Van Der Neer and Just The Judge will be strongly fancied to uphold English Guineas form in the Irish equivalents at the Curragh this weekend.
The Richard Hannon-trained Vane Der Neer, third to the impressive Dawn Approach at Newmarket, sets the standard in today’s Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas while Just The Judge, caught late by Sky Lantern on the Rowley Mile, might be capable of giving trainer Charlie Hills his first classic success in tomorrow’s Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas.
Successful at Yarmouth and Leicester before chasing home Kingsbars in the Racing Post Trophy last October, Van Der Neer landed a listed event on Lingfield’s all-weather surface before filling third spot, beaten over seven lengths, in the English Guineas at the beginning of the month.
Outpaced at a crucial stage, he came home well, outstaying better-fancied stable-companion Tornado for third place.
That running style suggests that the Dutch Art colt should appreciate the Curragh’s testing mile. He gets the vote ahead of Magician, the pick of Aidan O’Brien’s four runners and dropping back in trip after winning the Dee Stakes (runner-up was beaten in a two-horse race in Goodwood yesterday) at Chester.
Similarly Just The Judge, which lost her unbeaten record when beaten a half-length by Sky Lantern at Newmarket, sets the standard in today’s fillies classic.
Winner of the Rockfel Stakes last autumn, she was caught late last time and is expected to confirm Newmarket form with Aidan O’Brien’s Snow Queen (fifth), Maureen (sixth) and Masarah (eighth).
Dangers are numerous and include Dermot Weld’s highly-regarded Big Break, a Group 3 winner against the colts last season, Moyglare third Harasiya and recent trial winner Viztoria.
Aidan O’Brien has won four of the last six Tattersalls Gold Cups with long odds-on favourites and should continue the trend tomorrow with dual Derby-winner Camelot, which should have improved from his seasonal debut success in the Mooresbridge Stakes over course and distance last month.
Ballydoyle should make a major impact both today and tomorrow with Coach House. impressive at Tipperary, the one to beat in today’s Marble Hill 2-Y-0 Stakes while convincing Navan winner Leading Light will be a tough nut to crack in tomorrow’s Airlie Stud Gallinule Stakes.
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