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Test

Jack to star at the Curragh

It’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby day at the Curragh and all eyes will be on Jack Hobbs as he bids to give Godolphin a first win in the Irish classic since 1994.

 

Second in the English equivalent, John Gosden’s star arrives at the Curragh today as the horse to beat.

 

In chasing home his stable mate, Golden Horn at Epsom, he has the best form on offer in the race finishing ahead of both Storm The Stars and Giovanni Canaletto, who re-oppose today.

 

The Curragh was earmarked as the target straight after that Epsom second and John Gosden is confident he will be better suited by the test that he will encounter at the Curragh.

 

Aidan O’Brien is responsible for four of the eight runners with, Highland Reel, the mount of Ryan Moore, the supposed first string.

 

Joseph O’Brien will be aboard Epsom fourth, Giovanni Canaletto, Colm O’Donoghue keeps the ride on Oaks winner, Qualify, while Seamie Hefferenan will partner, Kilamanjaro.

 

The unknown in the race is Dermot Weld’s, Radanpour who takes a big step up in class today after his last time out Listed win, a race which has had the form franked last evening.

 

It’s Jack Hobbs for me though to give William Buick and John Gosden success and if he’s available at even money I’d be very tempted.

 

There’s a great supporting card as always on Irish Derby day. The Gain Railway Stakes has attracted a select field of five with Log Out Island likely to go off favourite.

 

Second last time out at Royal Ascot, on what was only his second run, he is open to plenty more improvement.

 

Rockaway Valley, however, was an impressive winner at the Curragh on his second start having previously performed well on debut beaten by Air Force Blue.

 

The form of his two maiden runs is working out well and I think he has a big chance of upsetting the favourite in the Group 2 contest.

 

The Paddy Power Handicap usually attracts a bigger field, with only fifteen declared for this year’s renewal and I think it will pay to side with Hasanour.

 

A recent course and distance winner of a Premier Handicap on Guineas weekend I think he can defy a seven-pound hike and win again for Shane Foley and Michael Halford.

 

The step back in trip to six furlongs should suit Tested in the Dubai Duty Free Dash Stakes and she can account for her older rivals and give Pat Smullen and Dermot Weld a Derby Day winner.

 

War Envoy will more than likely go off a warm order favourite for the Dubai Duty Free Full Of Surprises Celebration Stakes after his Royal Ascot success and he’ll have the services of Ryan Moore.

 

The one I like in the race, however, is Joe Murphy’s, Shepherds Purse. The lightly raced three year old had some very good form as a juvenile last term.

 

He has had two starts this year, the second of which was a very promising run behind Convergance at Leopardstown when not getting a clear run.

 

He steps up to a mile today, which should suit, and he can give War Envoy plenty to do.

 

The opening two year old race is probably best watched with Aidan O’Brien’s Antelope Canyon open to plenty of improvement.

 

The fillies handicap is tricky to solve but Military Angel could be very well handicapped.

 

And it might pay to have John Oxx’s, Awesome Star on side in the concluding two mile handicap as he aims to follow up his belated maiden success at Leopardstown

 

Best Bets:

 

3.35 – Tested 2/1

4.45  – Shepherds Purse 15/2 ew

5.20 – Hasanour 7/2

5.50 – Rockaway Valley 3/1

6.30 – Jack Hobbs 1/1 NAP

 

Conor O’Hehir


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