Another from William Kedjanyi, completing the Guineas weekend in Ireland with the fillies' edition. Follow him via @keejayOV.
Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas
Group 1 for 3yo fillies
The Curragh 1555 local
Bocca Baciata: Broke her maiden in good style after two promising efforts and took major step forward when travelling smoothly, showing smart turn of foot, and having little bit to spare on Pleasecach in the Salsabil Stakes. That form has since been boosted by the runner up’s Blue Wind romp and the third’s Chester Oaks success (also impressive) and the drop back in trip shouldn’t be an issue. A leading contender.
Devonshire: Broke her maiden at fifth time of trying but improved this season, although she was well beaten beind Stormfly and Kissed By Angels in two Group 3 trials for this event and has to find more here to get involved.
Found: Beat stablemate and subsequent Fillies Mile winner in extremely strong maiden and then third in a fine renewal of the Moyglare Stakes when ahead of Malabar for good measure despite having run green when making her challenge. Sent to Longchamp, she built on that in no uncertain terms when showing razor sharp turn of foot to land the Prix Marcel Boussac from French Guineas winner Ervedya. Looked all set to go to the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, but a poor spring meant that she instead made her reappearance in the Athasi Stakes, where she travelled as if set to defy a late drift before tiring badly in a very testing surface. That return was flat for some but she should come on a tremendous amount and a sound surface will surely see her at her best, so the one to beat.
Jack Naylor: Improved with racing last year, taking the Silver Flash Stakes before beating subsequent 1000 Guineas winner Legatissimo under a penalty. Ran a corker in the Marcel Boussac, although she was four lengths behind Found and there looks to be no obvious reason for that form to be reversed today although she is respected.
Joalliere: One of many by Dubawi (Irish 2000 Guineas winner) that has impressed this season although even in winning as she did on Gowran debut one could claims she was only living up to an SP of 2/5. While she was a class above, the subsequent form from that race does not read well - 15 runs, 0 wins, two placed, 13 unplaced – that said, as a representative of Ireland’s most in form stable, she has to be respected.
Kissed By Angels: Made a fine debut at Limerick when showing sharp turn of foot to close late to good winner, and came on leaps and bounds for that result when bolting up in the 1000 Guineas trial, leaving Devonshire and Stormfly trailing in her wake having taken command of affairs early in the straight. Clearly a class ahead of her opposition that day, there could be a huge amount of improvement to come on just her third start.
Maincin: Looks to be here as a pacemaker for stablemates Pleasecach and Steip Amach.
Malabar: As consistent a horse as you’ll find and just seems to keep getting better with each run, having gone from landing Goodwood Group 3 to taking fourth in the Moyglare and the Marcel Boussac and then filled that position in the 1,000 Guineas in a fine reappearance effort. Looks as solid an each/way proposition as one could find for all that she needs to improve still to land the main prize.
Military Angel: Made a very big impression when coming from well behind to land Roscommon maiden in fine style last September and made a promising return when behind Stormfly and Devonshire on return in the 1,000 Guineas trial at Leopardstown. It might be that this ground suits her better and that she comes on for the run, but she has a lot of ground to make up.
Pastoral Girl: Took her seven goes to win last time, a disappointing return considering that she was second in the Princess Margret Stakes, and must improve on Listed second on reappearance at Nottingham. Overmatched on that form, and many turn out to be a better sprinter than miler.
Pleascach: Dropped into Group company on debut and after hugely promising debut, she took advantage of the step upto 7 furlongs to win a Leopardstown maiden with ease. Ran a promising reappearance when second behind Bocca Bacciata in the Sailsabil Stakes and came forward from that to romp home with the Blue Wind Stakes at Naas in one of the most impressive performances of the season so far. Looked as if a step up in trip that day would be no trouble, so the drop back to a mile here maybe not the most obvious route, but was so impressive that a reversal of the form would not surprise here.
Plus Ca Change: Never able to get on terms when fifth on debut but took advantage of a nice opportunity to land Dundalk maiden; Never in the reckoning when behind Kissed by Angels on reappearance and has to show more.
Qualify: Connections persisted with aggressive tactics after impressive maiden win but looked a much-improved horse for restrained riding when bolting up in the Park Stakes. Her Breeders Cup effort from a horror draw is totally forgiven but she was lifeless at Newmarket and that efforts needs explaining.
Raydara: Fourth behind Jack Naylor after winning maiden in style and not far off the best of the juvenile crop last year based on her win in the Debutante Stakes – the form of which has been well boosted through Lucida – and should be respected greatly on her return.
Russian Punch: Got better of slog with Shagah to land Newbury listed event but nowhere in Fred Darling on return and that form been shown up since (third Tiggy Wiggy improved from that).
Steip Amach: Raced almost exclusively in pattern company as a 2 year old and then landed Killavullan Stakes on last start as juvenile. That form hasn’t worked out and she’s failed to progress on either start this season, so others preferred here.
Stormfly: Didn’t cut much ice as a 2 year old but made the best of yard’s hot streak when landing handicap over 7 furlongs here and 1,000 Guineas trial in fine style earlier in the season. Maybe a little below par when third in different version of same race at Leopardstown, and needs to find a lot of improvement to turn around form with Kissed By Angels.
Tamadhor: Achieved a very solid level of form as a juvenile, second to Legatissimo on debut before floundering in the ground here on second run. Maiden win over Stellar Glow makes for good reading and so does Listed second, for all that The Great War has turned into a disappointment afterwards. Needs to improve.
VERDICT: This looks to be a corking renewal with several lightly raced progressive fillies threatening to take a major step forward here. In such a big fied Opinions were split on FOUND’S reappearance in the Athasi Stakes but she travelled with great promise and with that run under her belt on a sounder surface there’s every chance that she can return to her juvenile form, which would make her immensely hard to beat. On that form she holds Jack Naylor and Malabar, both of whom must be considered major each/way players, and she may prove good enough to hold off BOCCA BACCIATA and Pleascach, who have impressed in the Salsabil and Blue Wind stakes. Pleasecach was so impressive that she may well reverse form even dropped down to a mile from an uncompromising draw but Bocca Bacciata travelled with so much speed in the Salsabil and is taken as the second selection against he field – even if leading to a rather boring dutch.
Advice: 2 pts win Found (15/8 general), 1 pt win Bocca Bacciata (6/1 general)