The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections from The Curragh & Auteuil

The Curragh

Tattersalls Gold Cup (Group 1) 2.40
Alenquer
Though he’s been tried at the highest level over the mile and a half, including last year’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, 10 furlongs seems to be his ideal distance. He won the Winter Derby at Lingfield Park on his seasonal reappearance over that trip, beating Lord North, who lines up here. State Of Rest looks potentially smart, but Alenquer is taken to lead home the home hope and Lord North, with the Somerville Lodge yard in superlative form

Lanwades Stud Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) 3.10
Pearls Galore (nap)
It’s hard to ignore the appeal of Pearls Galore who made a smooth start to this season at Leopardstown last month. That cosy win in a Listed contest should have her nicely teed up for this, and her neck second to the smart No Speak Alexander in the Matron Stakes last September showed she gets the full mile trip. Twilight Spinner should give the selection most to think about, but Pearls Galore is the one to beat

Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas (Group 1) (Fillies) 3.45
Homeless Songs
She stepped up a gear when taking the 1.000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown last month, showing plenty of toe inside the final two furlongs to lead from inside the final half furlong. That turn of foot should see her through well against History and Tuesday representing Aidan O’Briens Ballydoyle stable. A top class renewal in store, but Dermot Weld’s Homeless Songs is sure to go close

William Hill Free Or 4 Spring Fillies Handicap 4.50
Juncture (nb)
Ger Lyons’ Juncture should find these calmer waters than the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket where she trailed home in front of only one rival. She’ll have to concede weight to the field here on her first foray into handicap company, but should still have too much class for this field and can score her second win of the season. The one they will all be aiming at, and sure to go close

Auteuil

Grand Steeple Chase de Paris (Grade 1) 3.00
Niko Has
The chance is taken on Francois Nicolle’s Niko Has, who won a Listed contest here in taking fashion last month, cruising smoothly to the front in that twenty-three furlong trip. There’s every chance he’ll relish this marathon distance and can serve it up to Irish raider Al Boum Photo. Super each way claims at the least in this fascinating renewal

The Mandarin

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