Jamie Spencer looks ahead to the Irish Guineas at the Curragh
I ride Obliterator in the big race of the day on Saturday, the Irish 2000 Guineas (3.20pm Curragh) and he’s only had the two runs so far. He won his maiden at the back end of the last year over the course and distance and then he ran against True Story in the Fielden Stakes last month. He desperately needed that run. The first two pulled clear of the rest of the field, once I knew he was beat, I pulled him down a little bit but he did run a very good race. The horse is now stepping down in trip. I would prefer it if the ground dried up, but he’s goes there with a very good each-way chance. I’d be very surprised if he did not improve a bit from his last run at Newmarket and he has cheek-pieces on because he did not travel very well in the early stages of that last outing so hopefully they’ll allow him to focus a bit more.
We’re under no illusions that Kingman is the horse to beat with the ground in his favour and everything else. He’s a worthy favourite on his Newmarket run. The one thing I will say though, is that he is drawn on the fence and may need some luck in running. The Curragh is a dogleg and sometimes you can get stuck on the rail. It makes James Doyle’s job harder because he will have to create a good position.
War Command could be one of the biggest threats to the favourite on last season’s form. His run at Newmarket last time out was lacklustre though. He’ll also have cheek-pieces on and he might bounce back from his disappointment last time.
In the Group Three Lanwades Stud Stakes (3.50pm Curragh), I am on board Purr Along for Johnny Murtagh. It’s her first start for Johnny. He’s been happy enough with her this spring. I’ve been there to ride her and she felt well. Hopefully the ground won’t be far off good so there will be no excuses. She was a high class two-year old and if she can get back to any of that kind of form, she’ll have to have a chance. She got sold in the autumn and this will be a good starting point for her. If she does go well here, she’ll go to Royal Ascot for a fillies race over 1m.
Obviously with commitments in Ireland, I have no ride in the Temple Stakes, but for me, Hot Streak only has to go there and come back. He ran with a penalty last time out and would have needed that run. He did everything bar win. He hit the front and just got collared late home. He’ll have improved a lot for the run. We hold this horse in high regard and I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t win.
On Sunday, Lightning Thunder has an obvious chance to win the 1000 Guineas after finishing second at Newmarket. I am was on board Just the Judge at the Curragh 12 months ago when she won she race and she had finished second in the 1000 Guineas so it buoyeds well for her.