CURRAGH Sat: We’re looking to the Curragh this Saturday for an eight-race card , which features two Group 2 contests; the Futurity Stakes and the Debutante Stakes.
⭕ First up is a two-year-olds’ maiden over seven furlongs (1.45pm). A card full of unraced two-year-olds is tough to call, however some stand-out pedigrees here suggest where the best talent might lie. Aidan O’Brien’s London City, a Justify colt out of a Galileo mare, is a half-brother to two winners, and his sire does particularly well with Galileo mares – outstanding Juvenile City Of Troy being the best example. On those grounds, he could be the one to beat, but might have to look out for Ger Lyons’ Formal Display, a Too Darn Hot colt who is three-parts brother to Time Test. Drawn side-by-side, they could be the first and second home.
⭕ Our second race is a maiden over six furlongs (2.20pm). Five of the 16 runners are making their racecourse debut, from which group Tennessee Gal looks interesting, half-sister to Group 1-placed Emblazoned, and could have the talent to achieve at least a place here. Experience may trump pedigree, though, so David Marnane’s Double Jabbed, who placed at the Curragh on his seasonal reappearance and has placed twice since, could improve to win and is drawn closer to the preferrable stand’s side here.
⭕ Following is a fillies’ and mares’ handicap over 1m4f (2.52pm). Joseph O’Brien’s Sugaree has improved continually this season, winning her last start over this trip by three lengths at Leopardstown. She could win again off her mark of 85 and looks a likely candidate. Marvelosa should have a chance of placing, having been very consistent this season over a variety of trips in all sorts of ground conditions. With a seven-pound claiming rider in the saddle, she should be in the mix again.
⭕ The fourth race is the first of our Group 2 contests; the seven-furlong Futurity Stakes (3.27pm). Henry Longfellow is difficult to see past, having won a hot maiden at the Curragh over this distance on soft ground on his debut. While Spanish Flame is his equal rival based on form, Henry Longfellow’s pedigree – out of a seven-time Group 1 winning mare Minding – is superior and should make him the winner.
⭕ Next is the Group 2 Debutante Stakes, a fillies’ race over seven furlongs (4.00pm). Sakti, who was beaten just a neck on her debut over this trip in soft ground, should have a chance of placing or better, while Snellen, despite lacking form on softer ground, has the pedigree to suggest she can handle rain and go on to beat Pearls And Rubies once again.
⭕ The sixth race is a maiden over 1m2f (4.35pm). Starry Eyed has shown ability in testing conditions and could be in line for a place once again, but Thunder Roll – who has placed in Listed and Group 3 company – steps down in class here and will find this much easier. She should be more than capable of handling the rain and can win this.
⭕ Our penultimate race is a handicap over 1m3f (5.10pm). With a seven-pound claimer in the saddle, Pont Audemer could be in the mix for the placings having been very consistent in a range of conditions this season. Turbulence, though, could be the one to beat having recently finished a close second over 10½f on soft ground. If reproducing that run, he could win this.
⭕ Finally, we have a five-furlong handicap to conclude the afternoon’s racing (5.40pm). A winner on soft last time out, Aloysius Lilius should be able to run for a place here, but Shoebox King looks to be the one to beat, especially with 10-pound claiming Calum Hogan in the saddle. The four-year-old son of Aclaim has hit a patch of good form this summer and any rain that falls will be advantageous.