NATIVE Trail, Buckaroo and Homeless Songs are among the big names going forward for the first Irish classic races of the season at the Curragh this weekend.

A total of 11 horses stand their ground for Saturday’s Group 1 Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas and it’s the Charlie Appleby-trained Native Trail that leads the way after finishing runner-up to his own stable companion Coroebus in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket.

He is one of two British-trained horses in the race and last year’s European champion two-year-old could yet be joined at the Curragh by the Andrew Balding-trained Imperial Fighter.

Leading the home defence is the Joseph O'Brien-trained Buckaroo which scored a four-length win in the Group 3 Coolmore Irish EBF Tetrarch Stakes at the Curragh two weeks ago, but who also has the option of the Derby. Jim Bolger’s Wexford Native, the Sheila Lavery-trained New Energy and Michael O'Callaghan’s Malex chased him home that afternoon and could all reoppose on Saturday.

Aidan O'Brien has supplemented his recent Amethyst Stakes runner-up Ivy League and the champion trainer has also left in The Acropolis, with Ger Lyons’ Atomic Jones, the Jim Bolger-trained Boundless Ocean and Dermot Weld’s Duke De Sessa are also in the race.

Saturday’s star-studded card sees 17 entries, headed by the Ado McGuinness-trained A Case Of You, for the Group 2 Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes with the Aidan O'Brien-trained Blackbeard, the Michael O'Callaghan-trained Crispy Cat and Ger Lyons’s Tough Talk topping 11 entries in the Group 3 GAIN Marble Hill Stakes.


The action at the Curragh on Sunday is headlined by the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Dermot Weld-trained Homeless Songs, a brilliant winner of the Group 3 Ballylinch Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial Stakes at Leopardstown, heads the remaining 15 entries.

Charlie Appleby has left in Wild Beauty with the William Haggas-trained Purplepay and James Ferguson’s Mise En Scene also possible British raiders.

Aidan O'Brien could yet be represented by the Newmarket 1,000 Guineas third Tuesday, History, Concert Hall and Lullaby while Joseph O'Brien’s Agartha, the Henry de Bromhead-trained Star Girls Aalmal and Jessica Harrington’s Villanova Queen are other strong Irish-trained contenders.

Gold Cup

The Joseph O'Brien-trained State Of Rest, a top-level winner in America and Australia last year and already successful in the Group 1 Prix Ganay at Longchamp this season, is an eye-catching entry for Sunday’s Tattersalls Gold Cup.

The biggest challenge to O'Brien’s globetrotting star could come from across the Irish Sea with the three-time Group 1 winner Lord North, trained by John and Thady Gosden and the William Haggas-trained Alenquer among the remaining 12 contenders.

Helvic Dream is there for Noel Meade with last year’s Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas hero Mac Swiney possibly set to make his seasonal reappearance for Jim Bolger. Aidan O'Brien’s team is made up of last year’s narrow runner-up Broome, High Definition and Wordsworth. Thunder Kiss could yet carry the hopes of Ger Lyons.

Sunday’s card also boasts at thrilling renewal of the Group 2 Lanwades Stud Stakes with the Paddy Twomey-trained Pearls Galore and Joseph O'Brien’s impressive Coolmore Circus Maximus EBF Athasi Stakes winner Twilight Spinner, which was supplemented this morning, among an entry of nine.

Brian Kavanagh, CEO of The Curragh, commented: “We are delighted with the quality of entries throughout all three days and look forward to a superb weekend with the opportunity to welcome racegoers from far and wide. I would particularly like to acknowledge the significant support of our sponsors who have ensured we will offer record prizemoney this year.”

Click here for entries for The Curragh on Saturday

Click here for entries for The Curragh on Sunday