The flat season is gathering momentum and we can look forward to another feast of action this weekend as the Curragh hosts the Irish 2000 Guineas on Saturday and the 1000 Guineas on Sunday. Extra spice has been added to the 2000 Guineas with the surprise announcement that John Gosden’s Too Darn Hot ( by Dubawi) will make a quick reappearance following his second in the Dante Stakes last week. After the Dante it was always the plan for last season’s top rated two year old to step back down in trip to 1600 metres but it was widely assumed his next start would be in the Group 1 St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot. Fortunately for racegoers he has been rerouted to Ireland to set up a mouth-watering clash with the English 2000 Guineas winner MagnaGrecia (by Invincible Spirit). Not that this is just a two horse race as the exciting Guineas third Skardu (by Shamardal) will also take his chance as will Phoenix Of Spain ( by Lope De Vega) who was only a head behind Magna Grecia in the Vertem Futurity Stakes at Doncaster last October, and less than two lengths behind Too Darn Hot the previous month.
The Curragh also hosts the Irish 1000 Guineas on Sunday where an intriguing rematch between the English 1000 Guineas first Hermosa (by Galileo) and third Qabala (by Scat Daddy) is on the cards. Although these two are at the front of the market they will be joined by a number of Guineas also rans including Iridessa (by Ruler of the World and Just Wonderful (by Dansili). There is also the chance to assess the form of the French 1000 Guineas as the third there East (by Frankel) is also in the field. Qabala looked a shade unlucky at Newmarket and the stable will fancy their chances of taking revenge in Ireland. On the same Curragh card Magical (by Galileo) will be a short price to win her third race in a row in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup hopefully on route to another clash with her Breeders Cup conqueror and two time Prix De L’Arc de Triomphe winner Enable during the summer.
Back over in England the star attraction at Haydock will be Calyx (by Kingman) who looks to have an easy task on paper facing only three rivals in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock over 1200 metres. Another speedster Battaash makes his seasonal reappearance in the Group 2 Temple Stakes over the minimum trip on the same card and will be hoping to repeat his success of 2018 in the same race, but will find it tough against last year’s Prix de L’Abbaye winner Mabs Cross (by Dutch Art). At Goodwood last year’s Stockholm Cup winner Thundering Blue (by Exchange Rate) drops down to listed class in the opening race over a trip which is probably a little short of his best, so connections will be hoping for a fast pace to enable him to use his turn of foot in the closing stages. In a competitive race Extra Elusive (by Mastercraftsman) trained by Roger Charlton looks to be still on the upgrade and can go close.