Gustav Klimt and US Navy Flag in Irish Guineas contention
Willie Mullins can make it two from two on flat in Killarney
Aidan O’Brien: “It could have been that his run on very heavy ground at Leopardstown took a bit more out of him than we thought.” Photograph: Getty Images
Both Gustav Klimt and US Navy Flag are in contention to try to secure classic consolation in Saturday week’s Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh.
Gustav Klimt has been installed as a 2-1 favourite for the opening Irish classic of 2018 despite finishing only sixth to his stable companion Saxon Warrior at Newmarket over a week ago.
“We thought he’d run a better race than he did,” admitted Aidan O’Brien on Monday. “It could have been that his run on very heavy ground at Leopardstown took a bit more out of him than we thought. He’s very well now. and his work is very good, so he’s going back to the Irish Guineas.”
Europe’s champion juvenile US Navy Flag also ran in that Leopardstown race last month. He failed to fire in Sunday’s French Guineas, although he appeared to stumble before the home bend on ground that afterwards provoked controversy at Paris Longchamp.
“We went there to see about the mile but it was a bit inconclusive. He might come back to the Irish Guineas if the ground is nice. That will tell us whether we go sprinting or stay at a mile,” O’Brien added.
The champion trainer also nominated Happily and Clemmie as likely starters in the Curragh 1,000 Guineas. With less than a week between that race and the Oaks, the Ballydoyle trio of Magic Wand, Forever Together and Magical could line up for the Epsom classic.
Killarney’s May programme concludes with a flat meeting on Tuesday that can prove profitable for the champion jumps trainer Willie Mullins.
Colin Keane rides both Mullins runners, and the high class novice hurdler Scarpeta could be a blot on the two-mile handicap off a mark of 75.
Law Girl has won just one of her five starts since coming to Ireland, although a 94 flat rating from France makes for a convincing argument in the last.
Killarney: 5.40- Elysian Plains; 6.10- Aiseolas; 6.40- Agent Zigzag; 7.10- Scoil Naisiunta; 7.40- Bella Rua; 8.10- Scarpeta (Nap) 8.40- Law Girl
Nap and Double- Scarpeta & Bella Rua