Category Archives: Ireland


The Irish Oaks (G1)

Thundery heavy showers in Dublin last night. The step-up in trip proved the key for Iridessa. She’d won the Fillies’ Mile at Newmarket last October beating Hermosa, in May in the 1000 Guineas, and again at the Curragh for the … Continue reading

Pretty Polly Stakes (G1)

Who’s Steph last year’s winner of the Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial 

A small select field for the first of two G1’s at the Curragh this weekend, the Pretty Polly serves as the starter to the main course tomorrow, the Irish Derby.

Restricted to fillies and mares it’s the first generational meeting at top-level here in Ireland this season. The three-year-old Pink Dogwood will start favourite at 11/10, she steps back in trip to 10F after her second in the Oaks at Epsom. She travelled strongly in the straight looking like a winner, she was collared close home going down a neck to Anapurna.

She’s accompanied by her stablemates, the older Magic Wand, a 10/1 shot and Happen, another three-year-old priced at 33/1, both ran at Royal Ascot last week. Magic Wand was dropped to Listed class in the Wolverton Stakes, she finished second going down 2½ L to Addeybb. She was last year’s Ribblesdale winner over Wild Illusion. Happen ran in the Coronation Stakes, she found the pace too sharp, well beaten in sixth, prior to that she took the Ashasi Stakes here having run second to Lady Kaya in the Guineas Trial at Leopardstown in April.

Godolphin’s Wild Illusion, second favourite at 5/2 went on from last year’s Ribblesdale defeat to greater things. She took the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood and then the Prix de l’Opera at Longchamp on Arc day, overturning the defeat with Magic Wand in the process. She found only Sistercharlie too good in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf at the end of last season. Sixth on her return in the Prix d’Ispahan, she needed the run fading only in the last furlong.

Worth Waiting, 9/1 is an intriguing runner. David Lanigan’s mare is a five-time winner from eight starts and comes into the mix having taken the G2 Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket first time out this year, she was also an easy G3 winner at Deauville last year.

Iridessa 14/1, found the mile too sharp as a three-year-old in both Irish and English Guineas having been a winner over the distance as a two-year-old in the Fillies’ Mile where she beat the dual Guineas winner Hermosa. Joseph O’Brien will be hoping the step up in trip will play to her strengths.

Ger Lyons skipped Royal Ascot with Who’s Steph 66/1, instead sending her to Cork the week before where she was a very comfortable winner of the Munster Oaks, her third win at G3 level. She was also a G2 second in the Blandford Stakes last September beaten ¾ L by Eziyra. This will be her third Curragh run.

It’s a short turnaround since Ascot, only a week, and while Aidan O’Brien has proved with Circus Maximus short turnarounds can be overcome, it’s still a lot to ask for both Magic Wand and Happen. Pink Dogwood might just feel the effects of a hard run race in the Oaks while the best filly in the race Wild Illusion really came into her own in the autumn last year.

This opens the possibility for a surprise, the improving Worth Waiting is worthy of consideration, off since May, she might just need the race however Who’s Steph, disregarded by the market, has had a nice break since Cork and is capable of belying her price.

Recommendation: Who’s Steph 66/1 e/w

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Irish 2000 Guineas (G1)

The Irish Guineas has been lit up with the news that Too Darn Hot will come to the Curragh, beaten over 10F in the Dante at York, the petrol gauge running empty in the last furlong, John Gosden has decided to strike while the iron’s hot saying he came out of York so well and fresh he need’s to get another run into him.

Decrypt retuning on debut last year at the Curragh

Europe’s top-rated two-year-old who took all before him, culminating in a very impressive Dewhurst win will face Magna Grecia, an unsatisfactory 2000 Guineas winner at Newmarket who has 6 lbs to find with Too Darn Hot on official ratings despite a classic win.

Surely it’s a two horse race, so the market says, 5/4 about the English horse 6/4 about the Irish horse, 8/1 bar.

As a juvenile last October Magna Grecia took the Vertem Futurity beating Pheonix Of Spain whom we’ve not seen since, only a head separated them. Prior to that Charlie Hills colt was 1¾L behind Too Darn Hot in the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster in September. The issue for him is not only does he have to bridge the gap with the principles, he also has to do it in his first run of the season.

Skardu has 4¼L to find with Magna Grecia on his Newmarket third. The Craven winner was quietly fancied by connections going into the Guineas and didn’t disappoint in what was a messy race, they split into two groups. Magna Grecia stayed on the rail with another pair, Willie Haggas’s colt came up the middle with the main group, including Emaraaty Ana. He finished strongly to head Madhmoon to finish third. He must have felt like the winner. The fact that Magna Grecia and the second, King Of Change came from the rail trio suggests they was a definite advantage to the near side on the day, whether the advantage came from pace or track bias will only be told here.

Shelir crosses the road from Roswell House coming into the race not having had a juvenile campaign. His debut, a winning one at Navan in March was followed by a Tetrarch Stakes win here at the Curragh in April. He was professional about how he went about it and he will improve again. I Am Superman, favourite for the Tetrarch faded close home to finish fifth and he’ll also come on. Jim Bolger’s representative, Guaranteed goes more in hope than confidence, he won the Eyrefeild Stakes last season’s end.

Ballydoyle also sends the exposed Van Beethoven, the most experienced in the race, this being his twelfth run. He was at Longchamp two weeks ago for the Poulains finishing sixth to Persian King beaten 5L. He’s joined by stable companions Globe Theatre the pacesetter, and Mohawk who reverts back to a mile from 10F where he ran second in the Dee Stakes at Chester. Old Glory, an expensive yearling son of Frankel at €1.6m will have a lot to do given his best form was third in the Killavullan Stakes at Leopardstown last October.

Old Glory at Leopardstown last year

Decrypt, to change electronic information or signals that were stored, written, or sent in the form of a secret code may the message to interpret here. Paddy Twomey introduced him at this meeting last year where he ran second in a maiden. He returned to the Curragh two weeks later to win his maiden with Lady Kaya making her debut back in third. Hillwalker also debuting filled forth, he went on to win at Listed level at Gowan Park. Decrypt’s racecourse return was left to Cork this year where over 7F he was a very easy and impressive winner.

Of course he’s a mountain to climb, Too Darn Hot looked unbeatable last year but this year he’s been beaten, the drop in trip may well restore his shine. Magna Grecia might not have been flattered at Newmarket, he might just have outpaced them. If that’s the case, yes it’s a two horse race, and one hell of a cracker at that. However, if this has come too soon after York, a nine-day break for Too Darn Hot and the split in the Guineas field led to track bias then there is a message here to be deciphered.

Recommendation: Decrypt 20/1 ew

Follow the 2019 G1 Pattern Racing year in championship format by clicking on the buttons below.

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Update On The Pattern Racing World Championships 2019

Another good week for Godolphin bringing their total points won this year to 227 ½ points cementing their number one position in the PWRC Owners Table.

Mike Dillon watches Castle Lady win the Pouliches at Longchamp on the big screen at Leopardstown after Broome’s victory in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial.

There were six G1’s on offer across the world over the weekend and they took a pair of them to bring their total to twelve G1 wins so far in 2019. In France, both the Guineas went their way, Persian King, now running in their colours took the Poulains and Castle Lady captured the Pouliches and in Australia, Osbourne Bulls ran second for the fifth time this year at G1 level in the Doomben 10,000. Those five seconds amassed between February and May puts him on top of the PCRW Horse Table ahead of Beauty Generation and the now-retired Winx.

His trainer James Cummings stays top of PRWC Trainer Table ahead of fellow Australians Chris Waller and the family Hayes, father David, son Ben and nephew Tom Dabernig who trained Qafila, a Shadwell owed filly racing in the famous blue and white silks of Sheik Hamdan who took the South Australian Derby at Morphettville.

Street Cry tops the PRWC Sire Table on 80 points helped largely by the sequence of seconds by his son Osbourne Bulls and also, of course, his daughter Winx.

Darley remains in pole on the PRWC Breeders Table, Osbourne Bulls boosting their tally to 129 points.

Hugh Bowman remains top of the PRWC Jockey Table not having a ride in either G1 down under.

In America, the combination of Bill Mott and Joel Rosario, last years champion jockey, proved too good in the Man o’War Stakes at Belmont repelling the Aidan O’Brien pair Magic Wand and Hunting Horn into third and fourth with Arklow getting up to be second.

In Japan Normore made the G1 breakthrough taking the Victoria Mile in Tokyo with Australian Damian Lane aboard pushing him to third in PRWC Jockeys Table.

We had 82 G1’s run so far this year. There is still plenty to come, the European and US G1 seasons are really getting going now while the Australian and Japanese season are winding down for their winter/summer break. That will mean big changes across all six categories of the PRWC 2019 will be upon us.

Follow the 2019 G1 Pattern Racing year in championship format by clicking on the buttons below.

PRWC 2019 Horse, PRWC 2019 Jockey, PRWC 2019 Trainer, PRWC 2019 Sire, PRWC 2019 Owner, PRWC 2019 Breeder

View last years championships here by clicking on the links below.

PRWC 2018 Horse, PRWC 2018 Jockey, PRWC 2018 Trainer, PRWC 2018 Sire, PRWC 2018 Owner, PRWC 2018 Breeder