantry Bay.
He was touched off by another Ballydoyle runner, Bondi Beach, on his debut, last month, but stepped up considerably when winning a ten-furlong maiden at the Curragh a fortnight later.
A full brother to Quest For Peace, who was runner-up to Al Kazeem in a Jockey Club Stakes and also won a Listed race over a mile and six, this lightly raced colt promises to improve for a step up in trip and, if today’s two miles is within reach, he could upstage his more fancied stablemate.
3.40: Anthem Alexander (nb)
5.35: Bantry Bay