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.
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.
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
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