This weekend the Irish run their Guineas and, back home, it’s time for the Poor Man’s Derby, a.k.a The Governor’s Cup.

The Irish 2,000 Guineas will be off at 3.20 p.m. GMT (9.20 a.m. Jamaica Time) Saturday over one mile at the Curragh; a track similar to Newmarket except they’ll encounter one right handed turn. The vital word is that the going is already officially “Yielding” and more rain is expected.

I told you before the English 2,000 that KINGMAN would not relish a second consecutive race on fastish ground and so it was as he was pipped by big outsider Night of Thunder. Now he’ll have perfect underfoot conditions and should romp this.

IRISH 2000 GUINEAS SEL:Race 21 (Post to Post) #7 KINGMAN (BANKER)


On Sunday, the fillies do their thing also at 3.20 GMT. This time the favourite, #5 Lightning Thunder, who ran a blinder to be beaten only 1/2l by Miss France in the English equivalent at Newmarket, relished the fast ground then and won’t appreciate too much more rain.

As such, she’s vulnerable and it could pay to oppose her and the likely candidates are #7 My Titania (missed the English Guineas and hasn’t had a prep); #3 Ballybacka Queen (less than a length 3rd to Afternoon Sunlight in the 7f Derrinstown Guineas Trial at Leopardstown; Palace 2nd) or #2 AVENUE GABRIEL (1 1/2l 3rd to Bracelet in the one mile Leopardstown Guineas Trial). AVENUE GABRIEL has twice beaten Ballybacka Queen who herself has a 1/2l victory over Chicago Girl in her resume as does My Titania.

If AVENUE GABRIEL continues her excellent progress from 2 to 3yo already shown, she can create the upset on Sunday.



Back home at the ranch on Saturday, the Governor’s Cup is set to be the day’s 9th race. Post Time is 4.55 p.m. 2,000 Guineas winner Talented Tony K will likely be all the rage but he will have the faster Bubbling Angeline to deal with early and, even setting his own pace in the Guineas, he crawled the last two furlongs in over 30 seconds. He is the LAY OF THE DAY.

Rocketman (3rd in the Guineas) was severely victimized by the #1 post position that day and is equally poorly drawn for this two turn trip where low number draws are preferred. Also, on breeding and running style, he’s suspect at this trip AND must give Guineas second, RELAMPAGO, 4kg. Now RELAMPAGO is an interesting entry as his dam, Jettish, is a half sister to For My Jet who is herself the dam of Governor’s Cup and Oaks winner Aero Star. A late foal (April 30) RELAMPAGO is at a stage of rapid improvement and has even more to come at this trip. Whatever beats RELAMPAGO, wins.

It’s true that he was comprehensively beaten by a changed-up Bold Aviator on last but that was his first attempt at two turns (Bold Aviator was running his 2nd two turn race and his 4th of a mile or more) and Dick Cardenas, who was riding RELAMPAGO for the first time, seemed to give him a rather impatient ride. With the experience under his belt and a more quiet ride, RELAMPAGO is confidently expected to show more improvement than the more exposed Bold Aviator and win comfortably.


Good Luck!



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