Power might be capable of giving Aidan O’Brien an eighth win in today’s Abu Dhabi Irish 2,000 Guineas.
The Master of Ballydoyle has won the first classic of the Irish season with English Guineas winners and flops alike.
And, if you forgive Power his very disappointing run behind stable-companion Camelot in Newmarket three weeks ago, when he was struggling at half way before beating only one rival, the Oasis Dream colt deserves the height of respect.
In a busy juvenile campaign, Power won Royal Ascot’s Coventry Stakes before progressing to take the National Stakes at the Curragh in September and ending his campaign with a half-length second to Jim Bolger’s Parish Hall in the Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket, when Ryan Moore did not shine on the Ballydoyle colt.
In recent seasons, Mastercrafstman (fifth) and Roderic O’Connor (eleventh) bounced back from Newmarket disappointments to grab classic glory at the Curragh. And, with favourable reports from Ballydoyle, followed by strong market support yesterday, Power — one of four O’Brien runners — might be up to the task, with Joseph O’Brien in the saddle for the first time.
Dewhurst winner Parish Hall is making his seasonal debut today and is the subject of up-beat bulletins from trainer Jim Bolger. But he must reproduce — or improve on — that Dewhurst form to give his trainer a first Irish 2,000 Guineas win.
French raider Hermival and Richard Hannon’s Trumpet Major, third and fourth respectively to Camelot in Newmarket, sets the standard on three-year-old form.
But the French horse, the mount of Gregory Benoist, has raced exclusively on softer ground while Trumpet Major is held by the market-leaders on two-year-old form.
Tomorrow, impressive Qipco 1,000 Guineas winner Homecoming Queen and 125-rated So You Think will be expected to complete a Group 1 double for Aidan O’Brien.
Having her fourteenth career start, Homecoming Queen slammed her rivals in Newmarket, scooting home by nine lengths in Frankel-like style.
A vastly-improved filly, she clearly thrives on racing and will prove a tough nut to crack. She holds the other Group 1 winner in the field, La Collina, on Newmarket form and is preferred to Yellow Rosebud, convincing winner of a Leopardstown trial for Dermot Weld.
Winner of the race last year, So You Think, fourth in the Dubai World Cup last time, appears to have plenty in hand in the Tattersalls Gold Cup.
On today’s supporting card, Dermot Weld’s filly Emulous, which ended last season by landing the Group 1 Matron Stakes, should prove too strong for Alanza in the Group 3 TRI Equestrian Stakes.
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