05/20/2010 11:00PM

Gold Cup will boil down to two


A wide-open renewal of the $406,000 Irish 1000 Guineas looks like a cavalry charge, with 19 fillies going a mile at the Curragh on Sunday, but the $281,000 Tattersalls Gold Cup on the same card features an intriguing matchup between Coolmore's Fame and Glory and Godolphin's Cutlass Bay.

An Aidan O'Brien-trained son of Montjeu, Fame and Glory won last year's Irish Derby but failed three times against Sea the Stars. After a dull third in the listed Alleged Stakes, he returned to form with a five-length score in the 1 1/4-mile, Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes. Johnny Murtagh has the call.

Cutlass Bay will be making his first start for Saeed bin Suroor since being switched by Godolphin from Andre Fabre, for whom he was 5 for 5. A Halling 4-year-old, he is coming off a win in Longchamp's Group 1 Prix Ganay over the Gold Cup distance, but there is some doubt about his chances, as many of the horses Suroor has received from Fabre have gone south rather quickly. Ahmed Ajtebi will ride.

Music Show will start as the lukewarm 4-1 favorite for trainer Michael Channon in the Irish 1000 Guineas. Sixth in Newmarket's 1000 Guineas, Music Show had previously won the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes and the Group 3 Nell Gwyn Stakes, both at seven furlongs. But this classic looks ripe for an upset, and the selection is Termagant.

A Powerscourt filly, Termagant was impressive when landing the seven-furlong, Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh in her last start Aug. 30. She won that race on heavy ground, but trainer Kevin Prendergast said he believes she is just as good on good ground, as evidenced by her maiden score on that surface going seven furlongs at Leopardstown. Termagant has been pointed to this race since the Moyglare Stud and will again be ridden by Daragh McDonogh.

The winner of the one-mile, Group 3 Prix de la Grotte when trained by Fabre, Anna Salai makes her first start for Godolphin's second-string conditioner, Mahmoud Al Zarooni. She may be the one to beat on her present form, especially since she is by the red-hot sire Dubawi. Gile Na Greine was a game half-length third in the Newmarket Guineas, and Lolly for Dolly made it 2 for 2 in the seven-furlong, Group 3 Athasi Stakes. The 10-1 Lillie Langtry is the best of the five Aidan O'Brien entries.

O'Brien's Epsom or Irish Derby hope, Jan Vermeer, makes his season debut in the 1 1/4-mile, Group 3 Gallinule. Winner of the one-mile, Group 1 Criterium International, Jan Vermeer will be the odds-on choice against Icon Dream and Shintoh, a Giant's Causeway half-brother to Breeders' Cup Mile winner War Chant.