Friday’s racing tips – 13/8 NAP worthy of a Lil wager at the Curragh

Lil Grey (second left) loses out in a Group Three here at the Curragh.

Lil Grey (second left) loses out in a Group Three here at the Curragh.

Our expert takes a look through all of Friday’s races and selects a strong challenger in a Listed contest at the Curragh as his NAP of the day with Coral.

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5:45pm Ryans Cleaning Event Specialist Curragh Stakes (Listed Race) 5f

Both Air Force Jet and King Neptune have danced a couple of big dances each this term and will be fancied to bounce back dropping down in class. I’m not sure dropping back to the minimum trip is the way to go with King Neptune and Air Force Jet – who hasn’t come on as well as Joseph O’Brien and his team would have hoped – won’t be enamoured by the prospect of rain-sodden ground.

One who will is Real Appeal, who has so far failed to match the form he produced in France since making the move to Jim Bolger’s yard last month. Another alternative to the O’Brien duo is LIL GREY, and it’s Sheila Lavery’s filly who really captures my imagination.

Following an excellent run as a 25/1 shot on debut, Lil Grey powered to an excellent victory on her second career start, comfortably seeing off Year Of The Tiger and Alligator Alley, who finished second in the Molecomb Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. Lavery’s filly was then handed a tricky draw on the rail in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot. Robbie Colgan was forced to do some weaving to latch onto the pace down the centre of the track and, in the end, the pair could only finish sixth.

Few really fancied Lil Grey to run well in the recent Anglesey Stakes here at the Curragh, with punters focusing on Pistoletto at the head of the market. Yet, Lavery’s charge looked to be going best of all as they passed the furlong market, only for Roman Turbo to come through late on and relegate Lil Grey back to second.

I always think course form is vital here at the Curragh and Lil Grey boasts that in abundance. Dropping back from six-and-a-half to five furlongs may look like a strange move, but Lil Grey’s extra staying power will come in handy as the rain forces the going south of yielding and this daughter of Starspangledbanner seems to have the speed to overcome her rivals here.