The group two Temple Stakes is the feature race in England shown on ITV Racing this Saturday but viewers are treated to the Irish 2000 Guineas from the Curragh being shown live at 15:35. Slightly after that is the Temple Stakes and is what my preview is going to primarily be about. My thoughts on the rest of the races shown on ITV are at the bottom of the article.
I think this five furlong sprint is a really tight contest. Lining up are Mabs Cross, Alpha Delphini, Bataash, Caspian Prince, Kachy and Pocket Dynamo, who are all trying to win the £56,710 first prize purse. I’m going to begin with Battaash – one of the fastest horses in the world. He seemed a different horse after being gelded and he has since won at Listed, group three, group two and group one level. His group one win was in the Prix De L’Abbaye in 2017. Last season, in 2018, wasn’t as good as the 2017 one. He kicked off the season by winning this race with Kachy in third and Mabs Cross in fourth. He was second in the King’s Stand at Ascot, won the King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood and was fourth in the Nunthorpe behind Alpha Delphini and Mabs Cross. The latter snatched his crown in the Prix De L’Abbaye and Alpha Delphini also placed better than him. Now a five year old, he had a wind op over the winter and connections will be hoping that he can get the season off to a good start.
The good, sometimes confusing, thing about sprinters is how their form all ties together. Alpha Delphini followed in Mabs Cross twice last season – once when third in the Palace House at the beginning of the season when she won and when she won the Prix De L’Abbaye and he was eleventh. His biggest career win came last season at the age of seven when he won the Nunthorpe at York by a nose with Mabs Cross and Battaash in behind. She has to give the biyss weight and that will be tough for her but the way she won under a more severe penalty at Newmarket last time gives me hope.
Pocket Dynamo is getting weight from the field as he is only three years old. He won his second and third starts and was then a short head second in the Norfolk. He followed that up when fourth in a French group two and fifth in the Cornwallis. He ran in the Listed Juvenile Turf Sprint at the Breeders Cup. He’s been beaten on his two starts this season so this looks too competitive.
Kachy has been in flying form on the All Weather over the winter, which included winning on All Weather Finals Day. This is a different board game back on turf but it would be easy to pigeon hole him as an All Weather specialist but he has won a group three and placed in a group one on turf. He followed in Battaash during the back end of last year before his winning streak. He had a wind op in the gap between the two. He’s a ridiculously speedy horse and I’m sure he’ll pick up a big prize on turf this year.
Caspian Prince has ran forty seven times and won fourteen of them. The ten year old was eleventh of fifteen behind Alpha Delphini last time. He has had his fair share of trainers over time and was going well for the three races before the York disappointment. He doesn’t seem like he is up to these standards anymore and handicaps are more his scene.
This looks a really exciting contest and I’m going with the mare MABS CROSS. She successfully gave weight to some good rivals last time and I’m pretty sure she can do the same again. The big danger is Battaash. He is, as the sign said on the door to his stable door said when I went to visit him on the Lambourn Open Day, the fastest horse in the world. There must’ve been something wrong for him to have performed so poorly the last twice compared to normal standards and, if he is back to full working order after a wind up, I wouldn’t be surprised if he came out on top.
REST OF THE ITV RACING RACES SELECTIONS
13:55 Goodwood – WILLIE JOHN
A favourite of mine Thundering Blue has too much weight in this so I’ve decided on WILLIE JOHN. He looks very progressive and he ran better than placings suggested at Doncaster over a trip further than this.
14:15 Haydock – EDEN ROSE
Four year old filly EDEN ROSE is by far and away a stayer and handled going up in trip really well to win last time out over just short of this trip. She still seems to be improving.
14:30 Goodwood – FANAAR
FANAAR was a winner at Leicester on his second start and hasn’t been disgraced since then. He won on seasonal debut in a listed race and was second in a very competitive trial for an American race so that can be excused.
14:50 Haydock – AWEEDRAM
AWEEDRAM is a nice horse and currently is looking for a three timer. He got a big hike in the weights for his win last time out but he could be the answer in a competitive handicap.
15:05 York – ALEXANA
ALEXANA won a two runner race beating subsequent impressive winner Sextant last time by making all of the running. She will stay and 12/1 could be a good price.
15:25 Haydock – CALYX
CALYX is unbeaten and an absolute speed demon. I cannot see him getting beat. That’s all I need to say.
15:35 Curragh – MAGNA GRECIA
MAGNA GRECIA won the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and that is the standout form. His main rival is Too Darn Hot. He missed the English 2000 at Newmarket due to injury and ran just nine days ago. He had a tough race and for a delicate horse, this could be too much for him.
READ LUKE KEENA’S PREVIEW OF THE CURRAGH CARD HERE >> https://reinitinracing.wordpress.com/2019/05/24/seven-selections-for-2000-guineas-day-at-the-curragh/?preview=true
15:45 YORK – EL ASTRONAUTE
EL ASTRONAUTE is a legend of a horse. He won in France at the end of last season and ran a big race for a long way last time. Slightly preferred to Leodis Dream who was very good last time at Chester but been put up in the weights.