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Saturday's Curragh tips 20 July - Race-by-race selections for day one of Irish Oaks weekend at the Curragh

Brian Healy 20 Jul 2019
It is Irish Oaks weekend at the Curragh.

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for day one of the Irish Oaks meeting at the Curragh.

It is Irish Classic weekend at the Curragh, and the first of two top-class day’s horse racing action on the level at the premier Irish venue gets underway on Saturday with an eight-race card spearheaded by the latest renewal of the Irish Oaks.

The Group One feature race on Saturday goes to post at 5.10pm as the sixth race of the afternoon, and the home team will be hoping to reassert their dominance in the race having won just two of the last ten runnings of the fillies’ Classic.

2:15 - evoke.ie Irish EBF Maiden (Plus 10 Race) (2yo) 7f
2:50 - Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap (3yo+) 1m
3:25 - Tote Scurry Handicap (Premier Handicap) (3yo+) 6½f
4:00 - Jebel Ali Racecourse And Stables Anglesey Stakes (Group 3) (2yo) 6½f
4:35 - Paddy Power Minstrel Stakes (Group 2) (3yo+) 7f
5:10 - Kerrygold Irish Oaks (Group 1) (Fillies) (3yo) 1m4f
5:45 - Kildare Village Ladies Derby Handicap (4yo+) 1m4f
6:20 - Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden (3yo+) 1m

The feature Group One is ably supported by the Group Two Minstrel Stakes,and the Group Three Anglesey Stakes; while competitive handicap action also takes place on a cracking afternoon of flat racing action, and Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections for Saturday’s eight-race card.

2:15 - evoke.ie Irish EBF Maiden (Plus 10 Race) (2yo) 7f


Jessica Harrington saddles two in this contest, and JUNGLE COVE (4/1, Coral) could prove the pick of the pair.

Unlike the rest of the field, both of the Harrington runners have the benefit of experience, and the Mastercraftsman colt has shown race by race progress, finishing just two lengths third behind the impressive Armory at the Curragh late last month.

He had travelled well himself into the race before finding less than looked lightly, but he could be worth giving another chance to and he remains open to further progress so it wouldn’t come as a huge surprise to see him posting another big run.

He can make full use of his racing experience to get off the mark now, and he ought to be firmly involved in the finish under Shane Foley.


2:50 - Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Handicap (3yo+) 1m


WAITINGFORTHEDAY (4/1, Ladbrokes) was trying to give the reopposing Black Magic Woman 11lbs when going down only by one length behind that rival; but on these revised terms which sees Joseph O’Brien’s charge now receive 3lbs, the Elzaam filly is taken to come out on top this time around.

That last run was a welcome return to form with her having struggled previously in starts earlier in the campaign, and the return to one mile for this outing should suit. 

She ought to go well here against her last-time conquerer at the weights, and no surprise if she turns the tables here with a repeat of that run where the longer trip here will play to her strengths.

3:25 - Tote Scurry Handicap (Premier Handicap) (3yo+) 6½f


A hugely competitive sprint handicap could go the way of Ken Condon’s ICE COLD IN ALEX (9/1, William Hill) who has returned from a break in good form, and the Olden Times gelding ought to give another good account of himself here.

A dual-winner here previously, including winning over seven furlongs at this venue in July following some consistent efforts in defeat, he ended last season with another success at Leopardstown over Sirjack Thomas, scoring by one length, and he has made the frame on both outings this term since returnign from ten months off the track.

Latterly a half-length runner-up behind Baladiya at this venue last month where he met with plenty of traffic problems, he finished to good effect and a 2lbs rise in the weights remains workable although he’s yet to race off a mark as high as this.

Nevertheless, he’ll surely get a strong pace to aim at here, and proven over further he could be finishing to good effect and he is chanced to get baclk on the scoresheet in a competitive contest.

4:00 - Jebel Ali Racecourse And Stables Anglesey Stakes (Group 3) (2yo) 6½f


PISTOLETTO (4/5, Coral) was more workmanlike than impressive when extending his winning run to two from two starts, but Aidan O’Brien’s charge is taken to make it three wins in a row upped in grade.

The War Front colt had run out an impressive winner of his debut previously with a defeat of American Lady at Tipperary, and he arguably did well to win latest given he became upset in the stalls and threatened to boil over before posting a half-length success from Red Epaulette.

Temperament again has to be a concern, especially if he again does become fractious; but it would be no surprise to see him find further improvement on the back of his two wins, and this extra furlong will surely help, so he could prove the one to beat here.


4:35 - Paddy Power Minstrel Stakes (Group 2) (3yo+) 7f


ROMANISED (7/4, Paddy Power) hasn’t won since posting an Irish 2000 Guineas shock last May, beating US Navy Flag to the colts’ Classic; Ken Condon’s charge has subsequently largely struggled to match that level of form, but his two recent starts have hinted that his turn in the winners’ enclosure may not be too far away.

The Holy Roman Emperor colt may have needed his reappearance fifth at Naas in April, after which he finished fourth in the Lockinge at Newbury behind Mustashry; and he wasn’t beaten far behind Lord Glitters subsequently in the Queen Anne Stakes where he was beaten less than two lengths.

That was a creditable effort given he met with trouble in running on more than one occasion, and if he were to recapture something like the form that saw him win the Irish 2000 Guineas last term then he ought to go close back at the scene of his biggest success.

5:10 - Kerrygold Irish Oaks (Group 1) (Fillies) (3yo) 1m4f


Irish runners have won just two of the last ten renewals of this prize, but PINK DOGWOOD (3/1, Coral) could put one on the board for the home team despite disappointing latest on the back of her Epsom Oaks near-miss behind Anapurna.

Aidan O’Brien’s Camelot filly was a debut winner over one mile at Gowran Park as a juvenile, and she made a winning return to action upped in trip on her reapperance to collect the Listed Salsabil Stakes before being outbattled at Epsom.

She had come to win her race at the Surrey track, powering clear but unable to hold off the game winner who got up late. But she was a shade below her best here latest behind Iridessa in the Pretty Polly Stakes although the drop back to ten furlongs might not have seen her at her best.

She goes back up in trip here, and she could well prove a different proposition as a result with the increased emphasis on stamina likely to be more suitable. She isn’t one to write off just yet, and she is given another chance to show what she is capable of over the longer trip.


5:45 - Kildare Village Ladies Derby Handicap (4yo+) 1m4f


A couple of runners in this race are chasing hat-tricks, and GALEOLA (13/2, William Hill) could be the one to side with having won her last two starts in good fashion.

Sheila Lavery’s Rip Van Winkle filly was a winner at Leopardstown over two miles back in June, scoring by two lengths; but she subsequently showed that the shorter trip posed no issue when beating Sharp Focus at Tipperary ten days later readily.

The four-year old started slowly on that occasion, but she travelled smoothly through the race before winning with something to spare and the runner-up has struck since. She ought to have more to offer, and the yard are in good form so every chance she can post another bold bid and it would be no surprise if she were to go close here.

6:20 - Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden (3yo+) 1m


ROYAL HIGHNESS (6/1, Bet365) found only one too good on her debut at Tipperary last term, beaten three lengths behind Memyselfandmoi, and Henry de Bromhead’s charge can put that experience to good use and go one place better now.

The Dream Ahead filly was slowly away and kept in arrears before running on late, and she wasn’t given the hardest of times from the saddle. That experience won’t have been lost on her, and sure to find improvement for the outing she can get off the mark at the second attempt with the slightly stiffer test of stamina likely to suit.

The yard isn’t known for winners on the level, but she looked a potentially useful prospect in that debut effort and she can step up here.


SATURDAY CURRAGH TIPS - RACE-BY-RACE SELECTIONS


2:15 - JUNGLE COVE (4/1, Coral)

2:50 - WAITINGFORTHEDAY (4/1, Ladbrokes)

3:25 - ICE COLD IN ALEX (9/1, William Hill)

4:00 - PISTOLETTO (4/5, Coral)

4:35 - ROMANISED (7/4, Paddy Power)

5:10 - PINK DOGWOOD (3/1, Coral

5:45 - GALEOLA (13/2, William Hill)

6:20 - ROYAL HIGHNESS (6/1, Bet365)

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Saturday's Curragh tips 20 July - Race-by-race selections for day one of Irish Oaks weekend at the Curragh

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections and best bets for day one of the Irish Oaks meeting at the Curragh.

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