In the absence of Camelot, the Irish 2,000 Guineas is probably not going to be won by a potential superstar, in which case there is absolutely nothing wrong with the claims of Trumpet Major (3.15 Curragh, Saturday). A hardworking colt with 10 runs behind him already, he seems a known quantity and punters generally prefer major improvers when betting on Classics.
But Trumper Major has demonstrated his quality time and again. It may well be enough to win this race and he may yet do better than most people expect, as he has been running on unsuitable going so far this year.
All three of his wins last year came on good to firm, notably the Chapagne Stakes at Doncaster. Richard Hughes, who was suspended when the colt won the Craven Stakes in April, has spoken of how surprised he was that the horse was able to cope with the good to soft that day.
The going was still less in his favour for the Guineas itself, yet he led into the final furlong before weakening into fourth. The final time was five seconds slower than he had clocked in the Craven.
The Curragh is currently good and drying out, so this race should provide a fair assessment of his ability. At 7-1 with Bet365, Boylesports and Ladbrokes, he is overpriced.
The favourite is Parish Hall, who was only a length and a half ahead of Trumpet Major at the end of the Dewhurst last year, having had much the clearer run. Parish Hall has not been seen since, while we know for sure that Trumpet Major has trained on. He should not be twice the odds of Jim Bolger's runner.
Betting opportunities abound on another busy day's racing but I like the 14-1 about Catfish (3.45 York), who is only 6lb higher than when winning a similar race at Glorious Goodwood last time. Brian Meehan is encouraging as to her physical progress since then and, while there is a clear risk that she may need the run, the odds more than compensate for it.