lightning thunder

Irish 1000 Guineas – Curragh Runners & Odds

The females strut their stuff in the Irish 1000 Guineas on Sunday where one of the most open renewals for a number of years is set to take place at the Curragh (3.55).

The fact winners of this race returned at odds of 12/1, 16/1, 12/1 and 10/1 since 2005 suggests no filly can be ignored come Sunday, where Lightning Thunder (7/2) will be bid to go one further than her second in the English 1000 Guineas at Newmarket three weeks ago (1m, good to firm).

Lightning Thunder came with a strong run that day to go down by just 1/4l to Miss France, clearly enjoying the step up 1m. Having also won on good to soft ground last season, she’ll be fine on any surface, while it’s worth noting that 13 of the last 18 winners of this race arrived via a European Guineas last time, including last year’s winner, Just The Judge, who was also second at Newmarket – an omen, perhaps?

Joining Lightning Thunder at the head of the market is John Oxx’s My Titania (7/2, who will seek to overcome trends in this race by winning it on her seasonal return – only Again in 2009 managed that feat since 1996.

Oxx’s filly was last seen winning a Group 2 here over 7f (good) in September, where 6l back in third was Tarfasha, who came out to show improved form in winning a Group 3 earlier this month. The form of My Titania’s form therefore looks solid, and Oxx will no doubt have her razor-sharp for this assignment.

But, with Aidan O’Brien having landed this race five times since 1996, his filly, Palace, has to be considered at 6/1, and while she hasn’t any Group 1 form to speak of, she has improved with each of her three outings, including a head second in a Group 3 at Leopardstown a few weeks ago (1m, soft).

O’Brien also has Wonderfully (14/1) and Marvellous (14/1) entered. The former was a filly going places when landing a Group 3 over 7f last summer, before four subsequent defeats in Group 1’s. The last of those was her reappearance in the French 1000 Guineas a few weeks back when despite finishing only ninth, she was bumped around in a rough race, but may show that finishing position to be all wrong on Sunday.

Marvellous meanwhile, has a bit more to prove having been sixth on only her second career run in a Group 3 at Leopardstown in March (7f, soft).

But, what of that man Dermot Weld, who won the Irish 1000 Guineas twice since 1996, and has the unbeaten, Tested (6/1), who has only two minor 7f victories to her name. She dips her toe into Group company for the first time here, but Weld said after her latest win that he thinks she is a Group filly.

Weld also has Vote Often entered at 8/1, who took her record to 2-3 via a Group 3 win over this C&D in March (soft), although the form of that victory has not worked out too well.

Elsewhere, Marco Botti sends over Al Thakhira (14/1), who was also involved in the scrimmaging of the French 1000 Guineas when keeping on into eighth having been hampered. As a Group 2 winner last term, she has the ability if bouncing back to form.

Both the form of the leading fancies and recent trends suggest Sunday’s winner may emerged from the top half of the betting, where Lightning Thunder can gain compensation for her close second in the English 1000 Guineas.

All 18 winners scored over 7f or further.
17 made the top two during their last two outings.
17 ran during the last two months – 13 ran in a European Guineas last time. Newmarket provided nine.
17 ran over 7f/1m last time.
17 ran in Pattern class last time.
17 were Irish (12) or British-bred (5)
16 were placed in a Pattern race – 13 made the top three of a Group 1 or 2.
16 won a maximum of three races.
14 were ridden from the front or prominently.
Aidan O’Brien trained five winners, although none started favourite, while Dermot Weld sent out two.