Happily and Clemmie among nine Guineas contenders for Aidan O’Brien

Ballydoyle handler holds strong hand in Curragh Classic

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Aidan O’Brien is responsible for nine of the 20 remaining fillies in contention for Sunday’s Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh.

Heading up the team are Happily, who was third at Newmarket behind Richard Hannon’s Billesdon Brook, and last year’s Cheveley Park Stakes winner Clemmie.

Clemmie had been favourite for Newmarket before being ruled out of the race when a stone bruise held up her preparation.

“Happily will run and it’s the plan to run Clemmie,” said O’Brien.

“It will be Clemmie’s first start and she will improve a lot from it, whatever she does. It was nothing major (her setback) and as long as she runs a nice race, we’ll be pleased.”

Actress, Athena, Could It Be Love, Hence, I Can Fly, Magical and Most Gifted are still in contention for the Ballydoyle team.

Karl Burke’s Laurens, runner up at Newmarket, is still possible at this stage but Hannon decided against supplementing Billesdon Brook and Mick Channon has taken out Dan’s Dream.

Burke had planned on taking Laurens straight to France for the Prix de Diane, but a run this weekend is a possibility, with the Prix Saint-Alary at ParisLongchamp another race to consider.

“She is in such good form that we couldn’t not leave Laurens in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and we’ll see what the ground is like closer to the weekend,” said Burke.

“She has come out of the English Guineas in great form and PJ (McDonald) sat on her last week and this morning and he couldn’t be happier with her and we are all delighted with her.

“We’ve also got an entry in France in the Prix Diane trial (Saint-Alary) as well so that race comes into the equation.”

Charlie Appleby’s Soliloquy and Mark Johnston’s Threading at possible travellers, also.

Lightening Quick is due to have her first start for Johnny Murtagh after leaving the care of Ger Lyons, while Lyons has supplemented Who’s Steph, a winner of two trials this season.

Kevin Prendergast’s Alghabrah, Jessica Harrington’s Alpha Centauri and Dermot Weld’s Chiara Luna are other interesting contenders.

Happily and Clemmie among nine Guineas contenders for Aidan O’Brien
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