There’s bound to be an excellent crowd in attendance at The Curragh on Saturday for the eagerly awaited clash between New Approach and Henrythenavigator in the Boylesports Irish 2,000 Guineas. Henrythenavigator won the battle in Newmarket when getting the better of New Approach by a short head in the British 2,000 Guineas on May 3.
New Approach though is likely to win the war for on Saturday Jim Bolger’s colt is likely to exact his revenge on the Aidan O’Brien-trained Henrythenavigator. New Approach was without a shadow of doubt our best juvenile last season as he went through the campaign unbeaten culminating in he beating Fast Company by a half-length on his fifth and final start in the Group 1 Darley Dewhurst Stakes at Newmarket in October.
New Approach bravely tried to make all on his return to the fray in the British 2,000 Guineas only to be cut down inside the final furlong by Henrythenavigator. New Approach though is a teak-tough sort that has admirable battling qualities, allied to a near unbelievable burst of acceleration. He has already won three times at The Curragh and he can extend the sequence a little after 3.45 on Saturday afternoon.
Pat Flynn must have outstanding prospects of saddling a big-race winner on Saturday in the form of She’s Our Mark in the Group 3 Ridgewood Pearl Stakes.
This four-year-old filly posted a truly stellar performance on her return to the fray when finishing third to Prima Luce in the Group 3 Oratorio European Breeders fund Athasi Stakes at The Curragh on May 5th. It must be remembered that She’s Our Mark was conceding the year younger Prima Luce all of 15 lbs on that occasion and she can return to winning ways here by proving marginally superior to John Oxx’s seasonal debutante Arch Swing.
Myboycharlie is the clear class act in the Group 3 Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes.
The Tommy Stack-trained Myboycharlie was near the top of the juvenile pecking order last season and indeed he made his mark at Group 1 level when beating subsequent British 1,000 Guineas winner Natagora by two lengths in the Darley Prix Morney at Deauville on his penultimate foray last season. That race was over six furlongs, the same distance of this particular race on Saturday.
Myboycharlie will be receiving weight from the majority of his rivals and he’s likely to return to the coveted number one slot from Snaefell, already a dual winner for handler Michael Halford this season.
Ger Lyons had an above-average two-year-old in Royal Ascot winner Elletelle last season and the Glenburnie Stables handler could well collect the TP Waters Chrysler Jeep European Breeders Fund Marble Hill Stakes with the filly Pasar Silbano.
A February 9 foaled filly by Elletelle’s sire Elnadim, Pasar Silbano has won her two starts to date, both over five furlongs on Dundalk’s all-weather circuit. She was particularly impressive on her most recent foray when beating Emily Dickinson by two and a half lengths in a €25,000 race on May 2nd. Pasar Silbano should continue on her merry way here by excelling from Blas Ceoil.
On Sunday, it’s the turn of the fillies with the Boylesports Irish 1,000 Guineas occupying centre stage. Jim Bolger is likely to experience a memorable weekend, perhaps even the best one of his illustrious training career, for he will surely win this event with Saoirse Abu. An American-bred by Mr Greeley, Saoirse Abu, winner of three out of her eight starts last year, is owned by the Co Meath-based Ennistown Stud in partnership with Bolger’s wife Jackie.
In 2007, Saoirse Abu beat Henrythenavigator in the Independent Waterford Wedgewood Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh in August, then doubling her Group 1 tally by providing Bolger with his third victory in the coveted Moyglare Stud Stakes on a return visit to ‘Headquarters’ the following month.
Saoirse Abu, a $260,000 yearling acquisition at Keeneland in September 2006, made a hugely promising return to action in the British 1,000 Guineas earlier this month when she was beaten just a length into third place by Pascal Bary’s Gallic challenger Natagora having endured a far from clear passage in running.
Nahoodh it can be argued was also a shade unlucky when finishing fifth in that same Newmarket race and Mick Channon’s charge in all probability is the one most likely to chase home Saoirse Abu.