Soft going fear at the Curragh
Opposition to Kingman in Saturday's Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh could prove thin on the ground if the going stays soft.
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Opposition to Kingman in Saturday's Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh could be thin on the ground if the going is soft.The Kildare track was hit by over 15 millimetres of rain on Sunday, changing underfoot conditions to yielding to soft.The well-regarded Obliterator won his sole juvenile start and was second to True Story in the Feilden Stakes at Newmarket on his reappearance, but with an unsettled forecast for the rest of the week, trainer Ger Lyons has a couple of other options in his mind."Plan B is the French Derby and Plan C would be straight to Royal Ascot," said Lyons."If there's 'good' in the description we'd be happy to let him take his chance, but if it is as it is now we'd probably give it a swerve and go for the Prix du Jockey Club if it's good there."He's very ground dependent, he has to have it good, there's no point in running him otherwise."He's a horse I like a lot and if he did run this weekend I think he'd go there with a brave shout, but I've got to do what I think is best for the horse."Aidan O'Brien's War Command, one of last year's leading juveniles having won the Coventry Stakes and Dewhurst, could finish only ninth at Newmarket in the Qipco 2000 Guineas behind Night Of Thunder and Kingman.His jockey Joseph O'Brien is hoping he can emulate two other Ballydoyle inmates who were well beaten at Newmarket before winning at the Curragh, but he would need the ground in his favour."Soft would be a big inconvenience for him, so hopefully the ground will dry out and it's no worse than good," O'Brien jnr told At The Races."He wasn't beaten too far (at Newmarket), he raced quite lazily through the race and it was his first run of the year."Hopefully he can step up from the Guineas on the Curragh, as both Power and Roderic O'Connor have done before."We were thinking of maybe cheekpieces or a visor or something, just to sharpen him up and get him to travel through his race. He's quite laid-back and just does the bare minimum, so something like that might just kick him back into gear."He's very well, he's done some light work since Newmarket and he seems to have come out of the race well."Hopefully he can run to his Dewhurst and Coventry form."The Curragh's general manager Paul Hensey thinks the ground at the weekend will be yielding as the track took the rain well."It was very wet yesterday evening, but the ground was on the quicker side of good before the rain," said Hensey."After 15.1mm it is yielding to soft now, but we've had a good drying day today so we're hoping it's heading back towards good."There's another band of rain tomorrow morning, Wednesday is nice but Thursday through to the weekend it's sunshine and showers."If I had to guess I'd say it will be yielding ground at the weekend, on the slow side of good."One thing is we don't have to worry about watering."