An absolute behemoth of a weekend for racing is upon this week with Group and listed races galore over here and in Ireland, i'm going to take a look at three in particular here the 1,000 & 2,000 Guineas over at the Curragh and the Temple Stakes at Haydock.
Starting off with the Temple Stakes at Haydock, this is a Group 2 contest that has got an abundance of talent in it and is headed by Washington DC for AP O'Brien. This horse is one of the top sprinters for the all conquering connections and he made a very decent reappearance when second to Marsha at Newmarket last month. One of last year's star performers is also down to go in this at the moment in Quiet Reflection, Karl Burke's charge would much prefer a bit of rain as the current weather is putting her run in some jeopardy. Priceless is another big player if she turns up, she was fifth behind Marsha and the market priniciple on her last outing before winning her first run of the season by five lengths. If we do get a bit of rain Quiet Reflection will be a big player however as it stands I can see Washington DC (4/1) being a decent enough price to side with at the top of the market for the powerful connections.
The Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh this Saturday has been cut down to six runners which makes it even more difficult to find something to oppose the market leader Churchill. Winner of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket he looks a formality to take this as well for AP O'Brien which reflects in his odds of 2/7. If you are looking to take him on for a bit of value you could look at Irishcorrespondent (6/1) for Mick Halford, he's won his two starts and took his last victory at the Curragh in nice style winning very comfortably, he's one that i'll certainly be keeping an eye on throughout the season. Another one you could look at is perhaps Thunder Snow (10/1) for Saeed Bin Surroor and Godolphin, he was pulled up in the Kentucky Derby but won his last three before that all in Group company and is clearly a big talent.
The Irish 1,000 Guineas is also headed by another AP O'Brien hotpot in the English 1,000 Guineas winner in Winter. Again, as the odds suggest it looks as though there's another strong chance of a Guineas Double here as if the Winter that showed up at Newmarket turns up here she's going to be very hard to peg back. I do like Rehana (9/2) though for Mick Halford and backed her when she won nicely last time out at the start of the month at Naas, she won that day by a couple of lengths and beat a progressive sort in the progress. I think she's got a lot of progression to still come herself and could certainly give the market principal something to think about if on her A game.