Dermot Weld is looking to win the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas for a fifth time with Homeless Songs at the Curragh on Sunday.
The master trainer has won big races all around the world but the victory of Prince’s Polly in the 1982 version provided him with a first Irish Classic.
He went on to claim the fillies’ race with Trusted Partner in 1988, Nightime in 2006 and Bethrah in 2010 – and Homeless Songs appears to have strong credentials to add to his list.
Having impressed in a trial in early April, she was strongly fancied for both the English and French versions, but both were swerved on account of fast ground.
Fiona Craig, bloodstock advisor for her owners Moyglare Stud, said: “She worked on Wednesday and worked nicely, so we’re looking forward to it.
“Her mother (Joailliere) didn’t go on firm ground, so we didn’t go to Newmarket and France wasn’t the right race either.
“It’ll be interesting. If you look at the pedigree, we’re hoping the Frankel influence will get her home over the mile. We won’t know if she gets the mile until we run over it it.
“I’d have no question about a mile around a turn, it’s just that Curragh is a long (straight) mile, but this is where we are and at least we’ve had a bit of rain. She doesn’t need soft ground, she just doesn’t want it like a road.
“It’s going to be a very good race, but all we can do is go and compete and see how we come out of it at the end.”
The Newmarket 1000 Guineas can sometimes be a good guide to the Irish version and with neither Cachet or Prosperous Voyage lining up, it is left to Aidan O’Brien’s Tuesday, third there, to uphold the form.
She was having just her third run having suffered a setback following her only outing at two and O’Brien expects her to continue to improve this season just like her sister, Minding.
O’Brien also runs History, another strong contender as a Group Three winner, and Concert Hall, out of the Oaks winner, Was.
The Ballydoyle handler said of his contenders: “We were delighted with Tuesday at Newmarket, she ran a lovely race.
“She’s been in good form since then and we’ll just take it one step at a time with her (regarding the Oaks) but we were delighted with her at Newmarket and we thought that the Curragh would suit her.
“History has stepped up a little from last year and she won nicely last time. She hasn’t done a lot since then but she’s in good form.
“Concert Hall has been in good form since Navan. She won over a mile and a quarter there and is dropping back in trip, but we thought there was no harm in letting her take her chance. She could possibly be one for Epsom but it’s one race at a time.”
A very interesting contender is the William Haggas-trained Purplepay, who will be having her first outing for the Newmarket-based handler, who is the most in-form trainer on either side of the Irish Sea right now.
Purplepay was last seen finishing third against the colts in the Criterium International for Cedric Rossi before being bought for €2million.
“It’s very much the plan for her to run and she looks pretty useful to me, so we’ll see how she goes – it’ll be very interesting,” said Haggas.
“She doesn’t move like she wants soft ground, but she’s got lots of good form on soft ground.”
James Ferguson is another Newmarket handler making the journey with Mise En Scene, who had been aimed at Newmarket’s Guineas only to spike a temperature on the morning of the race.
“I’m really happy with her. It’s obviously a very competitive race for her first run of the season, but I think we’ve got her A1,” he said.
“It was no secret that Newmarket was our primary target, but you can’t send a horse to the races, especially a Classic, unless they are 100 per cent.
“She did a nice swinger to open her lungs earlier this week and all being well, we’ll travel over and hopefully come back with a trophy.”
One of several lively outsiders is Henry de Bromhead’s Star Girls Aalmal, winner of two of her three outings to date.
De Bromhead may be better known for winning Cheltenham Gold Cups and Grand Nationals, but he does well with his small Flat string.
“It might be an ambitious plan but we said we’d give it a go and see how we get on,” he said.
“She seems in super form so we’re happy with her and we’ll find out plenty more on Sunday.
“She seems good on any surface so, touch wood, it will be nice ground and that will suit her.”
Joseph O’Brien’s Agartha, Fozzy Stack’s once-raced Hermana Estrella and Ger Lyons’ Panama Red are others among the 14-strong field.