It’s a big meeting in Ireland this weekend for their Guineas and we have the bonus that Friday's action will be covered on ITV4 with five races from the Curragh and four from Newbury. The programme is on from 4.30pm-7pm; all I need is a couple of drunk blokes yelling on a no-hoper sitting behind me and it’ll be just like being in the boozer! They also have programmes covering the afternoon action Saturday and Sunday; happy days. I should of course mention Racing TV are also covering the meeting. With the somewhat unpredictable nature of the racing since resumption, and with one eye already on Royal Ascot I must admit, I am not getting overly involved this weekend but fancy one in each of the big races.
First up Friday night. Siskin heads the betting for the Group One Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas over the mile at 6.40. He progressed nicely last year including winning the G.2 Railway Stakes and G.1 Phoenix Stakes. He did though blot his copybook in the Middle Park at Newmarket where he played up in the stalls and was withdrawn from his last start. The trip should hold no fears in theory but is of course an unknown. Aidan O’Brien and the lads from Ballydoyle unsurprisingly offer most of the opposition with a team of six lining-up: Armory, Fort Myers, Lope Y Fernandez, Monarch Of Egypt, Royal Lytham and Vatican City. Blinkers go on Royal Lytham for the first time and he doesn’t have that much to find on the jolly from their meeting in the Phoenix Stakes last August. Armory was busy as a two-year-old and in with some good ones but I have a feeling he will be better over a little further then the mile. Vatican City is possibly best bred for the job in hand this weekend I would suggest being by Galileo out of Youresothrilling making him a full-brother to dual Guineas winner Gleneagles and 1,000 Guineas winner Marvellous, plus Group performers Happily, Taj Mahal and Coolmore. It is a tried and trusted pairing for the Ballydoyle team. He wasn’t given a hard time on debut at HQ in October before building on that when winning his maiden at Dundalk as he liked later that month before being put away for the winter. I am on at 8-1.
On Saturday the race of the day is the Group One Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas again in the evening and they are due-off at 7.15 over at the Curragh. Albigna will be fairly short and you only have to look at her win in the Prix Marcel Boussac to see why. No match for Newmarket winner Love when they meet at the Curragh last September, she is top-rated of those here and deserves to top the market. There's a couple in from Ballydoyle, Peaceful and So Wonderful and naturally both are on the shortlist but have questions to answer. Fancy Blue will run in the Tabor colours and she arrives two from two, including a Listed win here in October when looked after by Aidan O’Brien. Though perhaps bred for further ultimately, by Deep Impact out of Chenchikova, she has a big chance. Now in the care of Donnacha O'Brien, son might nick a big prize off his old Dad here, and I think she might be the one of ‘the lads’. 11-2 is the best price about her and I have it.