On the opening day of the Irish turf season Ballydoyle’s classic hopefuls were on show at the Curragh

2000 Guineas favourite Australia and 1000 Guineas leading fancy Tapestry led up the Ballydoyle battalions that were on show after racing at the Curragh today. In what has now become a much anticipated start of the season event, the massed ranks of O’Brien’s yard galloped in front of the eagerly awaiting crowds.

In the first of the five groups to take to the course Australia and his stablemate Johann Strauss caught the eye. Johann Strauss moved easily and showed glimmers of what could be classic potential.  Also in the group Coventry winner War Command shaped well, with the leaders Agena and Guerre doing nothing to dissuade onlookers of their ability.

The former US based Due Dilligence, unbeaten Derby fancy Geoffrey Chaucer and 2013 St Leger winner Leading Light ran out on the second gallop. In the group, the unraced Quartz put in an interesting lead performance.

Four fillies formed the third set. Tapestry shone amongst them and looks set to go well this season.

US imports Darwin and one-time Kentucky Derby fancy Verrazano, took on the impressive three-year-old Great White Eagle in the fourth group.

Galway winner Exotic entered notebooks when pacing well with Chicquita and Venus De Milo in the final exercise.

Johann Strauss, for what gallops are worth, looked worthy of ante post consideration:  40/1 2000 Guineas and 20/1 Derby


(Featured photograph – Aidan O’Brien at Goodwood by Stuart Rice)





Aidan O'Brien