Air Force Blue: has been declared for the Irish 2,000 Guineas
PICTURE: Patrick McCann (racingpost.com/photos)
QIPCO 2,000 Guineas winner Galileo Gold and Air Force Blue, a three-time Group 1 winner as a two-year-old, feature among eight declarations for the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday.
Crack juvenile Air Force Blue was sent off as the 4-5 favourite at Newmarket last month but flopped badly, beating just one horse home, as Galileo Gold stormed to a one-and-a-half length success to provide trainer Hugo Palmer with a first British Classic.
Galileo Gold – who still holds an entry in next month’s Investec Derby at Epsom – has been installed as the 7-4 favourite with Paddy Power to claim the Classic due off at 5.40, while Air Force Blue is a 5-2 chance to bounce back to winning ways.
Interestingly, the tongue-tie that Air Force Blue wore for the first time at Newmarket will not be fitted at the Curragh.
Air Force Blue’s trainer Aidan O’Brien also saddles Newmarket fourth Air Vice Marshal, Derrinstown Derby Trial runner-up Shogun and Dundalk maiden winner Bravery.
‘As good as I’ve sat on’
Awtaad got the better of a battle with Blue De Vega when the duo clashed in a Listed race at the Curragh nearly three weeks ago and the pair are set to renew rivalry.
Awtaad has won his last three starts and rider Chris Hayes is hopeful that he can make it a four in a row. “He’s as good as anything I’ve sat on,” the rider said. “He fills you with so much confidence and he’s uncomplicated.”
The Jim Bolger-trained Sanus Per Aquam completes the line-up.
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