Racing: Stravinsky reappears at Curragh on Sunday

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The Independent Online
STRAVINSKY, THE ante-post favourite for the 2,000 Guineas, will be declared for the Loughbrown Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday. Aidan O'Brien, his trainer, said yesterday: "Michael Kinane will ride. Options are fluid regarding Stravinsky's future. He is not yet a certain runner in the 2,000 Guineas. We have other three-year-olds we would like to have a look at. One is Black Rock Desert who was entered in the Loughbrown Race and is a possible for the Kentucky Derby."

O'Brien added that Saffron Waldon rather than Coliseum would be the stable's runner in Sunday's Home Of The Classics Maiden, while King Of Connaught looks the most likely O'Brien runner in the First Flyer EBF Maiden for two-year-olds.

Stravinsky is 5-1 favourite for the 2,000 Guineas with Ladbrokes, who yesterday reported a bet of pounds 10,000 on Commander Collins at 12-1 and cut Peter Chapple-Hyam's colt to 9-1.

French Holly looks set to make a surprise appearance in the Aintree Hurdle on Grand National day. The Champion Hurdle third was due to school over fences this week in preparation for the French Champion Hurdle - run over small fences at Auteuil in June - but the gelding's trainer Ferdy Murphy and owner Kieran Flood have had a change of heart.

Murphy said: "We've had a change of plan and instead of schooling him over fences as we intended we schooled him over hurdles. I rode him myself and he pulled my arms out. Andrew [Thornton] thought the horse was open to improvement after Cheltenham and the horse is absolutely bouncing. The horse is on fire, he's only had five runs this season and you can't mollycoddle them forever."

After Aintree French Holly will still go for the French race. "He'll school over fences when he's down there - the schooling facilities are pretty good," added Murphy. A possible rival for French Holly at Aintree could be Barton, winner of the Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle at Cheltenham.