McGuinness seeking 'big performance' as A Case Of You warms up for Royal Ascot

Saturday: 2.45 Curragh
Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes (Group 2) | 6f | 4yo+ | RTV/RTE2

A Case Of You has travelled halfway around the world and won two Group 1s since his last turf start on home soil, and this looks a good opportunity for him to make a winning return to domestic action.

It was at the Curragh where the globetrotting sprinter finished a cracking second in the Flying Five Stakes in September, and he is now the country's joint second highest-rated performer with a mark of 118.

This is no penalty kick for the Prix de l'Abbaye and Al Quoz Sprint winner, but he sets the standard on ratings.

Connections have made no secret of Royal Ascot being their next top-level target so whether he will be at his absolute peak here with the royal meeting just around the corner is hard to say, but he could still get the job done without being at his best.

Ratings suggest that Glen Shiel, who is 3lb inferior but receives exactly that amount, will be waiting to swoop if A Case Of You is not firing on all cylinders, but he will have to improve a fair deal from his Haydock reappearance as he renews rivalry with Brad The Brief.

That rival, who made a winning first start for Hugo Palmer after previously being trained by Tom Dascombe, will appreciate any rainfall and arguably looked as good as ever on his latest appearance.

Mooneista had his measure when the pair locked horns a month later in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes over five furlongs and should have no fitness concerns after two solid showings last month. She was only a neck behind A Case Of You in the Lacken Stakes last year and could prove his biggest threat.

Power Under Me defied a 175-day absence to get the better of Mooneista in the Cork Stakes last month and may well be better this year than in 2021.

'Timing is perfect' for globetrotting star

Ado McGuinness believes the opportunity to put A Case Of You on trial for Royal Ascot comes at a perfect time in his preparation for the big meeting, having been freshened up since his Dubai exertions.

No decision has been nailed down yet as to whether the high-class four-year-old contests the King's Stand or Platinum Jubilee Stakes, for which he is a top-priced 9-1 and 12-1 respectively.

McGuinness said: "We're very happy with him. He's in good form after we gave him a break following Dubai. We just felt that 11 weeks between Meydan and Royal Ascot might have been a bit too long for us considering he's always better for a run, that's why we're running him here.

"It's perfect timing and hopefully he'll put up a big performance. He has to give weight to good horses, but that's what good horses have to do."

McGuinness added: "A decision on which race he runs in at Ascot will depend on what the weather is like – the man in the sky will tell me where he goes."

What they say

Hugo Palmer, trainer of Brad The Brief
He looked very good at Haydock and the ground should be nice for him. I'm sure Glen Shiel, who he beat at Haydock, will take a step forward. He'll need a career-best, but he's in good nick.

Simon Turner, racing manager to Hambleton Racing, owners of Glen Shiel
He's come on for his run at Haydock. It should be lovely ground, we've got the blinkers back on and we expect him to step up on that first run of the season.

Joe Murphy, trainer of Gustavus Weston
He can do his own thing but he can run well if bringing his best form to the table. He's versatile in terms of ground.

Johnny Murtagh, trainer of Urban Beat
He'll appreciate any rain that comes. With the rating he has he has to be running in races like this one now.

Jack Davison, trainer of Mooneista
She goes there in good form and the bit of rain that has fallen this week won't have done her any harm. She's got a nice draw [in stall nine of nine].