Poetic Flare and Mother Earth looking to complete Guineas doubles in France
Poetic Flare looking to complete first English-French 2,000 Guineas double in 80 years
Kevin Manning riding Poetic Flare (cenre) to win the Qipco 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images
Both Poetic Flare and Mother Earth, the Irish stars who swept up Newmarket’s Guineas, are set to try and join exclusive Classic company in Paris on Sunday.
Jim Bolger’s Poetic Flare is on course to have a chance at becoming the first horse in over 80 years to complete the English-French 2,000 Guineas double in the Poule D’Eassai Des Poulains at Longchamp.
Bookmakers reckon the main threat to him emulating Djebel, who won both Classics in 1940, is Aidan O’Brien’s champion two-year-old St Mark’s Basilica.
He has yet to run this season but earned championship honours as a juvenile in the Dewhurst Stakes.
Poetic Flare finished out of the money in that, but on the back of a trial win at Leopardstown secured Classic glory at Newmarket when getting the better of a close finish with Master Of The Seas.
Afterwards he was acclaimed by Bolger as “the most complete racehorse that I have ever had.”
Both colts are among 14 currently in the race after Tuesday’s forfeit stage where O’Brien sprang a surprise by leaving Mother Earth in the €500,000 Poule D’Essai Des Pouliches on the same programme.
O’Brien’s star secured her own Classic glory in the Newmarket Guineas over a week ago after which plans for a tilt at the Irish equivalent in the Curragh later this month were outlined.
However, Mother Earth’s name features among 19 entries left in Sunday’s Classic. She was quickly made a 9-4 favourite by some firms.
The last of four fillies to complete the Newmarket-Longchamp 1,000 Guineas double was Special Duty in 2010.
That Juddmonte-owned star had the unique distinction of getting both races in the stewards’ room after being second past the post in each race.
Prior to that, Ravinella (1988) and Miesque (1987) pulled it off without any official intervention while Imprudence in 1947 did the same.
Two other Irish-trained fillies remain in Sunday’s Classic calculations with Ken Condon’s bargain-buy Miss Amulet installed a 6-1 third best in the market.
Jack Davison’s maiden Saywhatyouwant is also still in the race which has a supplementary stage on Thursday.
The main home defence for the Pouliches is likely to come from Godolphin’s unbeaten filly Philomene, an easy winner of a Group Three at Saint-Cloud last month for trainer Andre Fabre.
She is a half-sister to both the Irish Oaks winner Chicquita and the globetrotting Ballydoyle star Magic Wand.
The first of two significant Classic trials take place at York on Wednesday as the Oaks candidates Teona and Noon Star clash in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes.
O’Brien is represented by Snowfall ahead of Thursday’s eagerly anticipated test of High Definition’s Derby claims in the Al Basti Dante Stakes.
The unbeaten colt has got a green light to make his return to action after being forced to miss an engagement at Lingfield over the weekend due to unsatisfactory blood results.
High Definition is joined in the Dante by his stable companion Roman Empire, who will be ridden by Hollie Doyle.
Bolger runs Flying Visit who could provide an important cross-channel form link ahead of Epsom having finished runner-up to the current Derby favourite Bolshoi Ballet in last month’s Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown.
Mark Johnston’s Gear Up, a Group One winner in France last year, is among the leading home hopes.
Naas hosts its ‘Royal Ascot Trials’ programme on Sunday with a pair of Group Three prizes including the Coolmore Sprint for two-year-old fillies won by Mother Earth in 2020.
Contarelli Chapel is one of 10 entries left in after Tuesday’s declaration stage. O’Brien’s filly was an impressive winner over the course and distance on her debut last month.
Three other entries are declared to run first in Wednesday’s opener on Dundalk’s all-weather.
The well bred Ballydoyle pair Heart To Heart and Yet are set to make their debuts although they come up against the Condon-trained Cailin Cliste who should step up for the experience of her promising fourth at Naas behind Contarelli Chapel.
The Irish Derby entry Malawi makes his debut in the 10-furlong maiden where Dermot Weld’s 80-rated Motaffy looks the one to beat with a first-time visor applied.