Curragh Preview 27/06/14
Irish Derby weekend is upon us and I personally could not be more excited. However unlike most, it will not be because of the chance to see the potentially great Australia again but because of the top quality handicaps on offer in which some horses I have been waiting to run get the chance to stretch their legs around the Co. Kildare track, luckily for readers I have three such runners today and I am hopeful of a successful day!
In the opening maiden at 5.25 I must admit I have no strong opinion on the race but how Brown Bee is 16/1 is a bit puzzling. Sheikh Fahads horses are always given a nice introduction to racing and one would think he would most certainly come on for his debut run in what should turn out to be a decent maiden at Leopardstown over 7 furlongs. He was only beaten about 3 lengths on debut behind the heavily backed Curlylocks having been held up (the only one to get involved from the back of the field) and that despite being given a fairly easy time yet Curlylocks is generally 2/1 and Brown Bee can be backed at 16/1. As I said I have no strong interest in this race but that would most definitely be the value play in a race that should prove informative over time.
In the 6.25 the mercurially unlucky Kiss The Stars runs and I will be having bet at the currently available 10/1. While the favourite Lady Mega probably deserves to be so considering how Eddie Lynam is getting on at the minute and being unexposed she is closely matched with Kiss The Stars on her course and distance win here in May. That was off an 171 day break so she might have even needed the run so all things considered it was an impressive start to this fillys 3 year old career. However the run of the race most definitely went her way that day as having been held up a strong early pace collapsed and she picked up the pieces, albeit in nice fashion. The first three home that day had all been held up, Kiss the Stars faring the best of those who raced prominently back in fourth where she travelled eye catchingly well before not being able to mount a challenge due to the early pace of the race. She was again unlucky last time out at Navan where she fared the best of those held up this time but was well beaten by Calm Bay who subsequently went up 11 pounds and was well beaten at Tipperary yesterday.
I think the weight change between their last meeting mean that Kiss the Stars and Lady Mega are fairly evenly matched and at the prices I will be backing Kiss the Stars at 10/1 in the hope that the run of the race will finally go her way.
Others of interest for me are Kernoff who ran well last time out, the return to a firmer surface should help and if first time cheekpieces have the desired effect then he could outrun his price of 12/1, the negative being Mick Halfords poor form, I have a suspicion all may not be right in the yard at the moment and I think they may well have a great second half to the season if things pick up for them.
In the 6.55 one of my horses to follow for the year Third Dimension runs and he should hopefully take all the beating. Ger Lyons thought from the start that this fella was a group horse but for whatever reason he never showed on the racecourse what he showed at home, disappointing in three maiden starts as a two year old. However he seems to have improved as a three year old and beat the progressive Table Rock a shade cosily in a decent maiden at Limerick under a typically cool front running ride from Colin Keane who claims a lovely three off this horses back this afternoon. Table Rock is now 4 pounds worse off with Third Dimension and while Table Rock has improved in the meantime and Third Dimension got an easy lead at Limerick I thought he was value for his winning margin of 3 lengths that day.
Third Dimension was of course then put away for a tilt at the Brittania at Ascot where he was bumped coming out of the stalls, had to be help up and was then hampered numerous times. Despite that he ran a nice race finishing in the middle of the pack despite having no luck whatsever Colin Keane making sure to mind him for another day. That day arrives today and on the round mile at the Curragh I don’t think there will be any excuses today.
Won Diamond also shows up and in a way I almost hopes he wins because he has become such a cliff horse for so many people. A group horse racing in a handicap he appears notoriously hard to get fit and is very injury prone. He has had plenty of chances and with the Halford yard form not great I’m willing to take a chance that he won’t show again.
At the prices Maskoon is very interesting. He is very closely matched with Table Rock and Third Dimension on maiden form yet is 14/1 generally and even 18/1 with one bookmaker at the time of writing. He was slightly disappointing last time out but that was down to the small field in my opinion and his mark of 92 is very workable, I may have a saver on him.
One for an in running bet may be Iron Major who continues to run well but rarely gets the break neck pace he needs to win. If they go too hard early on don’t be surprised to see this fella streak home on ground he will adore!
My final selection comes in the 12 furlong handicap and I will keep it simple here by going with the favourite who I thought was a cracking bet at the 3/1 I got him at. He was slightly disappointing last time out at Tipperary where he was touched off by Fog of War but he is a decent horse in his own right as well. However it was his previous run at Navan in maiden against John Constable that stands out here.
John Constable is a horse I rate highly and he got his optimum conditions that day and only just touched off Karezak. He was since second off 90 in a handicap over an unsuitable trip on unsuitable ground here at the Curragh suggesting 90 was a lenient opening mark. Karezak races off 85 today with top apprentice Conor King on board in what is an apprentice race.
The form of that Navan run took a further boost with the third and the fourth home both subsequently winning (Karezak and John Constable pulled 8 lengths clear). The fact that John Oxx won this race last year also goes onto the pros list. The stiff 12 furlongs around here should be ideal and hopefully Conor King will get this fella home in front of main dangers Captain Teemo who won a good race last time out and remains well handicapped and Ebadani who’s habit of filling the places may just repeat itself again!
John Ring 27/06/14 @tips_ROI
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