Will It Be Galileo Again?


Aidan O'Brien holds a strong hand in the G1 Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas | Emma Berry


There is something about Galileo (Ire) and the Curragh's hallowed strip of running ground that made such a perfect fit as his star rose inexorably throughout the last two decade or so and, while several of the track's signature races bear his name as sire, the G1 Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas does so markedly. Six of the last 11 and the last three winners of the fillies' Classic all carried his stamp and, of course, they all hailed from the colony of class assembled at Rosegreen. Aidan O'Brien and Coolmore's great debt of gratitude for his gift can never be overstated and it is sure to keep giving for the immediate future. Now the world record-holder for delivering stakes winners, the matchless stallion of recent times continues to posthumously churn them out like days of the week. That brings us to the plainly-titled May 1 G1 1000 Guineas third Tuesday (Ire), who along with the more weightily-named May 8 G3 Cornelscourt S. winner History (Ire) on Sunday represent racing's supreme triangle of power as eager as ever to extend an already-astonishing Classic tally.


From The Same Hymnsheet

If there is one sire that can take up the baton from Galileo it is his own son Frankel (GB), who has already crowbarred his way into his sire's realm with a stellar 2021 that serves as an early threat to his dominion. In the Juddmonte colossus's 'TDN Rising Star' Homeless Songs (Ire), he has a filly that seems to be on the verge of something special and she has all the right connections in her corner. While her dynamic display in the seven-furlong G3 Ballylinch Stud 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown Apr. 2 would have tempted most into a crack at the Newmarket Classic on ground that may have set back her progression, Moyglare and Dermot Weld's deep pool of combined wisdom opted to keep her powder dry for this test.

“Her mother didn't go on firm ground, so we didn't go to Newmarket and France wasn't the right race either,” Moyglare's bloodstock advisor Fiona Craig explained. “It'll be interesting. If you look at the pedigree, we're hoping the Frankel influence will get her home over the mile. We won't know if she gets the mile until we run over it. I'd have no question about a mile around a turn, it's just that Curragh is a long mile, but this is where we are and at least we've had a bit of rain. She doesn't need soft ground, she just doesn't want it like a road.”


Strength In Depth

This is an excellent renewal with potentially more clout than the 1000 Guineas, with Aidan O'Brien also saddling the far-from-forlorn hope Concert Hall (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}); the outrageously in-form William Haggas stable flying in Lael Stable's Purplepay (Fr) (Zarak {Fr}); the similarly buoyant Joseph O'Brien yard represented by Scott Heider's indefatigable Agartha (Ire) (Caravaggio); and Paul Smith's unknown quantity Hermana Estrella (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}). The latter, whose sole start came when the 50-1 winner of Naas's G3 Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies Sprint S. last May, brings a bizarre but compelling profile into this baptism of fire under Jamie Spencer, whose career truly took off with the Irish 1000 Guineas victory of Tarascon (Ire) (Tirol {Ire}) when he was a 17-year-old apprentice in 1998.


Now You See Him

Assuming its natural position as chief supporting act to the Guineas is the G1 Tattersalls Gold Cup, which features the perennial bloomer Lord North (Ire) (Dubawi {Ire}), prone to popping up now and again to do something notable before disappearing from view once more. Flowering in the desert for the last two renewals of the G1 Dubai Turf, the Gosdens' 6-year-old has a spartan but impressive race record and Thady Gosden is hoping he can extend it here.

“It was a great performance to run as well as he did in Dubai. He has taken that well and had a little bit of time off after the journey,” the junior partner of the new Clarehaven training arrangement said. “He's been training well at home, it's obviously a tough race with State of Rest coming off the back of winning the Ganay. He's race-fit, whereas we've had a little bit of a break but the track should suit him and so will the ground at the moment. He's still very much enjoying his training and his racing and behaving as he ever did.”


In No Mood To Rest

Lord North's biggest problem is the presence of State of Rest (Ire) (Starspangledbanner {Aus}), the son of this week's headline-making broodmare Repose who is on a winning streak that has taken in the exotic and varying tests of the GI Saratoga Derby Invitational, G1 Cox Plate and G1 Prix Ganay. The fact that Joseph O'Brien's proverbial globetrotter never wins by far makes him hard to pin down for now and this will tell us more. “All being well, he seems to have come through France in good shape and we are looking forward to the weekend,” his trainer said. “I was lucky enough to win the Tattersalls Gold Cup as a jockey on So You Think and it would very satisfying if we could win it with State of Rest. Ideal conditions are probably good or better, there is a bit of rain forecast but hopefully the ground doesn't get too soft.”


Girls Galore

Fillies and mares dominate the rest of Sunday's pattern-race action, with The Curragh's card also boasting the G2 Lanwades Stud S. where Haras de Saint Pair's G1 Matron S. and G1 Prix de la Foret runner-up Pearls Galore (Fr) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) sets the standard threatened by the G3 Athasi S. winner Twilight Spinner (GB) (Twilight Son {GB}), another Scott Heider-Joseph O'Brien project. At Cologne, in the G2 Mehl-Mulhens-Rennen, or German 2000 Guineas, Markus Klug takes the unusual step of pitching Gestut Karlshof's unbeaten filly Mylady (Ger) (The Grey Gatsby {Ire}) against the colts but as she has already bettered them in Krefeld's 8 1/2-furlong G3 Dr Busch-Memorial Apr. 24, why not again? Her biggest issue is the arrival of a William Haggas runner, with Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum's similarly-unbeaten Maljoom (Ire) (Caravaggio) boasting smart form having beaten the useful yardstick Saga (GB) (Invincible Spirit {Ire}) in a Kempton conditions event over this trip Apr. 18. Haggas won this in 2002 and 2004 and the insatiable form of the stable at present suggests he will be given due deference by the domestic contenders.

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