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Dublin: 11°C Monday 19 April 2021

Weekend tips: Surprise inclusion can prove Too Darn Hot in Irish 2,000 Guineas

There’s the first Irish Classics of 2019 at the newly-revamped Kildare course, and we throw an eye towards Haydock for the Temple Stakes.

THE CURRAGH IS the venue for the first Irish Classics of the season, and mercifully for the venue, there are fields to match the incredible setting.

The new roof on the Curragh bronze grandstand is akin to the wing on an airplane and a selection of equine flyers are lining up this weekend.

A view of the new stand at the Curragh The new roof at the Curragh. Source: Peter Mooney/INPHO

John Gosden surprisingly sends last year’s champion juvenile Too Darn Hot to HQ only nine days after a puzzling run in the Dante over 10 furlongs.

Racing followers often fall into certain categories for their preferred method of form study, and each had a different take on Too Darn Hot’s seasonal debut.

Those of a sectional persuasion were impressed with his split times, while those who prefer to just use their eyes thought he didn’t see out the trip, while others felt he would physically improve for the run fitness-wise. Puzzling indeed.

Anyway, he pitches up at the Curragh to add extra glitter to affairs where the Newmarket winner and third lie in wait. As a fan, it is a clash to savour. If the handicapper is correct, odds against about the best two-year-old since Frankel is a gift from the gods. Back Too Darn Hot (15.35 Saturday, Curragh — 11/8) in the Tattersalls Ireland 2,000 Guineas on Saturday.

Too Darn Hot File Photo Too Darn Hot. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Last week we lamented the Irish sprinting class since Sole Power and Slade Power, and the Greenlands at 3pm on Saturday does little to contradict that argument.

Urban Beat (15.00 Saturday, Curragh — SP)  is the nicely improving and can step up to this company after beating Soffia at Naas last time out. The original target was York but given Invincible Army hosed up there, running here looks a more pragmatic decision. The ground may be a shade quick, but given it will be fresh, watered and well covered in grass it may be mitigated.

The best race in the UK this weekend is at Haydock, where Battash will be warm order to retain his crown in the Temple Stakes at 4pm.

It is a small but very classy field, where Kachy will put the early pace to the race as he is in the form of his life. The issues with Battash not getting home and getting worked up pre-race will be partially mitigated by the wind operation he had during the off-season.

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At nigh on even money there are still a few question marks and Mabs Cross (16.00 Saturday, Haydock — 5/2) at the prices is the selection. Michael Dods’ mare beat Battash the last two times they met and is race fit following her win on seasonal debut in the Palace House.

Donnacha O'Brien Donnacha O'Brien. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

On Sunday, the Curragh’s new facilities will have a grand opening and the feature event is the Tattersalls Ireland 1,000 Guineas. One notable jockey booking is that of Donnacha O’Brien on board Just Wonderful (16.25 Sunday, Curragh — 5/1).

Like her mum, she won the Rockfel at two, and she wasn’t beaten far at Newmarket behind stablemate Hermosa. The Newmarket race was her seasonal debut and given she wandered around a little suggests there is improvement to come. The jockey booking is a massive positive and drawn one, will get a more positive ride than last time.

Elsewhere on the card Magical (15.50 Sunday, Curragh — 1/5)  will win the Tattersalls Gold Cup barring accidents. In the first race, Arizona (13.50 Sunday, Curragh — SP) should take the six-furlong maiden following his very eye catching –second behind Sunday Sovreign at the opening meeting at the venue.

It’s a new dawn for the Curragh this weekend, but the winners’ enclosure will have a similar population to before. The five classics run there in 2018, went to five different trainers, a repeat of that looks unlikely in 2019.

Gavan Casey is joined by Ryan Bailey and Andy Dunne to look ahead to Saturday’s Pro14 final, look at whether Joey Carbery’s move has paid off and Jack Conan talks about how his body is holding up:

Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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