Racing set its sights on Ireland

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  • This weekend sees entertaining racing action on both sides of the Irish Sea

    Ireland lays on the top action this weekend when Sir Alex Ferguson’s Rock Of Gibraltar will be hot favourite to complete the English-Irish Guineas double in the Entenmann’s Irish 2000 Guineas at The Curragh on Saturday.

    Twenty-four hours later a strong English challenge led by Gossamer, Zenda and Alasha throw down the gauntlet to Quarter Moon and four others trained by Aidan O’Brien in the Entenmann’s Irish 1000 Guineas.

    The O’Brien-trained Rock Of Gibraltar should only have a stroll in park to become the first colt since Rodrigo de Triano in 1992 to wrap up the Anglo-Irish double. Half of Rock Of Gibraltar’s six rivals are stable companions from Ballydoyle, while the only English-trained raider is John Gosden’s outsider Foreign Accent.

    Luca Cumani’s Gossamer, who created such an impression with her unbeaten run as a two-year-old, is given a chance to redeem her reputation after a disappointing eighth in a muddling race for the English 1000 Guineas behind Kazzia.

    The softer ground at The Curragh should enable her to reverse the Newmarket form with Alasha (third) and Quarter Moon (fifth).

    On the domestic front John Gosden’s Loweswater, who may have suffered a foot problem when finishing last in the Free Handicap at Newmarket, returns to the course in the Milcars King Charles 11 Stakes.

    Loweswater was significantly backed when he disappointed and is far better than the form suggests.

    Mark Johnston’s Rajab looks all set to defy topweight in the valuable Coral Eurobet Sprint. The Middleham trainer’s The Bonus King will be all the better for the experience of an encouraging Hamilton run when he turns out for the Countryside Alliance Maiden Stakes.

    At Haydock Gossamer’s trainer Luca Cumani can take the Tote Credit Club Silver Bowl with Ludynosa, while Parisian Elegance is the pick of the handicap for the Weatherbys Rated Stakes.

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