Curragh – Monday, May 6th
5f 2yo Maiden
Far from impressive from Michaelmas in a very weak race, looked to hold head slightly to side too and not totally helping jockey, likely aided by going from the front; his LTO form from Leopardstown is not working out despite looking a decent race at the time. Good debut from Candy Apples whose stable is in good form while The Organ Grinder doesn’t look like living up to his Phoenix entry. Bru More was the first ridden and would prefer further.
Drop in trip suited Scotland Forever after running over 7f LTO (possibly made too much use of); showed attitude that day and likely suited by making it and chance handicapper could take evasive action with him beating a pair of 90 horses. Manning seemed more than happy to anchor Wexford Opera from the stalls, not adopting his trademark pace chasing tactics; strongly suspect he has a kink or two as he came to win his race but got worried out of it by one that may not be genuine either; everything was right here with trip and fitness on his side and still couldn’t win, one to oppose at short prices. True Verdict just isn’t up to her mark while Wannabe Better did come home well having been held up and had to weave way through; not totally sure about HC though it may have been down to meeting slight trouble. Sherzam tightened up a bit and ran on but frustrating type while the definite eye-catcher was Red All Star; raced on wide outside and jockey just gave up closing stages having already been giving it an easy, could well have finished in the frame with a ride. Illustrate was off it from an early stage.
1m2f Group 3
We learned nothing new about Camelot; confidently ridden, travelled well but not really impressive in winning especially with second favourite not running his race; one would expect a Group 1 horse to win more easily even allowing for penalty and lack of run; head possibly a little high; still, he’s a 125 horse and solid at this point but likely to be priced up like a 130 horse in coming runs, yet to face anything much from outside last year’s 3yos, the Arc excepted and we saw what happened there. Triumphant hold his head high but that’s hardly an issue if he’s going to pace-make while Parish Hall didn’t run to form; beaten 3f out, only plugged on, possibly bounced but bit to prove now. Macbeth may prove better down in trip but mark likely to suffer off this.
Run three seconds quicker than the preceding Group 3, the pace looked strong, too strong indeed; Saga Eiger (raced keenly) and General Bunching went at it and headed two front-runners in Benbecula and Bualadh Croi, going particularly hard in the middle part of the race when they went clear; this has suited the hold-up horses. Valbucca travelled well and looks improved for blinkers – 3411 in them – and would have improvement in her for run, weak in betting. The Fox Tully travelled even better than the winner and is a hound, everything right here with fitness, ground/trip to suit and strong pace but didn’t find much and one to oppose. Coco Bella has run well from 2lbs wrong at the weights; travelled well in first time hood and blinds, didn’t get as clear a run as some and can drop in class; belatedly delivered on promise of return for this yard and no problem with drop back in trip, likely suited by run of this but a good effort nonetheless. Strong pace suited Lonan who was off it early, came home well but showed some attitude LTO; wants further. Smoke Charger slightly less keen than has been but not well-handicapped while Benbecula did best of those to race on pace but still well-beaten. Wrekin Rock is one that struggles to hold form and could do with a break and it’s worth forgiving the front-runners their efforts here.
7f 3yo Listed
This took no winning, 95 at very best would have done it; that said, Sruthan did it well, travelled nicely and found plenty on just second start; the Jersey Stakes is too ambitious and would be better going for a good handicap though likely to get an inflated mark for this. Fortify ran on well when headed but is a dodge; Pop Art met trouble but didn’t exactly fly home afterwards and there’s no way she’d be beating the winner on this evidence even allowing for her momentum being halted. Tobann is limited and was soon beaten while Uleavemebreathless is more out than in and was never travelling.
7f Group 3
Pace didn’t look great and Viztoria has come from rear; beat little here but impressive, Murtagh not asking for anything like full effort and quickened up well; will have no problem with a mile on breeding and trainer may still be a bit underrated in better races but has done well with likes of Sole Power. Improved effort from Bunairgead in first time blinkers, not the only mare to boost the form of the Ondeafears races from Gowran over the weekend. Caprella might do better down in trip (goes well at Naas and there are suitable races over 6f for her) and trainer has said she will be put in foal shortly while Roseraie seems paceless regardless of distance. Dubaya is an interesting one as she was supplemented for this (had an entry in the Tetrarch) despite her breeding and runs last year suggesting stamina was her thing; trainer said she’d started showing more speed lately and keen hold here, not given hard time when beaten; one to watch reading between the lines. Infanta Branca appears not to have trained on.
Slipper Orchid, typical of family, has improved with age and won this nicely enough. Coakley (not much value for his 7lbs) might have made his effort a bit early on Core Element; looks a bit improved for stable switch. Not for the first time, Man Of Erin has fought back after being headed which is something to note for in-running. Little Arrows improved for his first start of the year and does like 7f with some ease while Footprint shaped quite well second time up, travelled well and not beaten up. Winning Impact has met trouble but wasn’t really picking up at the time for a few cracks and this could be overdone; LTO form is not working out. Imaginationrunwild is as disappointing a horse as one will find while Elusive In Paris is out of form.