Curragh- 20th July Preview
Aidan O’Brien’s Toogoodtobetrue looks hard to oppose in the opening 6f 2yo Fillies Maiden. She was easy to back on debut at Naas but ran a very promising race. She has an edge over Dermot Weld’s Sidra and Jim Bolger’s New Alliance who both lack racecourse experience. Last years winning trainer Kevin Prendergast’s Tamadhor is interesting and of the others with experience, David Wachman’s Gussy Goose could be the chief threat to the favourite after a good second at Fairyhouse.
The following race is a tricky looking six runner nursery and Johnny Murtagh’s Sauanna Belle could be well treated by a mark of 76, especially on her run behind The Great War and Lupie who have both franked the form since. The top weight as Good as Gold found Group 3 company too tough and might just struggle to give weight all round.
After an impressive win at Navan over a mile, John Oxx nominated the 1m 2f Meld Stakes as a target for Ponfeigh. The three year old colt gets plenty of weight off his rivals and looked stretched by the Derby trip on his last run. He travels well and his turn of foot should be seen to good effective granted a strong gallop. The other three year old, Afternoon Sunlight, could be the main threat having won a 1000 Guineas trial at Leopardstown. Jim Bolgers Parish Hall gives weight all round and sets the standard while Aidan O’Brien’s Festive Cheer is hard to assess following a run in the Dubai Sheema Classic and giving that his only ever win came at Dundalk.
The Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes could be fought out between the two three year olds, Lahinch Classics and the highly promising juvenile My Titania, who both receive 9lbs from their four year old rivals. The former is rated 96 after a neck second behind yesterdays Irish Oaks third Volume. The drop back in trip is a slight worry and she has over 5 lengths to find with My Titania on her debut run at Leopardstown. The 107 rated My Titania should be very tough to beat and was a satisfying fourth on her comeback run in the Coronation at Royal Ascot. Michael Stoute bids for a second consecutive success in the race and is represented by Mango Diva who has ground to make up with Odeliz. She has been improving all the time and Ryan Moore rides but she will need a career best to win this.
In the Lady Riders Handicap, Brian Hamilton’s Wither Hills should prove tough to beat. He loves quick ground and looks feasibly handicapped off 73 after winning over 2m on the polytrack beating two good hurdlers Cape Glory and the Galway Hurdle winner Moon Dice in process. However Galway might be the main target so a market check is advised . Blue Ridge Lane has been in good form of late while last years winner Beau Michael could get involved if on a going day.
The Rockingham looks very competitive as 16 runners go to post for the large prize money on offer . Mick Halford’s horses have be running well of late and his Kernoff could continue that good run of form. He has taken some time to learn to sprint and he is open to improvement. He won over C+D last time beating Lady Mega (re-opposes today) by 2 Lengths and has decent claims. Olly Stevens brings over Group 2 winner Green Door and top jockey Colin Keane rides. He was a narrow beaten second at Chester recently and is drawn along the rails in 16 although low draws have done well in the past.
Last years winner Whozthecat runs off just 3lb higher than that success and is also drawn high in 14. Another English raider Sir Maximilian is also of interest for Tim Pitt and Stevie Donohoe. He was an emphatic winner at Chester three starts ago and must enter calculations.
The final race on the card the Jebel Ali Racecourse and Stables Fillies Maiden looks to be between David Wachman’s Supposing and Ed Lynam’s Witches Brew. Lynam’s filly has achieved better form to date and should win this if reproducing that form, with the only worry being a 308 day absence. Supposing has attained a mark of 81 after three solid runs but it’s likely that she’ll find one too good again.
By Sean Jackson 20/7/14
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