Vote gets nod for Guineas glory
Lightning Thunder sets a high standard in tomorrow's Etihad Airways Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh – but it might be that Dermot Weld holds the most potent hand in the shape of aptly-named Vote Often.
Lightning Thunder should come on for her seasonal bow so is deserving of her position at the head of the market. Marco Botti's Al Thakira beat Lightning Thunder at Newmarket in the autumn.
Al Thakira will line out here under Richard Hughes having been just denied on her comeback at Newbury before being outclassed in the French 1,000 Guineas.
Like many of these, both have form with a cut in the ground.
Palace (Joseph O'Brien), Marvellous (Ryan Moore) and Wonderfully (Seamie Heffernan) will represent Aidan O'Brien.
Weld saddles a second Khalid Abdullah-owned filly in the unbeaten Tested, which Pat Smullen partners.
With the ground expected to be on the slow side, though, Vote Often is fancied to score.
Impressive when breaking her maiden on soft ground at Naas in October, the daughter of Beat Hollow then ground out a brave victory in deep going against older horses on her return in the Park Express Stakes back in March.
She clearly has tremendous potential, so it would be no surprise to see her give Weld his third win in this race since 2006 under James Doyle.
Kingman, also with Doyle on board, is fancied to fulfil his Classic potential by justifying odds-on favouritism in a cracking edition of the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas today.
At Newmarket last month, John Gosden's colt emerged with plenty of credit, despite getting foiled by Night Of Thunder.