05/24/2012 4:03PM

The Curragh: O’Brien sends quartet against Parish Hall in Irish 2000 Guineas


Aidan O’Brien will have as many as four runners – including Kentucky Derby last-place finisher Daddy Long Legs – in the Irish 2000 Guineas on Saturday at The Curragh, but the O’Brien quartet doesn’t include the race’s ante-post betting favorite, Parish Hall.

Parish Hall’s first start of his 3-year-old season is highly anticipated, since he won the Group 1 Dewhurst Stakes in his final race at age 2 and is considered a major contender for the Epsom Derby. Saturday’s race, in fact, might be little more than a preparatory run in advance of the Epsom race, and Parish Hall, a son of Teofilo trained by Jim Bolger, is widely expected to improve at the Derby’s 1 1/2-mile distance.

Saturday, he will be tasked with negotiating a one-mile trip over going expected to be good to firm. The drier, faster ground should suit Born To Sea, who pulled too hard early in the English 2000 Guineas on May 5 at Newmarket, where he wound up 10th of 18 in a race contested on good-to-soft going.

Besides Daddy Long Legs, who retreated steadily in the Kentucky Derby and was eased, O’Brien’s contingent includes Power, Reply, and Wrote. Trumpet Major, trained by Richard Hannon, finished fourth behind O’Brien’s top 3-year-old, Camelot, in the English 2000.