Tag Archives: Curragh

The Irish Derby (Group 1)

The Pentagon on his way out to win the Tyros Stakes last July

A field of twelve go to post for the Irish Derby with Ballydoyle supplying four of the entries headed by Saxon Warrior who will go off the odds on favourite quoted at 4/5. He’s on a retrieval mission having flopped at Epsom where he couldn’t justify the favourite’s tag after his scintillating performance in the 2000 Guineas. Dee Ex Bee who ran second to Masar at Epsom is priced up as the 7/2 second favourite.

Stay and he’ll win was the call of the day at Epsom for Saxon Warrior but stay, well it appeared he didn’t, instead labouring home in fourth. There was no after burner, no turn of foot, no sudden burst of acceleration as there had been in his previous run’s. When he rounded Tattenham Corner the warning signs were there, Ryan Moore was having difficulty keeping position and as they came into the straight Dee Ex Bee was travelling by far the sweeter of the pair and he stayed on resolutely to be second. Delano Roosevelt and The Pentagon trailed in sixth and eighth respectively with Knight To Behold fading to eleventh having led into the straight.

Delano Roosevelt went on to Ascot for The King Edward V11 Stakes, affectionately known as the Ascot Derby, but he couldn’t justify favouritism there when beaten 4 L by Godolphin’s Old Persian. He was upped in class from Listed level and he took it all in his stride to put in a good performance and win cosily. He has been supplemented to represent the team here as they’ve decided to target Masar at the The Eclipse next week. Rostropovich ran on well to be second.

Platium Warrior goes for Mick Halford. He ran fourth in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial behind The Pentagon and Delano Roosevelt and then won the Gallinule Stakes here a month ago getting the better of Joseph O’Brien’s Latrobe by 2 L in the process. Latrobe went on to break his maiden here over this trip three weeks ago.

Dermot Weld’s Bandua is unbeaten in two run’s. He’s asked to make a massive  step up in class but he may well be capable of it. He won his maiden in April at Cork impressively by a wide margin from Arthurian Fame and followed up at Cork again in early May winning easily again. Both win’s were on soft ground but he may well prefer a quicker surface. The form was given a nice boost by Dawn Hoofer, 16 L behind him in the second Cork race, when he won the Apprentice Derby here last night.

Carlo Biraghi form ties in with Bandua as he won his maiden when beating Arthurian Fame by 3 L but he didn’t match the effort when fifth at Listed level last time out. Jim Bolger’s Theobald makes up the numbers having failed to match the potential he showed in his first three runs as a juvenile.

In the build up to this race Ballydoyle have been quiet about Saxon Warrior. That might signal a certain nervousness or alternatively the view may well be the horse will do the talking.

Like everybody else we thought he would hack up at Epsom but he failed to fire. Post race Aidan O’Brien felt he had been distracted, in awe of the experience, failing to concentrate and he simply ran green. If Aidan’s right it’s likely he’ll have got the greenness out of him and if so he could win here however the jury is still out on whether he truly stays the mile and half trip and this stiff Curragh track will one way or the other find him out. At the price he’s too short to back given the questions the Epsom run has posed.

There are good each way alternative’s.

The later developing three year old’s are of interest. Charlie Appleby’s Old Persian could make the supplementary worthwhile, he beat Gronkowski as a juvenile who ran so well to be second to Justify in the Belmont Stakes. Dermot Weld’s rank outsider Bandua could well belie the 50/1 odds on offer now. On debut he has 23 L to spare over Giuseppe Garibaldi who was then 2 L behind Old Persian at Royal Ascot.

Recommendations: Old Persian 14/1 ew 

                                          Bandua 50/1 ew 

 

 

 

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Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (Group 1)

Zibha entering the parade ring at Leopardstown before winning the Amethyst Stakes

To a large extent this race revolves around Saxon Warrior the English Guineas winner. He’s an absentee here, instead being prepared for the Epsom Derby next week where he is the odds on favourite.

The favourite here is Elarqam, Mark Johnston’s raider from England ran fourth at Newmarket with Gustav Klimt back in sixth. The form of the English race has taken a significant boost with the fifth horse home Roaring Loin have taken The Dante in impressive fashion at York last week. He’s now a live contender for Epsom.

Gustav Klimt was a bit disappointing at Newmarket. He’d gone there after winning The Leopardstown Guineas Trial on heavy ground in really good style where he beat Imaging by 1 3/4L and US Navy Flag by 15 L. We spoken at length about the latter in previous blogs on the French and English Guineas. He was our choice for both.

In France US Navy Flag did as expected. Ryan Moore who will ride him again here tried to bully the race going off in front but the uneven surface at Longchamp led him to stumble badly in the straight and he was caught and past by a closing pack to finish fifth beaten 3L by Olmedo. The track subsequently had to be changed for the running of the French 1000 Guineas with senior jockeys describing it as dangerous. He must be forgiven for the run. Aidan also runs Spanish Point most likely the pacesetter and Threeandfourpence who comes back having had no run at Churchill Downs last time out when the rain ruined any chance he had.

The home contingent also includes Zibha, Would Be King, Landshark, Romanised and Theobald.

Would Be King at Leopardstown last July

Zibha is unbeaten over three runs, the first two at Dundalk on the all-weather and his last run, his first on turf, at Leopardstown when he took the Amethyst Stakes over a mile beating older horses in a very pleasing performance. Three year old’s beating older horses at this stage of their careers is always worth noting.

Would Be King was second to Imaging (who has been taken out of this race) with Romanised back in sixth, in the Tetrarch Stakes over 7f at Naas a couple of weeks ago. The former from the Ger Lyons yard is still a maiden after five run’s but he’s boxed with some very good colts in those runs notably when second to Gustav Klimt when he won his maiden last July. Romanised can’t be dismissed either, his form with Masar (third at Newmarket) when second in the Solario last year at Sandown reads well. In the Tetrarch he was coming with a run late on when taken out of it by Hence. He looked unlucky.

Landshark is the least experienced in the field having just had the two runs as a juvenile. In the latter he was beaten 6L by US Navy Flag in the Round Tower last August.

There is another English raider, Symbolization. Godolphin must hold him in high regard asking him to step up from a handicap win last time out to contest this.

This will be run on fast ground. It will suit some better than others. Elarqam will benefit from it but he got caught out by the Ballydoyle pacesetters at Newmarket and the same may happen here again. If Ryan Moore doesn’t decide to boss it from the off you’d expect that Spanish Point will set factions slower than ideal for Mark Johnston’s colt and that it will be designed to bring the O’Brien trio Threeandfourpence , Gustav Klimt and US Navy Flag with a finishing kick.

That might just suit Romanised very nicely. As a son of Holy Roman Emperor he should love the ground and he could get up late to do the O’Brien fancied pair at the death, and at a big price.

Recommendation: Romanised 33/1 ew

 

 

The Irish Derby (Group 1)

Taj Mahal at Leopardstown last year

Sport can sometimes be cruel.

Last week Peter O’Mahony was the Lions captain. This week he watch’s the match from the sidelines. Padraig Beggy will also watch from the sidelines after winning the Epsom Derby on Wings Of Eagles. He is replaced by Ballydoyle’s number one pilot, Ryan Moore.

He was no fluke winner of the Epsom Derby.

Ae we noted in the Epsom Derby blog he showed a turn of foot in the Chester Vase when second to Venice Beech. That was repeated when he collared Cliffs Of Moher and Crackman at Epsom. Cliffs Of Moher waits for next week’s Eclipse but Cracksman comes back for another crack at Wings Of Eagles. The noises from the Gosden camp are positive and they are looking forward to the rematch. Their thinking being their colt having only had his third run of his life will improve. Wings Of Eagles will be having his seventh run. Is he still improving?

The Derby form got a great boost at Royal Ascot with both Benbatl (5th at Epsom) winning the Hampton Court Stakes where he beat Orderofthegarter a 1/2 L and Periman (10th at Epsom) winning the King Edward V11 Stakes where he beat Khalidi (14th at Epsom).

Capri, Douglas Macarthur and The Anvil also represented Ballydoyle at Epsom. Capri was disappointing running sixth running on at same pace with Douglas Macarthur 1 L behind in seventh. Seamie Heffernan retains the ride on Capri, a horse he’s been sweet on since his first run. The suspicion now is he shows more at home than he does on the track.

Douglas Macarthur who probably does show us as much on the track as he does at home will be ridden by Donnacha O’Brien as Colm O’Donoghue is claimed for Grandee as retained rider to the Jessica Harrington stable. He will have to improve a ton to win this on the back of a listed win at Leopardstown, the good news was that that was over 1M4F so he’ll stay.

Dubai Sand also has a mountain to climb on ratings if he is to win having been beaten 9 L by Douglas Macarthur in the Derrinstown Derby Trial in May. He’ll be the freshest horse here.

Ana O’Brien will again get a spin on The Anvil. At Epsom Douglas Macarthur broke well and took it up joined by Ana on The Anvil. The pace they set was searing and soon they were well clear of the field. Rounding Tattenham corner Wings Of Eagles was a long way back running third last. Douglas Macarthur up front was piling on the pressure. He soon burnt off The Anvil and when Cracksman came to his hindquarters 2 F out he began to fold. Outside of Cracksman Cliffs Of Moher was attacking under Ryan Moore. It looked between the two of them. All the while in behind Padraig Beggy was getting a tune out of Wings Of Eagles. He easily picked up a tiring field and as the line loomed he swooped late to overhaul his stable companion and Cracksman. Turn of foot, job done.

Andre Farbe, who won this in 2005 with Hurricane Run, has elected to send Waidgest here on the back of his excellent second in the French Derby where Brametot beat him a short head. Taj Mahal ran a cracker staying on to be fourth 1 1/2 L behind the winner with Orderogthegarter back in sixth. This was reversed in the Hampton Court when Orderogthegarter ran second to Benbatl with Taj Mahal again filling fourth.

The form link suggests Epsom was the better race than Chantilly.

There’s every reason to think Waidgeist will benefit from the step up in trip from the 1M2F Prix Du Jockey Club to the 1M4F here. Cracksman you would expect will improve from his Epsom run also. So too will Wings Of Eagles. This time Ryan Moore will call the tune. It’s the turn of foot that will deliver.

Recommendation: Wing Of Eagles 9/4 win

                                      Wing Of Eagles, Cracksman, Waidgeist Combined Trifecta 

 

The Irish 1000 Guineas (Group 1)

Rehana on her way out to win the Athasi Stakes at Naas

Winter may have won at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago but can she double up at the Curragh on today?

Aidan O’Brien has decided against running Rhododendron instead keeping her for the Oaks but he is still mob handed with half the field declared from Ballydoyle. Supporting Winter are Hydrangea, Roly Poly and Asking.

It’s the ground that thrown everything. The heavy rain yesterday at the Curragh has turned the ground to yielding, a bit worse than it was for that Guineas Trial at Leopardstown. It now looks a hot trial now, won by Hydrangea with Winter second and Rehana third. All take each other on again here.

Four fillies oppose the Ballydoyle juggernaut.

Aneen from the Kevin Prendergast yard had two runs as a juvenile. She made a pleasing debut at Leopardstown running on strongly into fourth before winning a maiden here at the Curragh on good to yielding ground where she was an easy winner albeit possibly an uncooperative one when flashing her tail when put under the whip.

Bean Feasa (Irish for a woman of knowledge) represents Jim Bolger. She ran very well first time out when going down a half a length to Psychedelic Funk at Naas last year but in two subsequent runs as a juvenile she wasn’t able to build on that. Her reappearance came in what the Leopardstown 1000 Guineas Trial where she ran fifth. A second in a maiden behind Naughty But Nice was then followed up with a win over Asking in the Derrinstown 1000 Guineas Trail at Leopardstown.

Joseph O’Brien’s Intricately was a surprising winner of the Moyglare Stakes (G1) last year but she hasn’t gone on from there. At Newmarket she was competitive before running out of steam two furlongs out and maybe it was the dip that caught her out. She’ll welcome a return to this flatter track and she’ll also like the ground given her win the Moyglare was on a yielding surface.

Rehana from the Mick Halford stable had four runs last year including a win over Rhododendron when she took her maiden. Thereafter she went down in the Debutante Stakes (G2) and in the Moyglare Stakes (G1) fourth both times. Her third in the Leopardstown Trial was followed up with a very impressive performance at Naas three weeks ago when she took on and beat older fillies in the Athasi Stakes (G3).

It worth noting that Roly Poly whose overall two year old form was good also has form on the track and on the surface having won the Grangecon Stud Stakes (G3) here last June.

It’s a tight one Winter is well capable of doing the double but she’s a skinny price and she’s worth taking on. Rehana’s performance at Naas was very likeable and she seems to have come on well from the Leopoardstown Trial. Her test today is the surface, if she handles it she could win today.

Recommendation: Rehana 13/2 ew 

                                        Rehana, Roly Poly (Reverse forecast)