On a great weekend of Flat racing at The Curragh, it's not just about the classic generation and both Guineas. For 4yo and up, it's the Tattersalls Gold Cup, as previewed by William Kedjanyi, @keejayOV.
Tattersalls Gold Cup
Group 1, 1m 2 1/2f
1520 local (0020 AEST)
Al Kazeem: Had not ruffled many feathers on return from stud (infertile last summer) but right back to his best when given soft ground to revel in as he chase home Noble Mission at Ascot in the Champion Stakes. Has been in fine form this season, winning the Prix Harcourt before finishing a solid second in the Ganay behind Cirrus Des Agiles, and a big run expected here for all that he as well behind The Grey Gatsby in the Irish Champion Stakes the last time he ran on a soundish surface. The slight ease in the ground will suit him for all the ground is drying.
Fascinating Rock: Looked a 3 year old of great promise when taking the Ballysax and Derinstown Stud Stakes on soft surface but didn’t cope so well with quicker ground when well beaten in English and Irish Derbies behind Australia twice. Returned in good style, taking advantage of decent opportunities at Leopardstown and over C&D, but upped starkly in class and on ground that doesn’t appear to suit as much, has a lot to do.
Highly Toxic: Well behind Fascinating Rock in last year’s Derrinstown Stud Stakes and first win since in 12 furlongs conditions race. Looks overmatched here.
Parish Hall: Former Dewhurst winner (career truncated by injury) had a fair campaign last term but was well beaten on both his attempts at Group 1 company. Returned in good style when taking another Listed contest over 12 furlongs here (after a fair return) and gave 3lbs to Fascinating Rock when runner up last time, but looks outclassed.
Postponed: Really came into his own when stepped above this trip last year, winning Glasgow Stakes easily before being even more impressive when landing the Great Voltiigeur (form that was boosted by Snow Sky’s Yorkshire Cup win). Made a good return when second in the Gordon Richards Stakes at Sandown and considering stable’s improvement from first to second runs, should be much better here but can’t help but think that he wants a stiffer test and both wins last year came on ground with firm in the description.
The Grey Gatsby: Promising 2 year old who became a horse transformed for this trip last year, taking the Dante and then bolting up in the Prix Du Jockey Club at Chantilly. He floundered in the ground when upped in trip for the Grand Prix De Paris, but was a clear best of the rest behind Australia in the Juddmonte International, and with the guidance of Ryan Moore and circumstances in his favour, he overturned the tables in the Irish Champion Stakes. Sent to Dubai for the Duty Free, he ran a fine race but found the progressive miller Solow too quick in a slowly run affair (trying to give him a star) and back up to 10 furlongs, he should take the beating.
VERDICT: A much needed quality affair even in the disappointing absence of Free Eagle for a race that had its Group 1 status under threat following some below par renewals. THE GREY GATSBY was greatly unsuited by the way that the Dubai Duty Free developed at Meydan but back upto 10 furlongs with that run under his belt, will take the world of beating if showing the form that he did over this trip last season and is a fairly confident selection despite the strength of the race. He holds Al Kazeem on last year’s Irish Champion Stakes form, although Roger Charlton’s seven year old should get closer to him today, while Postponed may want further still than this today and maybe faster ground.
Advice: 4 pts win The Grey Gatsby (13/8 general)