O’Brien’s performance in the Classics in recent years has been magical. Will he cast his spell over his rivals with Magician again today?

Magician was an impressive winner at Chester in the Dee Stakes recently and has been put in as favourite to claim the the first Irish Classic of the season at the Curragh this afternoon. He is liked by the master trainer but he would have preferred to have had Cristoforo Columbo available instead.

O’Brien will also be represented by the classy George Vancouver, Gale Force Ten and Fly The Flag. However, Crockford believes that these colts are not in the same league as the stars of recent years from the stable and that better options lie elsewhere in the field. Van Der Neer was a good third in the Guineas as deserves the support he has, given the booking of Richard Hughes, but at around 3/1 the better value lies with Havana Gold the 13/2 shot from the same yard. ¬†Havana Gold ran well in the French Guineas and was beaten close home by quality horses. He was consistent last season and should be again in the money today. Other rivals to consider would be the useful Fort Knox for Sheikh Mohammed and¬†First Cornerstone¬†who had good form last season.

Crockford’s gambles at the Curragh this afternoon:

Maarek e/w and Leitir Mor e/w (2.45)

Havana Gold e/w (Irish 2000 Guineas 3.20)

Lily’s Angel e/w (3.55)

Burn the Boats e/w (4.25)


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