The number 115 is key for the Curragh executive this weekend. If the first four finishers in the Tattersalls Gold Cup fail to average at least that rating by season's end, the race's Group 1 status may be removed for 2016.
Such a downgrade is merited given the overall quality of the race lately but this year's renewal looks a good one with The Grey Gatsby (officially rated 126), Al Kazeem (120) and Postponed (116) engaged.
Much of the interest has been removed by the defection of Free Eagle with a head cold - it's going around - and from a betting perspective his absence spoils the race; he was a bad favourite, priced on reputation rather than form. Of those that are left, Postponed can be opposed - trainer comments, form and visuals all say he's better over 12 furlongs - but it is hard to split The Grey Gatsby and Al Kazeem.
Kevin Ryan has complained that The Grey Gatsby hasn't received the credit he deserves but his Leopardstown win was one where jockeyship had a huge say; race commentator Dessie Scahill said in his call that 'Ryan Moore wins the Champion Stakes' though in truth Joseph O'Brien lost the race with his inefficient ride on Australia. In any case, The Grey Gatsby sets a good standard and should strip fitter for his Dubai run over a trip too sharp.
Al Kazeem may not be the horse he was in the summer of 2013 but he comes here race-fit and a slowly run Prix Ganay didn't suit last time. Still, getting beat by a returning Cirrus Des Aigles is not a good sign and all in all this looks a no bet race.
Similar comments apply to the Irish 2,000 Guineas.
I crabbed Gleneagles prior to his Newmarket win for not putting up a big rating as a juvenile but there was no knocking his Classic win where he looked an improved model. Travelling strongly as he had done at two, this time he finished his race off powerfully and for all that the race was draw-biased, it is hard to oppose him.
With Ivawood - who was not helped by the draw at Newmarket - the most likely to chase him home, there is no real each-way angle into the race either as there is only one place to play for so this looks another stay-away.
The 1,000 Guineas however is the most interesting of the three weekend Group 1s. If you took nothing else from the Newmarket equivalent, it was that you have to be looking at Irish fillies for these races with Legatissimo and Lucida well clear of the rest and subsequent events at Chester and York - Diamondsandrubies won the Cheshire Oaks, Together Forever emerged the best filly at the weights in the Musidora - have only confirmed the strength of this crop.
That means the likes of Malabar are out and of the home team, I can't help but think that Bocca Baciata, Pleascach and Jack Naylor are running in an unsuitable race here, all likely to prove better over further. Found is another that could come into her own over longer distances but she has already shown high-class form over seven and eight furlongs.
Though the favourite, Found looks a big price at 3.814/5. She wasn't much bigger for the English Guineas through the winter and though she missed that race after a troubled preparation, we at least know that she has trained on. That she reappeared in a Group 3 race the day after Newmarket screamed that the run would be needed and it was a race where everything (ground, trip, Group 1 penalty) was against her. In the circumstances to run second after appearing to blow up was an excellent return.
She was the best of the European fillies last year, her form in the Boussac standout with subsequent Pouliches winter Ervedya back in second, and if anything like the typical Ballydoyle returnee, she will leave her debut behind. The Galileo filly is hard to pass at the price though a big run from Raydara on her first outing of 2015 would be no surprise.
Mick Halford's filly looked a proper sort when ridden with restraint on her final two-year-old start in the Debutante and provided she is ready for this - she has had a racecourse gallop - could prove the biggest danger to Found.
Back Found @ 3.814/5 and Raydara @ 8.07/1 in the Irish 1,000 Guineas