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Friday 2 December 2016

Gleneagles set to soar

English raiders will make a race of it but expect O'Brien charge to do the double

Gleneagles, with Joseph O'Brien up, on their way to winning the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes. Curragh Racecourse, The Curragh, Co. Kildare
Gleneagles, with Joseph O'Brien up, on their way to winning the Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes. Curragh Racecourse, The Curragh, Co. Kildare

A 2,000 Guineas double looks on the cards for the Aidan O'Brien-trained Gleneagles who will head the field in the Curragh's feature race tomorrow afternoon and he is unsurprisingly favourite to do so.

There is some confidence behind the two British challengers Ivawood and Belardo, and they may prove that the favourite is a shade shorter than he should be, but Gleneagles really couldn't have been any more impressive than he was at Newmarket and it's hard to see him overturned on home soil.

Ivawood probably didn't get the run of the race in the Guineas at Newmarket and connections are bullish of improvement, while Belardo is a Group One winning two-year-old and it would be little surprise if the first three in the betting were the first three home.

The prospect of Sole Power's first run on Irish soil in almost four years may even be enough to encourage people through the gates at HQ tomorrow, but even with the inclusion of Gordon Lord Byron and Maarek he's unlikely to be a backable price.

Sunday's Tattersalls 1,000 Guineas is a real wide open affair and looks set to be a real good race.

Found had to bypass Newmarket and got beaten on her seasonal debut then albeit on heavy ground but she could prove to be a vulnerable favourite in the 1,000 Guineas and there should be value elsewhere.

Mick Halford's Raydara certainly makes plenty of appeal as an each-way choice. The form of her Group Two win was firmly boosted in the English 1,000 Guineas when Lucida, who was half a length behind her in the Debutante Stakes, just touched off behind Legatissimo.

Jessica Harrington can be more than hopeful with her two runners Bocca Baciata, who won the Salsibal at Navan this season, and the somewhat forgotten filly Jack Naylor who was third behind Found at the end of a profitable season in the Prix Marcel Boussac at Longchamp last year.

Meanwhile, the absence of Free Eagle from the Tattersalls Gold Cup is a big blow for the race but from a betting point of view it looks to make this a rather straightforward assignment with The Grey Gatsby a more than confident selection in the 10-furlong Group One.

Kevin Ryan's Irish Champion Stakes winner is a high-class four-year-old who has also won a French Derby and picked up over €1,000,000 for finishing second on his last start on Dubai World Cup night and at odds of 5/4 he is a smashing bet. Previous Gold Cup winner Al Kazeem does oppose, but The Grey Gatsby is the highest-rated horse in training at the moment, following the retirements last season of Kingman and Australia, and that shouldn't be overlooked.

Sole Power skipped the Temple Stakes at Haydock tomorrow and in his absence last year's winner Hot Streak can oblige again.

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