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Schedule – November 2015

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Today’s Info 28/06/14 – Irish Derby at The Curragh


It’s a rematch to savour. Australia is bidding for an Anglo-Irish double and in his way Kingston Hill, the same horse that got closest to him on the celebrated day of destiny at Epsom three weeks ago. The different track, a touch easier ground and a stiffer finish make this arguably a little tougher for the O’Brien superstar this time though.


All points that have the in form Varian camp and Kingston Hill connections so keen to have another crack at the royally bred O’Brien charge so soon after the Epsom defeat.


Australia gets the trip of course I am not suggesting otherwise but he also has lots of natural speed and I think might be best suited to 1m2f despite winning at Epsom. Kingston Hill was a slight doubt for the trip at Epsom for me but proved himself a strong stayer and one that might have got back to Australia with a bit more time, the leaders stamina was running out and the challengers was kicking in to gear again. The two were clear, the form of a red hot 2000 Guineas was confirmed again and they do look set to fight this out at 5.30pm on Saturday afternoon at The Curragh despite a field of seven going to post.


I don’t think anything from behind the pair at Epsom will be lucky enough to have them both underperform whilst John Oxx’s addition to the field, Ponfeigh would appear to have plenty on with a couple of mile victories to his name before this test.


So it should be tougher for Australia as far as I am concerned and if having a bet in the race it would have to be Kingston Hill at around 7/2 or 4/1. I expect them to finish closer and if Australia confirms the form again it will not be without another great battle from Roger Varian’s raider.


On the same card Burn The Boats for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane has to be high on the list for the very trappy looking 4.15 Paddy Power Scurry Handicap over 6f. A large field but nothing that the five year old hasn’t seen before of course when winning this with a field of thirty last season.


Since then connections tried to up the stakes a bit but whilst running with credit he hasn’t hit his straps. The starting point this term was Ascot in May and that was a fruitless trip but trip and ground not ideal there it should have served purpose for a big effort here. They have added pieces this time and with a nice gap between preparation and today, along with the conditions set up perfectly I expect a good run. Colin Keane has been doing everything right for the Lyons camp and this uncomplicated ride should be ready to go.


The Northumberland Plate is a lovely puzzle to solve. I thought Glenard was a horse to take into such contests this term although that hasn’t looked obvious on his runs in the Chester Cup and then at Haydock last time. At Chester over 2m and three furlongs he missed the break and was not too inconvenienced eventually running on to be beaten just over 6 lengths, but that trip proved a stretch. At Haydock it was route one front running tactics over 2 mile, setting fractions that may have worked had he not lost a shoe in the prelims. Ryan Moore reported that was the issue and it just wasn’t his day so the juicy odds on offer here do make some appeal now.


Graham Gibbons rides this time, a finer pilot for a horse with quirks is hard to find and this Highclere owned four year old had been a very keen runner in the past, that appears to have gone and with Gibbons on we can be pretty sure it will not return. I’d like them to go from close to or right on the front end, like Moore was trying at Haydock. It is a tactic that works well here and in this race, fractions and settling will be key and Glenard is better than might appear in my view. Dangers are plenty, I’ve a soft spot for Waterclock and will be covering him at silly prices on the exchanges having good form from last year but not showing anything this term yet. Bookmakers will be keen to offer up concessions so shop around, secure the best prices and play Charlie Hill’s charge each way.


Advice – 

Newcastle 3.50

Glenard 1pt e/w – 16/1, 20s in places

Curragh  4.15

Burn The Boats 1pt e/w – 10/1, bigger available


The Judge

Read this column on a Saturday in RacingExtra – Ireland’s newest horse racing paper.

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