05/17/2010 11:00PM

Goldikova tops big weekend


A pair of Irish classics and the return of two-time Breeders' Cup Mile winner Goldikova are the highlights of a weekend in which five Group 1 races will be run at Curragh and Longchamp.

Aidan O'Brien has nominated nine of the 20 runners for Saturday's Irish 2000 Guineas, the one-mile colts' classic he has won the last two years with Mastercraftsman and Henrythenavigator.

O'Brien trains Steinbeck, Ladbrokes's 5-2 favorite, who is listed as only a possibility. Steinbeck has not run since October, when he finished third in the Dewhurst Stakes, and his only other start was his debut win six months before. Bettors are backing off Steinbeck in favor of the Richard Hannon-trained Canford Cliffs, who was third in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket on

May 1.

Also nominated to the Guineas for O'Brien is Jan Vermeer, who has not run since winning his debut in the Group 1 Criterium International. Jan Vermeer is also nominated to Sunday's 1 1/4-mile, Group 3 Gallinule Stakes as a possible prep for the Irish Derby.

A pair of fillies coming off winning efforts have been supplemented to Sunday's Irish 1000 Guineas. Godolphin's Anna Salai, winner of the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte at Longchamp in her seasonal debut, will make her first start for Mahmoud Al Zarooni since being switched from Andre Fabre last week. Lolly for Dolly remained undefeated after beating older females in the seven-furlong, Group 3 Tetrarch Stakes at the Curragh for Tommy Stack on May 3.

Music Show, sixth in Newmarket's 1000 Guineas, is Ladbrokes's 3-1 Guineas favorite, but beware Termagant, a Powerscourt filly who won the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes in her last start Aug. 30. Trainer Kevin Prendergast has been aiming her for this race since that day.

Cutlass Bay, the undefeated colt whom Godolphin switched from Fabre to Suroor after his May 2 victory in the Group 1 Prix Ganay, has been supplemented to Sunday's

1 5/16-mile Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup. He is likely to face Fame and Glory, the O'Brien-trained Irish Derby winner who scored a five-length win in the Group 3 Mooresbridge Stakes three weeks ago. There is no love lost between Sheikh Mohammed and John Magnier, and these Godolphin-Coolmore matchups always add some spice to the proceedings.

Freddie Head worked Goldikova on Monday morning and reported all systems go for Sunday's Prix d'Ispahan. Goldikova also made her season debut in the 1 1/8-mile, 55-yard Group 1 against males last year, when heavy ground stopped her and she finished seventh behind Never On Sunday. Goldikova's ultimate goal is an unprecedented third Breeders' Cup Mile title.

On Sunday, she could run into Stacelita, a three-time Group 1 winner who lost her perfect record when seventh in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. Stacelita, however, could wait for Monday's Group 2 Prix Corrida at Saint-Cloud.

Deluxe, the latest daughter out of the outstanding broodmare Hasili, will prep for the French Oaks in Sunday's 1 1/4-mile Prix Saint-Alary. A daughter of Storm Cat trained by Fabre, Deluxe won a one-mile allowance at Longchamp on April 15. A win this weekend would give her dam six Group 1 or Grade 1 winners.