Gary O'Brien: My tips for the Curragh on Sunday
In his weekly Betway blog, the Irish racing broadcaster previews the racing at the Curragh and Listowel this weekend.
Sunday at the Curragh
Last year’s winner Art Power is coming over to defend his crown in the Renaissance but I think he’s beatable and I’m siding with JUST BEAUTIFUL for Paddy Twomey (15:05). She was so strong in the market in the Boomerang Stakes last time as she went off 9/4 having much been bigger in the morning, which would suggest they were confident of a big run. It’s interesting that she’s being dropped to 6f, which is the shortest trip she’s ever run, but the yard knows what time of day it is, so I’d expect her to go very well.
The Irish Cesarewitch is very valuable this year and has attracted a decent field (16:15). Ryan Moore is riding Wordsworth, but I’d say there are others with better chances, including his stablemate Waterville, who was touted as a possible Derby horse at the start of the year. It hasn’t worked out that way for him, but he hacked up at Limerick two starts ago and surely won’t be far away. He’s plenty short enough in the betting, though, so I’m going to put up two horses at bigger prices who should run better than their odds suggest.
HMS SEAHORSE was disappointing over hurdles at Galway but is unexposed on the flat and I think Ben Coen is a good booking. He wasn’t beaten too far in the Boodles Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, which shows you the level of ability he has.
TAIPAN is another horse that could run well at a big price. Largely speaking, he’s been pretty disappointing but has showed promise during his career and ran well at Killarney last time.
PAINTERS PALETTE caught the eye on a couple of occasions in maidens in the spring but was then on the sidelines for four months before running at Cork just over two weeks ago, where he ran well. They got a mark of 72 after that and its interesting that they have still gone down the maiden route. The form of that Cork run is working out and I think he’ll go well for the Dermot Weld yard (17:20).
Saturday at the Curragh
Aidan O’Brien is looking to win the Beresford Stakes for a phenomenal twelfth time in a row (13:35). It was won last year by Luxembourg, and I’d be confident in saying that I don’t think his two runners will end up being horses of that calibre. Of the two from Ballydoyle, I’d have to side with ADELAIDE RIVER who was a good third in France last time. With Ryan Moore riding at Newmarket on Saturday, Wayne Lordan looks to be the stable’s No. 1 jockey, and that could be telling.
The Goffs Million is offering some fantastic prize money and there is a strong British challenge which adds real depth to the race (15:20). I’m not convinced, however, that the winner will come from that side of the water. Of the home contingent, Hellsing has done little wrong in three starts, but I feel could be vulnerable. Hiawatha will have a chance, but I’m going to side with BOSSY PARKER , who has a completely different profile. He’s come through the handicap route after shaping well in a couple of maidens and followed up an August course-and-distance win with a victory at Cork last time. He’s on a roll and could still be improving.
Saturday at Listowel
There’s a competitive jumps card at Listowel on Saturday and I’m looking forward to seeing two horses run. CHAMP KIELY looked graded class when he won at Galway last time and looks exciting for this time of year. I don’t expect he’ll be a big price, but he’ll be tough to beat (13:55). Ambitious Fellow was brought down last time, and I’d say he’d give him most to think about.
BLANKETONTHEGROUND only ran six days ago but performed well and that would put her spot on for this (14:30). That was her first run since May and, as her mark remains unchanged, I think she’ll give a good account of herself.