Winter to return on Sunday
Frank Monkhouse | 28 May 2017
Irish 1000 Guineas and Gold Cup headline
Sunday’s sporting schedule explodes to life courtesy of racing at the Curragh, where a hectic eight-race card is topped by a group one double – the Gold Cup and Irish 1000 Guineas. Elsewhere, and you’ll find decent support in the form of Fontwell, Uttoxeter and Kelso.
Click here to place your bets on every race at every meeting – get involved in the action now. Focussing on the main event, we lay-out our best bets in the two races of note.
Decorated Knight arrives in fantastic form
Starting with the Curragh Gold Cup, the second race of the day, due to post at 2.20pm, and we have a talent-laden eight-runner field in attendance, headed in the betting by Deauville, who led the way when opening at 11/4. A favourite we are happy to oppose, and will be doing it with Decorated Knight.
Roger Charlton and Andrea Atzeni team-up with this well-bred five-year-old, and we’re confident that’ll be a winning team. Decorated Knight arrives at course in solid recent form, having won three of his last four, claiming the group three Icon Meld Stakes at Leopardstown, followed by wins at Lingfield and Meydan.
A winter in Meydan will pay-off
The selection made little impression on the major places last time out however, ending sixth in the group one Dubai Turf in Meydan back in March. The winter months spent campaigning in that part of the world – in impressive company – would’ve brought him on leaps and bounds, and we should see the benefit of that here.
Decorated Knight goes for a strong yard, with Roger Charlton picking up a share of the winners recently, and the popular trainer will travel on the day confident his rep can spring an upset. There’s 7/2 at present on our thinking being correct, and I’m expecting a big run for our money, although he’ll need to be at this best to beat a very capable Deauville.
Further improvement expected
Moving to the race of the day and we throw our support behind Winter in the Irish 1000 Guineas, and she’s a confident pick too. Eight-runners are marked for this battle over one mile in the group one spectacle and we are coming down firmly in support of our racing traders, who have the pick priced as odds-on favourite, 8/11 the best you’ll find at the time of going to publish.
It’s little surprise to see odds compilers take that view either, with Aidan O’Brien’s three-year-old filly placed in the capable hands of jockey Ryan Moore. A record of two wins from five starts is enhanced by the fact Winter has won two of her last three, including victory in the English version of this race at Newmarket earlier this month.
1000 Guineas double looks likely
Despite going off at 9/1 that day, she did the business with plenty to spare, beating short-priced favourite Rhododendron by a couple of lengths, which is form we simply can’t ignore. Made all the better by the fact she was running on at the end, there really is plenty to like about this filly.
She seems to be getting better with every start at the minute, and although it’s a bold statement, I am fully confident O’Brien will get further improvement out of her here. Fit, confident and with class to burn, she deserves to be favourite, and should prove it.