Christopher Tsui's My Titania appears to be in fine fettle for the Etihad Airways Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I) May 25 at the Curragh after a slight setback forced her to miss the English equivalent earlier this month, but she might not start if ground conditions are too soft.
From the first crop of Tsui's 2009 European Horse of the Year Sea The Stars, My Titania won two of her three starts as a juvenile including a the C.L. Weld Park Stakes (Ire-III) at the Curragh. She missed her season debut in the QIPCO One Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) at Newmarket earlier this month with an unsatisfactory scope just days before the race but is apparently in good shape now.
Trainer John Oxx has cautioned that if the ground is too soggy at the Curragh this weekend, My Titania will skip the race and wait for the Coronation Stakes (Eng-I) next month at Royal Ascot. She is currently the 10-3 Guineas favorite with bookmakers Paddy Power, but Oxx said his filly will have to bring her "A" game.
"You'd have to say the odds are against her even if she does run," he told England's Press Association. "She'll be taking on fillies who have had a run on ground that won't be ideal for her. She's won a group III, but she's unproven at the group I level and she's going to need to step up.
"We're quite happy with her at home. After the problem we had before Newmarket you'd always prefer four weeks rather than three weeks, but unfortunately I don't think they'll put the Guineas back for me! She's made a good recovery and she's ready to run, so we'll see what happens."
The Irish One Thousand Guineas lost some of its shine when Clive Brittain said highly regarded Rizeena will miss race after suffering a setback of her own last week. A group I winner in Ireland last season, the daughter of Iffraaj bled out a nostril following a workout.
Other top contenders for the Irish classic include Lightning Thunder, runner-up by just a neck in the English One Thousand Guineas; Derrinstown Stud One Thousand Guineas Trial (Ire-III) runner-up Palace; Vote Often, winner of the Park Express Stakes (Ire-III) over the Irish Guineas distance and course March 23; and 2013 Rockfel Stakes (Eng-II) winner Al Thakhira, who looks to rebound from an unplaced finish in the Poule d'Essai des Pouliches (Fr-I, French One Thousand Guineas).
Etihad Airways Irish One Thousand Guineas (Ire-I), 3-year-olds, fillies, one mile
No. PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer
1 3 Al Thakhira, R. Hughes, M. Botti
2 5 Avenue Gabriel, C. D. Hayes, P.D. Deegan
3 10 Ballybacka Queen, F. M. Berry, P. A. Fahy
4 4 Heart Focus, K. J. Manning, J. Bolger
5 1 Lightning Thunder, H. Bentley, O. Stevens
6 11 Marvellous, R. L. Moore, A. O'Brien
7 8 My Titania, D. P. McDonogh, J. M. Oxx
8 6 Palace, J. P. O'Brien, A. O'Brien
9 2 Queen of Power, F. Lynch, M. O'Callaghan
10 12 Tested, P. J. Smullen, D. Weld
11 9 Vote Often, J. Doyle, D. Weld
12 7 Wonderfully, J. A. Heffernan, A. O'Brien
All carry 126 pounds.