Horse Racing Tips

Sunday Racing Tips: Mark Milligan has three bets on Irish 1,000 Guineas day

Mark Milligan has taken a look at Sunday's Curragh card

Mark Milligan has taken a look at the top contests on the Curragh's Sunday card and has a trio of selections...

  • Haggas has good record in Ireland

  • Opera Singer to take the Guineas

  • O'Brien to carry on Gallinule domination

14:35 Curragh - Back Orchid Bloom @ 4/15.00

The Group 2 Lanwades Stud Stakes is the first of four Group races on a cacking Sunday card at the Curragh and Joseph O'Brien's Rogue Millenium is sure o be popular on her first start for the yard.

Bought from Tom Clover's stable for the princely sum of £1.65m after a good 2023, which included a fine second to Tahiyra in the Matron at Leopardstown in September, expectations are sure to be high for the filly this season.

However, she's short enough returning from seven months off and I'm going to side with the William Haggas-trained Orchid Bloom, who wasn't seen to best effect on her comeback at Goodwood earlier this month (slowly away and left poorly placed).

She's better judged on her good placed finishes in listed company on her final two 2023 starts, those coming on the heels of a handicap win at Newbury.

Orchid Bloom needs to step up to make her mark in this company but the stable has a good record when sending runners to Ireland (27% strike-rate) and she won't be there simply for a day out.

15:10 Curragh - No Bet

The Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup revolves around Auguste Rodin, who looks a cut above the opposition at his best, but he can throw in the odd stinker and it's a braver man than me who sides with him at odds-on.

His blowouts in last season's 2000 Guineas and King George have been well documented, but he was really good in his other starts, taking the Derby, Irish Derby, Irish Champion Stakes and Breeders' Cup Turf.

He then reverted to throwing in a terrible run at Meydan on his comeback in the Sheema Classic, never really travelling at any stage and finishing stone last.

Auguste Rodin will probably win but he can do so without any financial interest from this end.

Easily the most interesting of the opposition is Elegant Man, who's looked a very smart performer on the all-weather, but he needs to prove he can translate that to turf, which has to be a slight doubt given he's primarily bred for dirt.

I know where he'd be campaigned this summer if I owned him, and it wouldn't be in Europe.

15:45 - Back Opera Singer @ 5/23.50

The Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 1000 Guineas looks a good renewal, but Aidan O'Brien's Opera Singer sets a high standard on her juvenile form and is taken to make a winning seasonal debut.

This daughter of Justify got off the mark at the second attempt when taking a maiden at Leopardstown in July before finishing a narrow second in a conditions race at this course on her next start.

However, she improved markedly on that form on her final two starts as two-year-old, winning a Group 3 before stepping up to the top level and taking the Prix Marcel Boussac impressively on Arc day.

If she's in that sort of form here she'll take plenty of stopping.

Karl Burke's Fallen Angel was something of a disappointment in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, but there's an argument to say she was a bit closer to the pace than ideal and she's perhaps worth another chance to build on her good juvenile form.

Whether her best is good enough to beat Opera Singer remains to be seen, however.

16:15 - Back Mundi @ 5/23.50+

Aidan O'Brien holds a strong hand in the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes, fielding a trio that includes the standard-setter Chief Little Rock.

While that one currently holds the best form, it would be no surprise to see a couple of these improve past him, most notably once-raced stable companion Mundi.

Bred in the purple, this one was a workmanlike winner of a Dundalk maiden, but it would be no surprise if he goes on to prove miles better than that form in time.

His trainer certainly knows what it takes to win this race, having captured the prize 17 times in his career.

Ryan Moore being on board in preference to the stable's other duo is also a plus point and I can see Mundi making above-average progression from his debut.

Now read: Ryan Moore's view on his Sunday rides

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