Thursday, 11th Jun 2020
Trainer Jessica Harrington won the Irish 1000 Guineas two years ago with Alpha Centauri, so Albigna can follow in her hoofprints and win the fillies’ Classic at The Curragh on Saturday (19:15).
This daughter of Zoffany won three of her five juvenile starts last season. They include the Group 2 Airlie Stud Stakes here over 6f.
Although a disappointing sixth in the Moyglare Stud Stakes next time out when upped in trip, she soon regained the winning thread.
When tackling a mile for the first time in the Prix Marcel Boussac on Arc weekend at Longchamp, Albigna ran on and drew 2 1/2 lengths clear of the field in the closing stages.
She was also far from disgraced when fourth at the Breeders’ Cup. The Irish 1000 Guineas has always been her main target and Harrington’s stable have had winners in the week.
Albigna – owned by the Niarchos family – thus appeals most for this Classic contest under regular jockey Shane Foley.
Aidan O’Brien has saddled a record eight winners of the Irish 1000 Guineas, so Peaceful and So Wonderful head the dangers.
The former is the less exposed of the Ballydoyle duo. Peaceful was an impressive seven-length winner of a Thurles maiden over the trip on soft going.
This Galileo filly then chased home Born With Pride going down by a neck in a Listed contest at Newmarket. While the fact she got a mile as a juvenile suggests she may want further, Peaceful should be staying on.
Stamina isn’t going to be a problem and she is bred to appreciate a sounder surface. Peaceful could develop into an Oaks contender, but much depends on how she performs here.
So Wonderful, meanwhile, ran eight times last term without getting her head in front. That doesn’t tell the whole story, however, as she put in some fine efforts in defeat.
They include when third to Love on two occasions over 7f. The winner has come out and landed the English equivalent of this at Newmarket.
As So Wonderful was also a fine runner-up on her only try at this distance last season, she could have more to offer back up in trip.
Just like Peaceful, she is bred to come into her own at three. It would therefore be no surprise to see So Wonderful take a step forward here.
Of the remainder of the 15-runner field, Soul Search also ran well in Group company last term without a win but now tries a mile for the first time.
Also by Zoffany but trained by Ger Lyons, she ran was a length third in the Anglesey Stakes here. Soul Search then filled the same spot behind Alpine Star in the Debutante Stakes.
She ran fourth behind Love in the Moyglare Stud, but was only beaten two lengths. Not everything went to plan that day as Soul Search seemed to lose her bearings.
The 6f of the Blenheim Stakes – a Listed contest at Fairyhouse – was too sharp for her where she got headed in the final furlong on her last start.
While the Irish 1000 Guineas demands more, the trip is within her compass on breeding. Soul Search is thus one to consider backing each-way, especially as some bookies should offer extra places.