Awtaad awseome value to land Irish 2000 Guineas
David Metcalf | May 20, 2016
Awtaad the ace in the Irish 2000 Guineas pack
Awtaad has a progressive profile and looks decent value to land the Irish 2000 Guineas on a cracking card at the Curragh (17:40).
The Kevin Prendergast trained colt made his racecourse debut back in October when a highly promising third of 16 to Black Sea at this venue, and then scored easily on his final start as a juvenile when landing a 15-runner maiden at Leopardstown by two lengths.
Awtaad was then off the track for 147 days before putting in an impressive display when romoing to a five length success in a competitive handicap at this venue.
The three-year-old then took the step up into Listed company in his stride when beating Blue De Vega by two lengths in the Tetrach Stakes.
Awtaad travelled strongly throughout on the heels of the leaders, and after making smooth headway to lead at the furlong marker showed a smart turn of foot to put the race to bed in a matter of strides.
On a serious upward curve
It was a most taking performance, and one which suggested the son of Cape Cross was on a serious upward curve.
This classic contest clearly demands much more, but considering what Awtaad has achieved in such a short space of time it would be no surprise if he is up to it.
Connections have also made no secret of the high regard in which Awtaad is held, and were very bullish about his chances in this after the Tetrach.
After just four starts he also remains unexposed and open to any amount of further improvement and, with a forecast of unsettled weather, Awtaad’s proven ability on soft and good ground is a big plus.
Galileo Gold bidding for Guineas double
Galileo Gold won the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket in good style and is not surprisingly a warm order to follow-up.
The Hugo Palmer trained colt pulled hard in the early stages, but after taking up the running at the two furlong marker ran on strongly to beat Massaat by 1 1/2 lengths despite drifting right.
That form sets clear standard, but you can’t help but feel that many of the leading contenders underperformed.
Galileo Gold’s headstrong antics in the early part of the race are also a cause for concern in this smaller field, and at the odds on offer I think he is worth taking on.
Air Force Blue looking to bounce back
Air Force Blue was sent off 4/5 favourite at Newmarket after ending last season as the top rated juvenile, but ran an absolute shocker to trail in a distant 15 length 12th of 13.
The Aidan O’Brien trained son of War Front was one of the first beaten, and found absolutely nothing when push came to shove two from home.
It was a display which was very hard to fathom, and Air Force Blue now has plenty to prove.
There is every possibility that it was just an off day, but it could also be that Air Force Blue has simply failed to train on.
Either way it wouldn’t be wise to back him with so many questions that now need answering, and Air Force Blue is also a very speedy type that may strike punters as more as a sprinter than a miler.
Coral’s top tip: Awtaad is on a serious upward curve and looks decent value to win a fascinating renewal of the Irish 2000 Guineas.