CURRAGH Sat: The Curragh is the port of call this Saturday with a competitive eight-race card featuring Group 3 and Listed action.

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⭕ A maiden (1:10pm) over 1m1f begins the card. Donnacha O’Brien won the first renewal of this race two years ago with the smart Sissoko, so his debutant Invention, a son of Galileo, is one to track closely in the market. Another son of Galileo also makes his debut here; Aidan O’Brien’s Illinois. A half-brother to 2011 Arc winner Danedream, he could have the class to win first time up.

⭕ The Group 3 Staffordstown Stud Stakes (1:45pm) for two-year-old fillies over a mile is the feature race on the card. French raider Dare To Dream is an interesting contender, after she wasn’t disgraced at this level on only her second start. However, she faces a very exciting filly in Natalia Lupini’s Kitty Rose, who is two from two and easily beat Content in the Listed Ingabelle Stakes last time. She looked a Group 1 filly that day and can prove that here.

⭕ Amateur lady riders take centre stage next in the Ladies’ Trophy Handicap (2:20pm) over 1m4f. Jody Townend and Brodie Hampson stand out as the most experienced riders in the field and that can go a long way in races of this nature. Archie Watson has sent over Let Her Loose, a filly that has already won four times this season and proved she was still feasibly handicapped when a close second at Catterick most recently. Hampson has been on board for all four of her wins and the partnership should go well again.

⭕ A maiden (2:55pm) for horses by sires whose yearling prices did not exceed €75,000 comes up next. A field of 14 are set to line up over 6f and it looks a tricky race to decipher with nearly half of them not having run before. Those that have experience don’t set the highest standard and it may be worth taking a chance on the Dermot Weld-trained Next Trick, a daughter of Bated Breath who holds an Irish 1000 Guineas entry next year.

⭕ The Listed Brigid’s Pastures Stakes (3:30pm) is also run over 6f. Bells On Her Toes comes out on top of the figures and should go close, while the Colin Keane-ridden Aussie Girl has shown consistent form this season and has to be respected. William Haggas’ raider Pinafore might be the one to be on though, as she’s only had 10 starts and suggested she could be up to this level when winning a Class 2 handicap at Nottingham last time.

⭕ It’s hard to ignore the claims of Pop Star in the following 5f handicap (4:05pm). Aidan O’Brien’s Sioux Nation colt still looked green when winning on his third start at Navan at the end of August. That form has worked out well, with the runner-up going on to score impressively since, and there should be plenty more improvement to come from Pop Star now beginning life in handicaps.

⭕ The penultimate race on the card is a handicap for apprentice jockeys (4:40pm) over a mile. Hokusai looks to be of interest on handicap debut, having shown some promise over this trip on soft ground two starts ago. He finished down the field when last seen in August, but he’s likely to have needed that run after a break of 145 days and there could be better to come now that’s behind him. Robert Whearty, who has ridden 18 winners so far this season, takes the ride.

⭕ The day concludes with a 6f handicap (5:15pm) and it doesn’t look an easy puzzle to solve with 22 runners set to take their chance. It’s worth considering Aidan Howard’s Magical Vision here. This six-year-old mare is very lightly raced for her age, with three wins from her five starts, so obviously doesn’t take much racing. However, when ready to race, she has done well in the past – including when winning over this trip on heavy ground first time up this season – and the presence of Chris Hayes in the saddle suggests she should give it a good go once again.



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