Irish 1000 Guineas Tips: Pretty Gorgeous to outclass rivals

Irish 1000 Guineas Tips: Which filly can reign at The Curragh on Sunday?
Irish 1000 Guineas Tips: Which filly can reign at The Curragh on Sunday?

Steve Chambers picks out his best bet for the Irish 1000 Guineas, which takes place at The Curragh on Sunday afternoon...

A star-studded field of top notch fillies will bid for Classic glory this weekend in a mouth-watering renewal of the Irish 1000 Guineas and all eyes will be on the returning Pretty Gorgeous, who makes her seasonal reappearance for Joseph O'Brien. Well fancied for the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, she was ruled out due to an unsatisfactory scope in the lead-up to the race, so the O'Brien team have opted to wait for this contest.

A real class act as a two-year-old, Pretty Gorgeous ended last season with a spectacular win in the Group 1 Fillies' Mile at Newmarket. Not out of the first two in her five career starts (3 wins, 2 2nds), Pretty Gorgeous has Group 2 winning form at the Curragh, and while she failed to land Group 1 glory in the Moyglare Stud Stakes, it's the soft ground that could see her blossom at the weekend. That aforementioned Fillies' Mile win came in soft ground, and with the wet stuff hitting the Irish venue in the lead-up to Sunday's event then she could face similar testing conditions.

She will have to face some progressive, race-fit rivals in the Irish 1000 Guineas, but heading the betting, at the time of writing, she looks the one they all have to beat. If she performs to her best, and it's hard to not see her continue her progression up the Flat rankings, and she is the one to side with.

With nine wins in total and having saddled three of the last four winners of the Irish 1000 Guineas, Aidan O'Brien is a man to watch in the fillies' Classic, and the Ballydoyle handler saddles a three-pronged attack which is spearheaded by the hugely progressive Joan Of Arc. The daughter of Galileo was last seen romping to victory in the Irish 1000 Guineas Trial earlier this month, so a return to course and distance should see her blossom once again. She broke her maiden tag back in March on soft to heavy ground, so she won't be affected by the wet conditions expected, but could she just lack the class that Pretty Gorgeous possesses. With proven Group qualities, Pretty Gorgeous should be able to outclass Joan Of Arc, who can put up a bold fight for glory.

The other Aidan O'Brien-trained duo lining up are Empress Josephine and Friendly, and it's the former of that duo that makes most appeal, as she was second in Listed company a couple of weeks ago and is open to more improvement, but at this stage of her career she may not be up to producing the goods at this high level.

Only one runner lining up here featured in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier in the season, and that's Richard Fahey-trained Fev Rover, who put up a huge career best to finish third in the Group 1 Classic at Flat HQ on British soil. Making the trip across to Ireland for this event, Fev Rover has previously shown she can produce the goods away from her home turf, as she claimed Group 2 glory in France. She will need to improve on that Newmarket run to stand a chance of getting the better of Pretty Gorgeous here, and while she has performed with credit in soft ground before, she may just lack the class to dominate here.

Of the others that catch the eye, Ken Condon's Miss Amulet is another making her seasonal reappearance and the former Lowther Stakes winner has to be respected. She made her first start over a mile at the Breeders' Cup at the end of last season and finished a fine third in the Juvenile Fillies' Turf, so it's worth giving her another chance of sparkling over eight furlongs, but she may just lack the class over this distance to down her rivals.

Jessica Harrington's No Speak Alexander won a Group 3 over seven furlongs earlier this month, and is looking to build on that effort and has to be given a second look, while Fantasy Lady and Sense Of Style add more depth to a race that can go the way of the prominent figures in the betting, with Pretty Gorgeous claiming the coveted crown.

Irish 1000 Guineas
Pretty Gorgeous silk

Pretty Gorgeous

Royal Ascot Races
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