PACO BOY landed the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury last Saturday for Richard Hannon and CANFORD CLIFFS can bag another Group One for his in-form stable at the Curragh tomorrow. The son of Tagula proved that one mile holds no fears when running a blinder to finish third in the 2000 Guineas and can gain compensation in the Irish version tomorrow.
Our selection travelled like the winner at Newmarket and has reportedly come out of the race well. He seems to have grown up both physically and mentally and looks decent value at the freely available 3/1. The 2000 Guineas form was also franked in France last week when Dick Turpin (second at Newmarket and stablemate to Canford Cliffs) was only just beaten in the French 2000 Guineas.
I’m pretty confident that he will trade extremely short in-running on Betdaq and if he travels half as well as he did last time, he will trade pretty close to odds-on before any stamina issues are tested. Those more conservative punters may choose to press the exit button at that point.
Aidan O’Brien is set to run six in the race which suggests there may not be a star amongst them. Steinbeck looks the one with the most potential but I think he may just need the run after a string of well catalogued problems. The one horse who appeals at a massive price each-way (33/1 with William Hill) is Ralph Beckett's OASIS DANCER. He won in commanding fashion at Newmarket last time and could outrun those odds.
The fillies have their turn on Sunday in the 1000 Guineas and Mick Channon’s MUSIC SHOW can give her trainer a much deserved first Classic victory. She had no chance at Newmarket when drawn on the wrong side of the track, but still won her race and had fillies like Rumoush and Seta trailing in behind. She will relish the decent ground and should take this on her way to the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.
However, the best bet tomorrow looks to be Richard Hannon’s SHAMWARI LODGE in the TRI Equestrian Stakes at the Curragh. She looks hugely progressive and won at Goodwood in the style of a Group horse last time. This looks like one of the weakest Group Three events I have seen in a long time and she is a confident selection.
The pick of the action on these shores comes from Haydock where 10 go to post for the Temple Stakes. If I was forced to have a bet, I’d probably oppose Equiano with last year's runner-up Borderlescott as he escapes the penalty he was burdened with 12 months ago. However, it looks ultra competitive and may be more of a watching race.
Paul Cole’s MOYNAHAN finished sixth to Henrythenavigator in the 2000 Guineas a couple of years ago, so it is frightening to see him struggling in handicap company these days. However, the five-year-old is slowly finding his feet again and has shown in two decent runs at Kempton recently that a return to the winner's enclosure may not be far away.
CANFORD CLIFFS 3.45pm Curragh (Tomorrow)
OASIS DANCER e/w 3.45pm Curragh (Tomorrow)
SHAMWARI LODGE 4.20pm Curragh (Tomorrow)
MOYNAHAN 5.35pm Goodwood (Tomorrow)
MUSIC SHOW 4.15pm Curragh (Sunday)