Oisin Murphy is confident Hi Royal can put up another good showing as the Newmarket second takes on 10 rivals in Saturday’s Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas.
The Kevin Ryan-trained colt outran odds of 125-1 to chase home Chaldean for the silver medal in the 2000 Guineas earlier this month and will now bid to confirm form over the supplemented Royal Scotsman, with Paul and Oliver Cole’s son of Gleneagles a place behind in third on the Rowley Mile.
If Hi Royal were to triumph on Saturday, it would be a first victory at the Curragh for Murphy.
He said: “I have never ridden a winner at the Curragh. I’ve been second before, so it would be lovely to break my duck this weekend.
“Hi Royal apparently has come out of Newmarket very well. I’ve a lot of respect for Royal Scotsman, who I just finished in front of in the 2000 Guineas, but Hi Royal is a straightforward horse and I’m sure he’ll give his running.
“This meeting has a lot of history. I grew up watching the 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on RTÉ, so to be riding one of the favourites in the race is really nice. It’s a great feeling and I want to make the most of it.”
Galeron was another to run with credit in the 2000 Guineas and is given another bite at the big-race cherry, while Roger Varian’s Charyn also takes his place with the travelling contingent responsible for four of the 11 contenders.
Aidan O’Brien saddles Paddington, Age Of Kings and Cairo as he bids to win the race for the first time since 2017, with the former leading the charge following his course-and-distance win in the Tetrarch Stakes.
Son Donnacha is represented by Proud And Regal, who was a Group One scorer at two and thought of as a potential Derby candidate before reappearing at Leopardstown. He was a brave second on that occasion but now drops back in trip to a mile.
Jessica Harrington’s pair of Quar Shamar and Bold Discovery, along with Luke Comer’s Alexander John complete the field, with Knight the only horse not declared.
Eight go to post for the Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes, in which Ryan Moore partners Charlie Hills’ Garrus as he bids to follow up his Abernant win.
Course-and-distance winner Art Power is another making the trip over from the UK while Gordon Elliott, who has made his name training Grand National winners, saddling a rare sprinter in Meydan Listed scorer Coachello.
Moss Tucker makes a quick return having finished second at Naas last Sunday, with Michael O’Callaghan’s Twilight Jet an interesting name amongst those declared following 322 days out of action.
O’Brien appears to have a strong hand in the GAIN Marble Hill Stakes where track-and-trip winner Democracy and five-furlong scorer His Majesty could book their spots on the Ballydoyle Royal Ascot squad.
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