Zoffany, 10/1 horse betting ante-post favourite for next year’s 2000 Guineas, is set to place his lofty reputation on the line in a high quality renewal of the Group 1 Bolylesports.com Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday, writes Elliot Slater.
Aidan O’Brien’s Dansili colt, a winner of five of his six career starts including the Group 1 Keenelands Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh last time out over six furlongs, is set to step up a furlong and bid to maintain his claim to be the leading juvenile this term. Zoffany will face a maximum of eight rivals, including stable companions Samuel Morse, Rudolph Valentino and the first-time blinkered High Ruler, but is likely to have more to fear from Jessica Harrington’s Pathfork, Godolphin’s Janood, and Jim Bolger’s high-class maiden Glor Na Mara.
Both Pathfork and Janood are unbeaten in two outings each, Pathfork having put up a particularly impressive performance in beating Glor Na Mara comfortably over course and distance in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes, in the process beating the runner-up by further than he lost to Zoffany on his previous outing. Janood, set to be partnered by Alan Munro, (with Frankie Dettori in action at Doncaster on board Rewilding in the Ladbrokes St Leger), landed the listed Matalan Stakes at Newbury last time out and is open to any amount of improvement.
Even those looking at Ayr gold cup 2010 betting note that Mick Halford’s Tipperary maiden winner Casamento is a fascinating contender running in the original colours of Sheikh Mohammed, whilst Dermot Weld’s beautifully bred A Word Apart makes up the line-up having finally justified his tremendously promising debut effort behind Sydeny Harbor on Irish Derby day, by comfortably accounting for Long Live The King at Leopardstown last week.
Defeat for Zoffany would certainly shake up the ante-post market for the 2000 Guineas, whilst it’s fair to say that supporters of Pathfork (14/1) and Janood (33/1) might be keen to take a price in anticipation of a winning performance at the Curragh on Saturday.