SHAMROCK: We preview an eight-race card at The Curragh on Saturday, featuring the Group 2 Alpha Centauri Debutante Stakes
Getting the day started is the two-year-old maiden over a mile (1.25pm), and this looks a very competitive affair. With a couple of debutants in here it might pay to stick with one that has already had their first day at school. Hiawatha went close at Galway last month and dropping down in trip could go one better here.
Travelling over seven furlongs in the next race and restricted to two-year-olds, this maiden looks equally trappy with no form on the table (2.00pm). Canute for the same trainer is a nicely bred son of Quality Road and should find this trip no problem.
The 1m4f handicap (2.35pm) looks an open contest and Dark Vega looks set to register her first win of the season. She’ll be tackling the distance for the first time, but Lope De Vega seems to have stamina in abundance as a sire which should mean she’ll improve for the step up. Any cut in the ground should do her chances no harm either.
The 7f Group 2 Futurity Stakes (3.10pm) looks an interesting affair. A bubble could be burst with a couple of these in the form of Proud And Regal and Aesop’s Fables, so a chance is taken on Hans Anderson. The Aidan O’Brien colt was a ready winner at this track the last day and the son of Frankel will likely improve for that maiden success.
In the Group 2 Debutante Stakes (3.45pm) a chance is taken on With Love. She found the company a bit hot when contesting the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown, but this doesn’t look such a competitive affair. She will have learned plenty from that day out and can get back to winning ways.
The 6f maiden (4.20pm) is a big field and we’re back to Ballydoyle to find the winner. So Beautiful has the assistance of the world-class Ryan Moore and down in trip with a weight advantage against her older rivals, she can take this on her way to bigger things.
Hibernia Oppositus looks the one to catch in the 1m2f maiden (4.55pm). He was sent off as favourite on debut in Dundalk back in March and can make amends here. The fifth that day has since gone on to win, so there’s some substance to the form.
Rounding out the day is a very competitive looking 5f handicap (5.30pm). A chance is taken on Boughtinthedark, the Denis Hogan-trained mare looks to be on a very reasonable mark and although it is a concern that she hasn’t been seen in the winner’s enclosure for over two years, she can get back on track in this. Her run the last day was over Cork’s stiff six furlongs and dropping back to her preferred five will play to her strengths.