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Royal Scotsman Back Again in Irish Two Thousand Guineas

Royal Scotsman  bids for classic glory once again May 27 after he was beaten two-and-a-quarter lengths when third in the Two Thousand Guineas (G1) at Newmarket after enduring a luckless passage through the race.

The group 2-winning juvenile pulled hard in the early stages that day, faced traffic problems at a crucial stage, and raced well away from the action when his main rivals were sent to win the race.

Circumstances conspired against him, but connections hope that the Curragh mile will prove a more straightforward assignment for their star under Jamie Spencer.

Joint-trainer Oliver Cole said: “He’s in great form and has come on from his run in the Two Thousand Guineas. Everything went wrong for him at Newmarket, and he ran a blinder to finish third in the circumstances.

“He has been working really well since and traveled over on Thursday. He’s eaten up and seems in great shape. Let’s hope everything falls into place this time.”

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A strong British challenge is bolstered by Hi Royal , the 125-1 runner-up to Chaldean  at Newmarket, while Galeron  and Charyn  add further strength after they turned in credible efforts in fourth and eighth.

Galeron adds a further level of intrigue given he is half-owned by Gary Robinson, a plumber by trade, who took the plunge into racehorse ownership after being bit by the racing bug during the Covid pandemic and will be taking on some of the sport’s most dominant forces in today’s classic.

The domestic battalion is still robust and is headed by Aidan O’Brien’s Paddington , who has cruised to victory on his last three starts, including a smooth success in the listed Tetrarch Stakes at this track last time.

Cairo - Morning Trackwork - Meydan, March 21, 2023
Photo: Erika Rasmussen Photo

Cairo trains in March at Meydan Racecourse

Group 3 winner Cairo  and the returning Age of Kings  make up the Ballydoyle team as they seek to unearth their superstar 3-year-old.

O’Brien said: “Paddington has run on much softer ground so we’re going to learn a lot more about him here on this quicker ground. He’s progressing lovely and we’ve been very happy with him at home.

“Cairo didn’t like the dirt at all in Dubai so you can put a line through that run. He won his maiden on good ground and won at Dundalk as well so he should be happy on this sort of ground. Age of Kings is just ready to start back. We’re running him here with a view to finding a race for him at Ascot.”

Proud And Regal  is the only group 1 winner in the field and has the concrete form in the book, as well as scope for further improvement given his promising reappearance in the Derby Trial Stakes (G3) at Leopardstown this month.

He returns to a mile, the distance of his group 1 win, and has some formidable track form including when producing an excellent effort when runner-up in the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes (G1) last season behind Al Riffa .

“Everything has gone well since his last run at Leopardstown,” said Donnacha O’Brien. “Obviously we’re stepping back in trip but he has a good run at this track over seven furlongs under his belt so we’re hoping for a good run.”

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