WOW. What a weekend of sporting action we’ve just savoured. Leinster produced the best 40 minutes of Heineken Cup rugby that I’ve ever seen or am ever likely to see to be honest. But the end result was never in doubt for the boys in blue!
Then on Sunday I don’t even support any of the teams that were fighting for that crucial Premier League survival and I was still sitting on the edge of my seat as news of yet another goal came in from Old Trafford or White Hart Lane.
That’s without the racing even as champion trainer Aidan O’Brien won both Irish Guineas at The Curragh courtesy of Roderic O’Connor and Misty For Me, the former making it an emotional day for the O’Brien family as son Joseph was tasting Classic success for a first time two days short of his 18th birthday.
The racing is a bit more downbeat this week but Leopardstown does feature the Group 3 Ballycorus Stakes on Sunday and I’m going to keep on side and go for O’Brien’s Zoffany.
The Dansili colt was actually declared for the Abu Dhabi Irish 2,000 Guineas at the five-day stage but a bout of colic ruled him out that very same day.
Thankfully he made a pretty quick full recovery and connections have now decided to target this 7f event instead.
He won the Tyros Stakes over course and distance last year so the trip should be no problem whatsoever, although I would be slightly concerned if the ground were to come up too soft as he was beaten on that type of surface on his last start in the Group 1 Vincent O’Brien National Stakes at The Curragh.
Zoffany mustered a creditable third that day behind two good horses in Pathfork and Casamento and the fact that the Ballydoyle colt was sent off 6-4 favourite for that top level event indicates just how highly he is regarded at home.
He is already a Group 1 winner having landed the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes at The Curragh last August and I think that he will just have too much class for the rest of the opposition.
At time of writing I don’t really know what else will be running in the next few days so I’m going to do something a little different and flag up an ante-post horse that I think might be worth backing now.
I was really impressed with the way Power, who may or may not be named after me, won the TP Waters EBF Marble Hill Stakes at The Curragh on Saturday when he had to dig deep to beat an animal that lives up to his name in Tough As Nails.
I think that Power is the best juvenile that Ballydoyle has and he looks likely to run in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Aidan said that he has loads of class and 5f was a bit short for him so the extra furlong at the Royal fixture should be made for him and his current price of 4-1 won’t be available on the day.
Saturday features one of the most talked about football matches ever when Manchester United take on the mighty Barcelona at Wembley.
Barcelona might be one of the best teams ever seen with players of the calibre of Argentinean striker/winger Lionel Messi but I think that United are a value bet to win at 11-4 within 90 minutes.
It shows just how good Barca are that United are trading at such a huge price but with the game being played in England and the likelihood that they will enjoy a home atmosphere, that could just swing it in their favour.
Sunday Leopardstown 3.45 Zoffany
June 14 Royal Ascot 17.30 Power
Saturday Wembley 19.45 Manchester United in 90 minutes
Paddy Power Column in association with www.paddypower.com