Preview of racing at the Curragh

By Luke Keena (@lukekeena1)

After a fantastic day of racing at the Curragh yesterday, we move onto the final day of the Irish Derby meeting featuring the Group 1 Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes over ten furlongs for Fillies and Mares.


Santa Barbara has been sent off short price favourite for two Classics this year after a lot of positive comments from the stable. She ran a fantastic race to be fourth in the 1,000 Guineas considering it was only her second run on a racecourse. She then travelled well in the Oaks before not seeing out the trip to finish a well held fifth behind Snowfall. I think the ten furlong trip will be her optimum trip and could take some stopping getting the three year old allowance.


With eight runners in the field, I think Shale is a nice each-way price. Her best form is on quick ground and she will have that today. As a two year old she gained Group 1 glory in the Moyglare stakes at the Curragh on good ground. She hasn’t hit form this season but I think you can put a line through her two runs thus far. She was in need of the run at Leopardstown and the ground went against her at Ascot. If she can recapture her two year old form she will outrun her odds of 12/1.


The third race on the card is the Sherry Fitzgerald Country Homes Handicap over six furlongs. 19 runners head to post in what looks to be a very open handicap.


The Michael O’Callaghan trained Fastnet Crown makes most appeal to me. He looked like the winner at Cork one furlong out before failing to see out the seven furlongs. He then dropped to six furlongs at Fairyhouse where I think he was a bit shell shocked at the early pace, it being his first time over the sprinting trip. Once he got balanced he ran on very well. I think with the experience of that run, he can go very close at around 16/1.


Seventeen runners head to post for the ultra competitive Paddy Power Rockingham Handicap over the minimum trip.


Last years runner-up Jungle Jane make the most appeal to me at a big price. She was denied by a short head in last years renewal by Strong Johnson. She ran a nice seasonal reappearance at Tipperary when running very well until getting tired in the last furlong and a half. She then made a quick reappearance six days later when not disgraced in a Listed race. She runs off a pound higher this year and I think she will outrun her odds of 16/1.


Eight runners head to post for the Group 2 Comer Group International Curragh Cup over one mile and six furlongs.


Passion heads the market but I am going to take her on first time out over this trip. I like the Joseph O’Brien trained runner, Pondus. It looked like a winning move last time out when he hit the front two furlongs out, but was bet to the line by Shanroe who was receiving 12 pound. He went close twice in Australia in Graded races and I think he is the one to side with.


The penultimate race on the card is the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Ragusa Handicap over one mile and a half.


After a fantastic national hunt season, I think Henry De Bromhead could have a Derby weekend winner with Mosala. He ran a great race last time out to finish a very close second to Taurem Shaman at Leopardstown in a race that’s form is working out well. That was only his first start since his maiden victory at Dundalk in January. He is unexposed at the trip and I think he will relish it and improve for it. I think he will prove to be a better horse than his rating of 85 and can go very well here with Billy Lee in the saddle.

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