Royal Scotsman bids for Classic glory once again after he was beaten two-and-a-quarter lengths when third in the 2,000 Guineas 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 2,000 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 travelled over on Thursday. He's eaten up and seems in great shape. Let's hope everything falls into place this time."
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.
Group 3 winner Cairo and the returning Age Of Kings make up the Ballydoyle team as they seek to unearth their superstar three-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 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 National Stakes 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 7f under his belt so we're hoping for a good run.
Jessica Harrington saddles two outsiders who cannot be dismissed. We will find out if Quar Shamar can cope with the monstrous step up in class after his Dundalk maiden success last month.
He will benefit from the services of Shane Foley, who won this race on Romanised in 2018. Bold Discovery could have a squeak if returning to his two-year-old form, while it seems Luke Comer's 70-rated Alexander John has a mountain to climb.
Kate Harrington, assistant to her mother Jessica, said: "We were disappointed with Bold Discovery the last day but he scoped dirty after the race. We've got him over that and he had a good gallop at Leopardstown last week. We're really happy with him and we think he'll appreciate the good ground.
"Quar Shamar is going in on the back of just a maiden win but he was entered up in a few trials and the ground was just too soft for him. We know he likes good ground and that's why we went to Dundalk with him. Hopefully he will run a big race."
Adam Ryan, assistant to Kevin Ryan, trainer of Hi Royal
It was a huge effort from the horse at Newmarket, we were very proud of him. After discussions with the owner we've decided to take our chance in the Irish equivalent, and he goes there in great form. It's a very high-class field, but he proved at Newmarket that he is up to that quality. We have always considered him to be a very classy horse. He went to Newmarket with only three runs under his belt and there should be more to come.
Charles Hills, trainer of Galeron
It was always the plan after Newmarket to go for the Irish 2,000 Guineas. I was delighted with his performance at Newmarket, and I’ve been happy with him since. We know he likes the track as he won the Goffs Million there last September.
Roger Varian, trainer of Charyn
He has a nice profile for the race. We have to put a line through how he ran in the English 2,000 Guineas as he was drawn on the stands side where it was rough and they were bumping into each other. We don't know if he truly gets a mile but as it's a Classic, he deserves one more chance at the trip before most likely dropping back in distance. I think he'll run a good race.
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