Three colts compete for favouritism for this Saturday’s Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas.
THE Group One Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas is the showpiece contest on the opening afternoon of Classic weekend at the Curragh next Saturday. The Mikel Delzangles-trained Hermival ran a blinder when keeping on to finish a neck and two and a quarter lengths third behind Camelot and French Fifteen in the Newmarket 2000 Guineas earlier in the month and had one and a quarter lengths to spare over Richard Hannon’s Trumpet Major on that occasion.
Born To See (12th) and Camelot’s stable companion Power (17th) finished well adrift at Newmarket but a much better showing is expected from that pair on Saturday. Born To See’s trainer John Oxx is also represented by the very promising Takar. Aidan O’Brien has won this contest on no less than seven occasions (Desert King gave him his first success back in 1997) and the Ballydoyle maestro is responsible for seven of the 15 horses left in the first Classic of the season. Apart from Power, O’Brien can also choose between Crusade, Daddy Long Legs, Nephrite, Reply Vault and Wrote. Parish Hall, game winner of the Group One Dubai Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October, makes his seasonal debut on Saturday and is trainer Jim Bolger’s sole representative.
Alkazim (David Wachman), Foxtrot Romeo (Brian Smart) and Speaking Of Which (Dermot Weld) are the other three contenders in a fascinating contest. Bookmakers have opened a market on the Abu Dhabi Irish 2000 Guineas and go 5/1 Hermival, Power and Takar, 11/2 Parish Hall, 6/1 Born To See, 9/1 Crusade and Daddy Long Legs, 11/1 Nephrite, 12/1 Reply, 20/1 Wrote, 25/1 Speaking Of Which, 40/1 Bar.