Tattersalls Irish Guineas weekend promises to be one of the most memorable in many years as a top class list of entries were revealed on Tuesday afternoon for the opening Classic races of the Irish flat season. The Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas is the feature event on Saturday afternoon and the Hugo Palmer-trained Galileo Gold will bid to become just the fifth horse in 20 years to complete the English and Irish Guineas double. GALILEO GOLD won the English 2,000 Guineas by a length and a half under Frankie Dettori last month and will be just a second runner in an Irish Classic for Palmer who won the Darley Irish Oaks with Covert Love last season. Palmer is looking forward to returning to the Curragh this weekend; “Galileo Gold has been without fault since the Newmarket 2,000 Guineas. His work has been exceptional as it always is and he looks bigger, stronger and better and all the signs are that he has actually improved for his run in Newmarket. I’m very happy with him. “The Irish 2,000 Guineas is a hugely prestigious race and we are very excited to be going there and to be going there with, what I hope, is a favourites chance. The Curragh has been a happy hunting ground for me and I hope it will be again. “Galileo Gold has to go to the Curragh in exactly the same form or maybe even better form than he was at Newmarket and I hope he is.”
AIDAN O’BRIEN is assembling a formidable team for the weekend and on Saturday he will look to win the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas for an 11th time. O’Brien’s AIR FORCE BLUE is among six entries the champion trainer has left in the 2,000 Guineas and both the first two home from Newmarket’s 1,000 Guineas, Minding and Ballydoyle spearhead his team for Sunday’s Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas. O’Brien said; “We would love to run Air Force Blue if we got a bit of nice ground. We are happy with him since Newmarket and we would love to go there with him and hopefully the ground will stay nice for him. We have tweaked a few things in his training and we are happy with him so far. “We will take a look at things on Wednesday and the amount of rain the Curragh gets will be a factor on what runs. Newmarket was a first run of the season for Air Vice Marshall so hopefully he will come on for that and Shogun is a possible also. Shogun ran well in the Derrinstown Derby Trial and he is a horse we think is going to improve with racing so we’ll decided closer to the weekend with him. “The Gurkha obviously only ran last week and we’ve left him in but more than likely he probably won’t run.” Running plans for the Tattersalls 1,000 Guineas will be made closer to the time but the emphatic English 1,000 Guineas winner MINDING is among a full list of 17 for Sunday’s feature race. “We have left Minding in the race but she is not a definite runner and it is possible that Ballydoyle might run instead of her,” O’Brien said. “Ballydoyle seems to be in good form and ran a blinder at Newmarket. Coolmore could run as well and we think the Curragh and a mile will suit her and we could run something else, but we’ll take a look later in the week.”
Sunday’s Irish 1,000 Guineas looks set to be a mouth-watering renewal with recent 1,000 Guineas Trial winner NOW OR NEVER due to line up for Michael O’Callaghan and last month’s 1,000 Guineas Trial winner JET SETTING was supplemented at a cost of 30,000 euro to the field on Tuesday morning by trainer Adrian Keatley. Also on Sunday is the Tattersalls Gold Cup in which last season’s English Champion Stakes winner FASCINATING ROCK looks likely to take on the O’Brien-trained FOUND and the 2014 Irish Champion Stakes winner THE GREY GATSBY. The Airlie Stud Gallinule Stakes also features on Sunday with 15 entries including EZANSK, LANDOFHOPEANDGLORY, LONG ISLAND SOUND and the Richard Hannon trained VIREN’S ARMY, Entries for Saturday’s Group 2 Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes including BOBBY’S KITTEN, VANCOUVER, WATCHABLE AND DICK WHITTINGTON, while the Group 2 Lanwades Stud Stakes also on Saturday, will feature DEVONSHIRE, LUCIDA and IRISH ROOKIE. The Cold Move Marble Hill Stakes has attracted 12 entries including the unbeaten Caravaggio, Hyzenthlay, Mister Trader, Ready to Roc and Roly Polly. There will be plenty of activity off the track as well at the Curragh this weekend most notably a wonderful exhibition celebrating the life of legendary jockey LESTER PIGGOTT which will take place over both days sponsored by FBD Hotels & Resorts and will be located in the main enclosure to give everyone a unique opportunity to view memorabilia and artefacts never seen in public before. It will be open to racegoers to visit for free throughout the festival.
Sunday is also KILLASHEE IRISH TATLER STYLE ICON. Yvonne Connolly will be joined by Ciara McElligott of Killashee Hotel, publishing entrepreneur Norah Casey, Sue Gilhooly of Cullen & Co and Anna Fortune from The Kildare Post will be on the look out for the ultimate iconic looks from the race day punters. Winners of the Killashee Irish Tatler Style Icon (female) will receive a fantastic prize of an ultimate girls getaway. The winner with 9 of her best friends will enjoy a fun-filled weekend at Killashee Hotel including two nights bed & breakfast, a unique experience in the Hydrotherapy Suite in Killashee’s award winning spa, a champagne afternoon tea and dinner for the party of 10 on one evening. She will also receive a voucher for €2,000 from sponsors Cullen & Co Jewellers and a style feature in Irish Tatler magazine. The Killashee Irish Tatler Man Style Icon will win a weekend break for the winner plus 3 friends at Killashee Hotel including two nights bed & breakfast, dinner on one evening and tickets to the Irish Oaks at The Curragh on 16th July as well as a €1,000 voucher for Cullen & Co Jewellers.
Actress JOANNE LUMLEY will be guest of honour on Sunday when the Curragh celebrates her 70th birthday by naming a race in her honour
Sat – 1st of 7 races 3.20pm with the Tattersalls Irish 2000 Guineas off at 5.40pm
Sun – 1st of 8 races 1.20pm with the Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas off at 1.55pm
Adult: 20 euro / Under 25s and Seniors 10 euro/ Under 16s free accompanied by an adult
Free car parking. Trains to Kildare Town with free shuttle bus to races. Dublin Coach provide a race day service – see dublincoach.ie