NAP ON A WINNING TREND! Shamrock landed his nap for the second day running when he followed up Sunset Beauty (WON 4-5) at Leopardstown on Thursday with the Kilbeggan dead-heater Trendelenburg (WON 11-8).
7-1 DOUBLE UP LAST NIGHT: Shamrock completed a late-night double when Capisci (WON 5-2) took the last at Kilbeggan. The 7-1 double returns were reduced because Trendelenburg dead-heated.
2.10 Curragh: What no Ballydoyle (Misty For Me won this last year)? Redoutable, entered up in the Phoenix and the Moyglare, will be favourite but Siansa has a Lowther Stakes date and Fixed Gaze is also headed for the Moyglare.
2.40 Curragh: Sixty Eight Guns did the ‘three runs and hit’ trick, winning first time in a handicap but has failed to follow up, and three-year-olds have yet to win this race.
Madeira Classic was gambled on to pull off the same trick at Leopardstown in March but fluffed his lines. Don’t be surprised if he does better.
Yet a third in the first-time-handicap spotlight is the filly, Arminta, also with first-time cheekpieces. She’s getting weight from both three-year-olds.
3.40 Curragh: Older horses (over the age of five) don’t win this, and last year Duff was second in first-time blinkers – Six of Hearts eighth of nine – when a three-year-old won for the first time in 10 years.
Duff hasn’t scored now since the autumn of 2009, while Six Of Hearts has improved, but, with a strong pace from Across The Rhine, I think the race shapes up as a question of whether the three-year-olds can beat The Cheka?
Well, Future Generation was stone last, attempting Group 3 in the Brownstown at Fairyhouse, but Seeharn has improved on her 1,000 Guineas Trial run by taking the lead and running well in the Athasi last time out, though no match for Emiyna and Lolly For Dolly, as you might expect.
If she goes with Across The Rhine, she’ll have Haydock John Of Gaunt Stakes winner, The Cheka, after her and we could be treated to a battling finish between the pair.
The Cheka has had only 14 races in his career. I thought he’d be aimed at the Prix Maurice de Gheest or the Hungerford but I see his current entries schedule lists only a big Group-1 sprint back at Haydock.
For back-and-lay punters, I suggest that Across The Rhine is unlikely to hang on: his Amethyst second to Famous Name was in a small field, seven lengths adrift of the winner, and a previous modest run behind Lolly For Dolly suggests he’s not up to taking this.
4.40 Curragh: That’s A Fret won this from stall 15 off 69 last year. Up 6lb but with the same stall today, he has however had a poor season so far.
Of the other CD winners, Newpark Rio is in a similar rut but Speed Dream, though up in the ratings, is lightly raced and drawn on the other side in 2. Olfa’s handicap debut is interesting.
5.10 Curragh: Nurseries return today! Back a top weight in a nursery, they say, because they’ve proved their worth. But nothing wins this one from high in the handicap (8st 13lb the highest).
The form of wins by Tarcisio, Lady Pastrana and Greek Canyon have all taken knocks, and Dermot Weld is claiming off Crimson Sunrise, so I’m taking a punt on Vegas Rocks, who will be getting 23lb off that top weight, Pitlochry.
NAP: Seeharn (3.40 Curragh)
NEXT BEST: Vegas Rocks (5.10 Curragh)
SAVERS: The Cheka (3.40 Curragh) and Pitlochry (5.10 Curragh)
OUTSIDERS: Speed Dream, Olfa (4.40 Curragh)
DAQ TRIO: Arminta (2.40 Curragh), Seeharn (3.40 Curragh), Vegas Rocks (5.10 Curragh)