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Irish 1000 Guineas Preview

It's Classic weekend in the Emerald Isle with Magician leading an Aidan O'Brien 1-2 in the 2000 Guineas today. Three of his fillies will be lining up to make it a clean sweep for the weekend. Casting a close eye over the field is the now regular blog contributor Lara Pocock, @lara_pocock.

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Irish 1000 Guineas

Sunday sees the fillies take centre stage at the Curragh, with the Group One Irish 1000 Guineas over a mile featuring a field of 16 fillies from Britain and Ireland. The race was won by the Mick Channon-trained Samitar last year, with that filly going on to race in the USA. Champion Irish Trainer Aidan O'Brien has won three of the last ten runnings and has three engaged here.

The official going is good to firm, having been watered. The ground is described as on the faster side but perfect for racing.

Big Break (6-1) - Won two of her three juvenile starts, including the Group Three Killavullan Stakes on her final race. She has been off the track since then but if she has strengthen up over the winter, which is highly likely, she should figure here.

Bunairgead (33-1) - A New Approach Bolger homebred who broke her maiden on her third and final start last year. She was second in a Group Three to Viztoria on her last start but her standout performance from the form book is a six-length second to the Irish 2000 Guineas winner Magician in a maiden last year. Possible Each Way value.

Dubaya (50-1) - Broke her maiden on her debut at Navan last year but showed little in two starts since. Best watched.

Exactment (50-1) - An English raider who has some black-type to her name but is likely to find some better here. From the Elaine Burke yard, who won the Group Two Dante Stakes with Libertarian, so could pull something out of the bag. She was fourth to Hot Snap in the Group Three Nell Gwyn Stakes.

Hanky Panky (20-1) - A Galileo from the Aidan O'Brien stable. Broke her maiden on her fifth and last start at Naas a week and a half ago and looks to be one on the upgrade. Ryan Moore will only aid this filly.

Harasiya (10-1) - Excellent form having won a Group Three and her maiden before finishing second in the Group Two Debutante Stakes and third to Sky Lantern (just over two and a half lengths behind) in the Group One Moyglare Stud Stakes. This will be her seasonal reappearance so it will be interesting how she has growth up over the last nine months.

Just Pretending (10-1) - The Derrinstown Guineas Trial winner who won her maiden just the week before her break through victory. I have a feeling her Guineas Trial win may have been a bit lucky, with connections possibly thinking the same with Seamie Heffernan onboard, however that pilot winning this race three times previously.

Just the Judge (11-4) - the likely favourite having been second in the English 1000 Guineas just three weeks ago. She is a big powerful filly who looks like she can eventually stay further. Unlikely to find many better here but may not have bounced back after having a hard race in the English Classic.

Masarah (50-1) - An English raider who has won two of her 12 starts. She was eighth in the English 1000 Guineas but had won a conditions race just four days previously at Ascot. Has been down the field in Group race starts to date.

Maureen (6-1) - Sixth in the English Classic but the winner of what could possibly have been a weak Group Three Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury. She also won a Group Three as a juvenile but maybe just a bit too short on class for the top level.

Mizzava (40-1) - Having broken her maiden at Limerick in April she was third to Just Pretending in the Derrinstown 1000 Guineas Trial. The Cape Cross filly will need to step up in class to figure here.

Rehn's Nest (25-1) - She won broke her maiden in style when taking a Group Three in March but was last of four on reappearance at Naas. Connections hoping she can recapture form but unlikely against this class of horse.

Snow Queen (7-1) - Fifth at Newmarket and the winner of two of her nine starts. She was third in the Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial and second to Viztoria in a Listed race last year. Appears to have improved since then so could be an interesting contender with Joseph O'Brien on board.

Uleavemebreathless (50-1) - An outsider who has not disgraced herself in seven starts, breaking her maiden last year and putting in decent efforts in stakes company to date. Could run a big race at a big price.

Viztoria (11-2) - Not out of the first two on her four starts to date, winning twice as a juvenile and then at the Curragh over furlongs in the Group Three Athasi Stakes three weeks ago, beating Bunairgead by a length. Could easily run a big race with Johnny Murtagh on board.

What Style (10-1) - One to watch out for having just had two starts for John Oxx, beating Snow Queen on her debut and then finishing second in the Trial for this race a month ago to Dermot Weld's Rawaaq, who does not line up here. Snow Queen was again beaten by this filly.

I would really like to say that I could see Just The Judge flying home easily but after a hard race in the English Classic, being such a big filly who is probably still growing into herself, I think she could struggle here and thought that she would have headed straight to Royal Ascot. I hope she proves me wrong.

Therefore there could be real value in the race. Many of these fillies are lightly raced and my pick of those would be What Style. She has done nothing wrong and her form stacks up. Next up would be Bunairgead, her second to Magician makes her likeable, plus she appears to be improving and is by New Approach from the Jim Bolger stable, with that combination excelling this season. Finally I am going to go for Hanky Panky, she is another that has clearly progressed and the booking of Ryan Moore is a positive.

1. What Style
2. Bunairgead
3. Hanky Panky

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