Aiden O'Brien saddles four of the 11 declared runners for the Irish 2000 Guineas on Saturday, with Goffs National Stakes winner Power the most fancied of his charges, however the most interesting proposition ahead of the race is Dewhurst Stakes winner Parish Hall (7/2 To Win Irish 2000 Guineas).
Jim Bolger's colt has an entry for the Derby and should he pull off a win at the Curragh it will set up a tantilising race at Epsom next week with O'Brien's odds-on favourite Camelot. Bolger hasn't run Parish Hall this season, avoiding risking him on soft ground and has no concerns with the shorter one-week gap between the Irish 2000 Guineas and the Derby, saying: "The weather hasn't held us up but we haven't been able to run Parish Hall. He handles soft ground but is a better horse on top of the ground. There are not a lot of similarities between him and New Approach, except ability wise."
O'Brien is after his eighth Irish 2,000 guineas and won last year with Roderic O'Connor, but is left wanting in terms of quality this time round. Power (4/1 To Win Irish 2000 Guineas) was a top class two year old, winning at Grade One level, but lost the Dewhurst to the aforementioned Parish Hall and beat only one home last month in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. That result can be attributed largely to the softer ground but does not dismiss the doubts entirely, however the firmer ground and the booking of Joseph O'Brien can only be seen as positive facts.
Elsewhere in the field, progressive colt and 2,000 Guineas fourth-placed Trumpet Major (6/1 To Win Irish 2000 Guineas) could be in line for a good run. The fourth at Newmarket came over testing ground that did little to help his natural speed, and connections are positive Trumpet Major can emulate the success of Canford Cliffs in 2010. Daddy Long Legs (12/1 To Win Irish 2000 Guineas) pulled up in the Kentucky Derby last month after struggling on the dirt surface but could do well on a return to turf here. Having won a Group Two at Newmarket last season, there are no questions over his ability but he needs to find something to overcome the favourites.