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Friday, 14 December, 2018

Weighed In: the best and worst from this week's racing

The Curragh: regarded as a sorry state of affairs for many this weekend
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Sixteen and evergreen

Tom Hogan saluted Gordon Lord Byron following the nine-year-old's win in the Group 2 Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh on Saturday, stating: "It's a privilege to have him and his owners, he's some animal."

The gelding, who has won 16 of his 73 career starts, is far from finished yet, and in the aftermath of his 20-1 success Hogan outlined his plans to reach the milestone of 20 career wins.

Relentless Harrington rolls on

After winning most of the significant prizes in jump racing last season, you'd be forgiven for thinking that's the last we'd hear of Jessica Harrington for a while. However this weekend her bandwagon reached the Curragh and it doesn't look likely to stop any time soon.

Brother Bear: favourite for the Coventry Stakes following his Marble Hill win

When it rolls in to Royal Ascot next month, the Harrington Express will have aboard it favourites for the two premier two-year-old events, as Brother Bear and Alpha Centauri will aim to help Harrington monopolise another major festival. You can't discount Torcedor either, who beat Ascot Gold Cup favourite Order Of St George in the Vintage Crop Stakes last time.

Dampest racecourse of the week

It isn't often Cartmel racecourse makes the headlines for anything other than its sticky toffee pudding, but this week the Cumbria track made the news for two reasons.

After the atrocity that occurred in Manchester, armed police were on the scene for their meeting on Saturday, but they would have been stood down early after the fixture was abandoned after 'the worst torrential rain since 1991' rendered the track unraceable. 

Sprint stars of the week

The Commonwealth Cup and indeed the entire sprinting division is looking hugely exciting at the moment, and this is largely thanks to Clive Cox.

Another C, Caravaggio, took the breath away after he made light work of his opposition on his return to the track last Sunday, but it was Cox who stole the show at Haydock on Saturday.

After winning the Temple Stakes with Profitable last year, he sent out Priceless to do the same, just after Harry Angel produced a heavenly performance to win the Sandy Lane.

Adam Kirby can't hide his delight as Harry Angel blitzes his rivals

Curragh criticism 

The Racing Post's David Jennings was among those unimpressed by the state of play at the Curragh this weekend, as he described the track, which is undergoing refurbishment, as providing "among the worst" raceday experiences.

The weather wasn't the only thing dampening the spirits of racegoers, as the lack and quality of facilities poured more cold water on what is supposed to be a Classic weekend.

Performance of the week

History was rewritten this weekend at the Curragh, as for the first time since 2007 both winners of the British Guineas doubled up in the Irish equivalent. Churchill did what Churchill does on Saturday, in making you question him twenty times before making you wonder why you bothered.

But despite the soaring temperatures this week, Winter well and truly arrived on Sunday. The grey filly stamped her authority on the Irish 1,000 Guineas field. She is now the 10-11 favourite for the Coronation Stakes, but a coronation she does not need, as she has already made it clear she is streets ahead of her generation.

Despite the soaring temperatures this week, Winter well and truly arrived on Sunday
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