Racing: Island Sands has Guineas double vision

THE FIRST-ROUND, second leg of the three-year-old colts' mile championship takes place this afternoon at the Curragh in the form of the Irish 2,000 Guineas. The first two in the Newmarket original three weeks ago, Island Sands and Enrique, take each other on again with a fair bit of needle in the rematch.

Both sets of connections - Sheikh Mohammed's Godolphin team in the case of Island Sands and Henry Cecil and the Niarchos family with Enrique - are well used to treating triumph and disaster magnanimously the same. But well-documented previous circumstances mean that if each can beat the other then victory is that little bit sweeter.

Enrique was the better-fancied of the pair last month and in some eyes was a little unlucky to fail in his task. His best weapon is the blinding burst of acceleration he can produce, but over a mile, which on the evidence so far seems the outer limit of his stamina, its timing must be spot- on. A sore foot earlier in the week is not going to be forwarded as an excuse.

Island Sands is more adaptable, able to cope with making the running and fending off challenges, as he did at Newmarket, or pouncing at the end.

The home side have a dismal recent record in the local Guineas, with only one winner - Desert King two years ago - in the past 10 seasons. The same stable, that of Aidan O'Brien, mounts a four-strong defence this afternoon, notably with Orpen, disappointing when favourite at Newmarket but expected to be better suited by a stronger pace, and Saffron Waldon, who will be putting his Derby credentials on the line.

For Island Sands to complete the English-Irish 2,000 Guineas double would be a rare enough feat - Rodrigo de Triano in 1992 was only the fourth to do so - but a similar achievement in the two 1,000 Guineas would be unique. Wince, victress at Newmarket, has numerically the more daunting task in her attempt but she may find she has an easier awayday than the boys. The merit of her Classic win was underlined when third-placed Valentine Waltz won the French Guineas six days ago.

Four of those behind her at Newmarket reoppose: Capistrano Day (fourth), Hula Angel (sixth), Golden Silca (seventh) and Sunspangled (15th). The last-named should perform to better effect on easy ground and a good showing will put her back in the Oaks picture. Edabiya, one of the best of her age and sex last year, is another with Epsom as a target.

The Group One focus also falls on France and Italy tomorrow. At Longchamp the Prix d'Ispahan marks the European debut of last year's locally-trained Japan Cup winner El Condor Pasa, whose seven rivals include British-based pair Handsome Ridge and Kabool. The sole raider in the Prix Saint-Alary is Mother Of Pearl while Barafamy and Signorina Cattiva travel to Milan in search of lire in the Italian Oaks.

The most interesting aspects of today's domestic fare are the long-awaited debut of impeccably-bred one-time Derby possible Yaralino at Lingfield, the ongoing gloves-off battle for the jump trainers' championship between Paul Nicholls and Martin Pipe being enacted Stratford, and the possible dual appearance of Amington Girl in races two hours apart at Wolverhampton this evening.

When a racehorse is described as depressed it does not usually mean he sits alone in a darkened stable playing old Leonard Cohen records. Godolphin's former No 1 Derby hope and sometime ante-post favourite Adair, to whom the adjective was applied after he missed the Dante Stakes at York last week, will have his own private trial for Epsom on Monday or Tuesday. It will be a fairly searching affair, not so much of the ex-American colts' ability but of his constitution.

"We noticed after he arrived in Newmarket that he did not seem to have the same sort of spirit that he had in Dubai," said Godolphin's racing manager Simon Crisford. "He'd never struck us as a physically frail individual, but some cope with travelling and acclimatisation better than others. The crucial question will be how he copes with it afterwards."

The strains of "Bird On The Wire" at Moulton Paddocks would not be a good sign.

News
people
News
people And here is why...
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsWelsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Associate Recrutiment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Group have been well ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

Time to stop running

At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence