Naylor for Classic glory
A cracking renewal of the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh today and an each way chance is taken on Jack Naylor to be involved at the finish.
One of the leading juveniles last year notching up three wins, including a Listed success beating, Legatissimo at today’s track, Jessica Harrington’s filly looks a big price at 10/1.
The daughter of Champs Elysees has run two big races in defeat this season most recently in the Epsom Oaks behind, Qulaify. She has to turn the form around with Aidan O’Brien’s filly and I’m pretty confident that she will do just that.
Her first start of the season was when she finished a close fourth behind Pleascach in the Irish 1,000 Guineas, a run that suggested a step up in trip should suit.
Things didn’t quite fall her way at Epsom and she was still only beaten just over six lengths. She will have the services of, Fran Berry, a man riding with great confidence of late and there’s also the added bonus of the return to form of the Jessica Harrington team, firing in winners over the past week in both spheres.
Curvy is a worthy favourite on the back of her Ribbelsdale success, leaving us with no concerns over the trip for David Wachman’s fily today.
This will, however, be her fifth start this season and although she is unbeaten I think that today could prove one step to far. Wayne Lordan, who partnered the filly on three of those wins, will back in the saddle with Ryan Moore sidelined with a neck injury.
The least exposed and the unknown quantity in the race is Aidan O’Brien’s, Words, with only two runs under her belt so far in her career.
She won what has turned out to be one of the best maidens run last season on debut, having the likes of Raydara and Qualify in behind.
The Dansili filly was impressive on her only start this season at Cork when seemingly unfancied, accounting for Dermot Weld,s consistent, Carla Bianca.
There is scope for so much improvement and whether she can find that today or not is the question. Joseph O’Brien will take the plum ride and he knows all about classic success.
Off the remainder I wouldn’t be surprised if Kissed By Angles ran a big race for Michael Hussey but I’m siding with Jack Naylor and hoping she can continue the great form of Jessica Harrington.
As always on classic days at the Curragh there is a great supporting card on offer with some good stakes races and tricky handicaps.
The two-year-old, Anglesey Stakes looks a match between Final Frontier and Queen of Sicily, both of which were impressive maiden winners. I’m going to side with the latter, Jim Bolger’s runner, who I was taken with on her debut win at Naas and I think can add another two year old winner to the trainers CV this season.
There’s a strong UK challenge for the Group 2 Invincible Spirit Sapphire Stakes over five furlongs.
Mecca’s Angel will more than likely go off a short price favourite and should prove hard to beat under Paul Mullrenan. Stepper Point might give the favourite most to do but it’s a race I won’t be getting involved in.
Maiden’s top and bottom the card with a two-year-old maiden getting us underway. In my opinion if you forgive Haraz his last run, where his saddled slipped giving him no chance, he should be favourite. He’s an each way price though and looks a cracking bet in the opener for Shane Foley and Michael Halford.
In the concluding maiden it could be worth forgiving the very well bred Teofilo colt, McGuigan his only run as a two year old. He has only his second ever start today and could do well at three.
In the handicap action I thought Bubbly `Bellini might well be in the shake up in the six furlong race and in the seven furlong handicap the consistent, Breathe Easy won’t be far away.
And in the Ladies Derby John Kiely’s, Deor could be the one to keep on side with Sarah O’Brien booked to ride.
3.05 Haraz 8/1 ew
4.15 Bubbly Bellini 8/1 ew
4,45 Queen Of Sicily 2/1
5,45 Jack Naylor 8/1 ew
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