Andy Holding has an ante-post tip for both Saturday's Irish 2000 Guineas and Sunday's Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh.
Irish 2000 Guineas
The top-class racing at the weekend's moves on apace and attention turns to the action at the Curragh next Saturday and Sunday. Firstly, the Irish 2000 Guineas come under the microscope and it provides an ideal opportunity for Native Trail to make amends for his defeat in the English version several weeks ago.
As it turned out, Charlie Appleby's colt couldn't quite live up to all the pre-race hype but, as he ended up being drawn on the wrong side of the track, his effort in defeat has to go down as a top-class and commendable one in equal measures.
Already proven at the Co Kildare venue with his brilliant win in the National Stakes as a juvenile, the son of Oasis Dream will prove hard to beat with a good draw on the day. With stable mate Coroebus likely to go straight to Royal Ascot, the main danger to the favourite looks to be BUCKAROO and even though he lacks experience at the very highest level, he is certainly going the right way.
The form of his runner-up spot in the Ballysax Stakes on his seasonal bow is working out tremendously well and he could not have been any more impressive over the C&D of the Guineas on his most recent outing. Looking better suited to a well-run mile, Joseph O'Brien's colt showed a bright turn off foot to pull well clear of his rivals and makes plenty of appeal at current odds of 4/1.
Irish 1000 Guineas
The fillies do battle 24 hours later and there are a whole host who have strong claims. Tuesday sets the form standard with her fine second in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket and considering it was only her third career start at HQ, there could be plenty more improvement to come.
It will be interesting to see whether Inspiral (pictured) and Homeless Songs make the line-up having both missed their intended engagements at Newmarket, so the midweek debriefing from their respective camps will be extremely revealing.
One of the key trials for the Guineas might prove to be the Group 3 Cornelscourt Stakes at Leopardstown just over a week ago, which saw History beat well-backed favourite Agartha on merit.
Of those in behind that day, PANAMA RED is certainly worth a mention as she didn't get the clearest of runs at a crucial stage. Whether she would have won is open to debate, but either way, she could turn out to be a bigger player than her current odds of 20/1 imply and a stiff mile at The Curragh (ran well there last year over seven-furlongs) should turn out to be ideal.