Although the flop of odds-on favourite Air Force Blue proved the chief talking point, there was no doubting Galileo Gold’s superiority as he powered to glory for Hugo Palmer and Frankie Dettori in the Qipco 2,000 Guineas n Newmarket.
He sets the standard in today’s Irish 2,000 Guineas.
And, following a last-ditch change of plans and the withdrawal of ante-post favourite Ballydoyle yesterday, Aidan O’Brien’s Minding, so impressive in the English Guineas, cannot be opposed in tomorrow’s 1,000 Guineas.
Always prominent in Newmarket, Galileo Gold, placed at Group 1 level as a juvenile, seized the initiative and, despite drifting left, ran on strongly to beat Massaat by a length and a half, with two of today’s rivals, Air Vice Marshal (fourth) and Air Force Blue (12th) well held.
Air Force Blue, Europe’s champion two-year-old last year when landing three Group 1 prizes, proved a huge disappointment in Newmarket and must be expected to do better this time.
Racing without the tongue-tie he wore in Newmarket, he should produce an improved effort.
But, on the evidence of his Guineas run, it’s difficult to be confident about his prospects of giving Aidan O’Brien an 11th win in this race.
Air Vice Marshal has four lengths to find with Galileo Gold on Newmarket form and, although likely to improve, should not turn the tables on Frankie Dettori’s mount.
The Kevin Prendergast-trained Awtaad should confirm recent Tetrarch form with Michael O’Callaghan’s Blue De Vega while Sanus Per Aquam, Jim Bolger’s representative, boasts Group 1 form, having finished third to Air Force Blue in the Dewhurst.
But, on the evidence of the English Guineas, Galileo Gold sets the standard.
Long odds-on favourite Minding looks rock-solid in tomorrow’s Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas following her demolition of the Qipco 1,000 Guineas field in Newmarket, where she beat stable-companion Ballydoyle by three and a half lengths.
Winner of the Moyglare and Fillies Mile last season, this Galileo filly looks head and shoulders above her contemporaries and is impossible to oppose.
Now Or Never produced a smart performance to land a recent trial in Leopardstown and has obvious claims for Michael O’Callaghan and Kieren Fallon while Turret Rocks, seasonal debutante Tanaza and the favourite’s stable-companion Coolmore look best of the rest.
In tomorrow’s Tattersalls Gold Cup, O’Brien’s Breeders’ Cup Turf heroine Found will be expected to confirm recent Mooresbirdge form with last year’s Qipco British Champion Stakes winner Fascinating Rock.
And the O’Brien-trained Caravaggio, a smooth winner on his debut at Dundalk, should prove his star quality by landing today’s Marble Hill 2-Y-0 Stakes.