Gleneagles To Go National At The Curragh
Punters will be treated to a mouth-watering card at the Curragh on Sunday where no fewer than five Group races take place, including the Group 1 National Stakes (4.15).
This 7f event for colts and fillies has provided a major springboard for future talent down the years, especially in the Classics, where the likes of Dawn Approach and Power both in recent times went onto glory the following year. Both trainers of the aforementioned pair, Jim Bolger and Aidan O’Brien, are also represented this year, so punters should check the ante-post prices once this year’s winner is revealed on Sunday afternoon.
As for who might finish in front on Sunday, then Aidan O’Brien’s, Gleneagles, ticks all the boxes having won a Group 2 over this C&D (good to firm), quickening impressively to win with a bit in hand. He possibly got to the front too soon that day, but Joseph O’Brien may choose to leave it later this time.
Gleneagles looks set to be very prominent in the betting on Sunday, which has proven a good pointer for this race during the last decade…
10 returned 4/1 or shorter – 9 were 9/4 or shorter
10 either had no official rating (British) or were rated 113 or higher – others were 0-32
9 had 2-4 career runs
8 won at the Curragh at 8-28 (29%) – others without a Curragh win were 2-44 (5%)
O’Brien seems to have Toscanelli entered as a pacemaker in order of supplying a decent gallop for Gleneagles, though Michael Halford’s, Toscanni, shouldn’t be underestimated having been touched off only 1/2l by Ballydoyle’s Dick Whittington over 6f here in July. Given a confidence booster last time, he is still open to some improvement, although he’ll need it.
Elsewhere, Jim Bolger throws Hall Of Fame into the mix once more, who will look to reverse form with Gleneagles having been beaten over 4l over C&D latest. However,
there didn’t appear any excuses last time, and only a mishap by Gleneagles could see Hall Of Fame get closer on Sunday.
Charles Hills could have a say via his colt, Dutch Connection, who despite losing his first two career outings over sprint trips, has now won his last two having been stepped up to 7f. The second of those was a Group 3 where he just got home by a neck, but he’ll need to up his game once more to have a winning chance here.
With the ground not expected to soften, this looks a great opportunity for Gleneagles to enhance his Classic credentials, and ante-post backers may choose to take a price for next year’s 2,000 Guineas should he win here. With two C&D victories under his belt, he has nothing to prove in the conditions and it will be a surprise if he is turned over.