Speedy Vespertilio can give Willie McCreery his big Classic breakthrough in 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh

Vespertilio can give Willie McCreery a Classic breakthrough in the Irish 1,00 Guineas on Sunday (Donall Farmer/PA)

Vespertilio can give Willie McCreery his first Classic success at his local track in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Sunday.

The Night Of Thunder filly comes into the race off the back of a cracking run in the French equivalent two weeks ago and has rock-solid claims now back on home soil.

She stayed on strongly to the line when beaten just a head and a neck behind Rouhiya at Longchamp and this stiffer mile should suit perfectly.

The draw wasn’t kind to her a fortnight ago and it was a big run in the circumstances as she had to challenge wide.

That recent run under her belt could make a big difference. Declan McDonogh takes the mount with Billy Lee claimed by Paddy Twomey and it looks a lovely spare ride for the experienced veteran.

The likely favourite, Opera Singer, makes her seasonal debut and a lot of the Ballydoyle horses have been improving for a run this year.

She signed off last season with an impressive win in Group One company in France, taking the Prix Marcel Boussac by five lengths at Longchamp on Arc day.

The Justify filly looks like she’ll stay further than this in time and she may improve for the outing, having had a setback earlier in the year which ruled her out of Newmarket.

Fallen Angel was also a Group One winner as a juvenile and has to be respected despite a slightly disappointing effort in the 1,000 Guineas at Newmarket on her return.

She faded tamely enough in the closing stages then, when eighth to Elmalka, so has a few questions to answer on Sunday.

Epsom Derby winner Auguste Rodin can get back to winning ways in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown Picture by PA
Dual Derby winner Auguste Rodin should prove a cut above the rest in the Tattersalls Gold Cup

The fillies’ Classic shares top billing with the Tattersalls Gold Cup and all eyes will be on Auguste Rodin in the 10-furlong contest.

When he’s good he’s very good but he can throw in the odd stinker and connections will be keen to get him back on track after a no -show out in Dubai in late March.

The regally-bred son of Deep Impact was a dual Derby winner last season and also went on to add the Irish Champion Stakes and Breeders’ Cup Turf.

He’s also had his high profile off-days but should be a cut above here.

Joseph O’Brien has a strong hand in the Group Two Lanwades Stud Stakes with three runners.

The most interesting one is Rogue Millennium, who makes her first start for the yard in the mile contest having cost 1.65 million guineas at the sales last December.

She now races in the colours of American owner Scott Heider and is a valuable broodmare prospect having already scored at this level when taking the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot last season.

O’Brien does well with these types of fillies picked up from other yards and the daughter of Dubawi, who was also second in the Matron Stakes last season, should be the class act on her return.

Aidan O’Brien is also well represented on the card and Chief Little Rock looks the pick of his trio in the Group Three Gallinule Stakes.

The Galileo gelding has already had an outing this season, finishing third in the Blue Riband Trial at Epsom last month.

He should improve from that run and can collect in stakes company having been placed three times.

Ryan Moore sides with Dundalk maiden winner Mundi, but he’d need to step forward significantly on just his second career outing.

Chief Little Rock sets a fair standard and it may pay to go against the stable choice.


1.25 Heavens Gate

2.00 Zaynab

2.35 Rogue Millennium (Dbl)

3.10 Auguste Rodin

3.45 Vespertilio (Nap)

4.15 Chief Little Rock

4.50 North Africa

5.25 Harsh