by Dave Stevos
Well what a weekend of racing that was at the Curragh. Awtaad struck for octogenarian trainer Kevin Prendergast in the 2000 Guineas, beating Newmarket hero Galileo Gold by the guts of three lengths in mightily impressive fashion. He looks to be a serious tool going forward and he can be backed at odds of 16/1 for the Epsom Derby. The suitability of the distance of that race is a worry on breeding though, and if it were up to me I would keep him to a mile and head for Royal Ascot.
The 1000 Guineas produced a fairytale result with up and coming trainer Adrian Keatley landing the prize with the trailblazing filly Jet Setting (pictured above). The rain arrived at just the right time for this daughter of Fast Company and she battled back brilliantly after being headed by Minding in the closing stages to prevail by a head in a thrilling finish. It was a superb ride by Shane Foley and she relished the cut in the ground at the Curragh.
Admittedly it would likely have been a different result on quicker ground, but there are plenty of options for this filly now going forward and given the right conditions she will be hard to beat. She cost just 12k at the sales back in October and it is a win that gives hope to all the smaller yards and owners that dream about having the horse of a lifetime.
Keatley is in absolutely red hot form at the moment and he will want to keep the good run going at Ayr on Monday. He has fired in trebles on his last two visits to the Scottish track and he is double handed there this time with Mo Henry, a course and distance winner 28 days ago (good to firm) and Millefiori, who hacked up here over 9f (good to soft) 5 days ago. The ground at Ayr is currently described as good to soft and there are showers forecast.
The ground conditions will be identical for Millefiori tomorrow and as she escapes a penalty for her recent win she is well in off the same mark. She should be fine over this shorter trip of 8f and as long as this run doesn’t come too soon she looks to have a favourite’s chance. The ground is a worry with Mo Henry and if it comes up soft it will be a big negative for his chance. Joe Fanning is booked for the ride on both of Keatley’s horses so they won’t lack assistance from the saddle. Given the ground conditions I would be of the opinion that Millefiori has the best chance of the two, but it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see them both win.
Every Monday I will be back here with my thoughts on the previous weekend’s action and a long shot of the day. I will also be previewing all of the biggest races in the coming months, exclusively for BettingTools. Hopefully we can get off to a winning start with our first long shot of the day, Weapon Of Choice in the 16.15 at Ayr. This fella has won 5 races during his career on ground ranging from heavy to good, so more rain before racing won’t be a worry.
Trained by the in-form Dianne Sayer and ridden by her daughter Emma, this 8yo son of Iffraaj is looking very well treated at the moment. He races off a career low mark of just 70 tomorrow, a full 13lb below his last winning rating. That last victory came back in 2013 at Epsom (10f good) so it has been a long time between drinks for Weapon Of Choice. However, his last couple of runs (over timber and on the level) have shown that he still retains a fair bit of ability and dropped into 0-70 company he could run well at rewarding odds.
Dave’s Long Shot Of The Day: 4.15 Ayr-Weapon Of Choice @ 16/1 Paddy Power