Folks, we are back with an excellent card at The Curragh on Saturday and I have all the action previewed. We got a couple of winners on the board when I previewed at Dundalk a couple of weeks back. With plenty of rain around softer ground horses will be more at home this weekend. Scroll down to check out my selections.
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1.45 6f Tally Ho Stud Irish EBF (C & G) Maiden (2yo)
Race experience could prove crucial here and Billy Lee will team up with the Paddy Twomey trained PINAR DEL RIO who ran an excellent race when finishing third on debut.
His debut was at Naas on yielding to soft ground and with plenty of rain around at the minute he looks one of the main contenders in a tricky enough race. I would be of the opinion that this colt could improve off the back of his first run and should be sharper this time around.
Should go close with luck in running.
2.15 6f GAIN Marble Hill Stakes (Group 3) (2yo)
CASTLE STAR has had three starts to date in his career and all three have come at the Curragh. He was unlucky on his first two starts where he got headed close home in both of them.
He really impressed me last time out in listed company when he was an impressive winner getting the better of Loveday by 1 ¾ lengths.
The most impressive part of that was that he went clear inside the final furlong and was never in any danger. He was giving five pounds to the second filly on that occasion so it pits the result in an even better light.
I think he is really on the improve and will take plenty of beating here.
2.45 6f Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes (Group 2) (4yo+)
Archie Watson and Hollie Doyle team up with GLEN SHIEL and with ground conditions likely to be in his favour he should be hard to beat. The last time he was seen he got the better of Brando to land the sprint on Champions Day at Ascot and that leaves him clear on ratings here.
Prior to that he was just touched off by Dream Of Dreams in the Haydock Sprint Cup. He hasn’t been outside the top two in his last six starts and he ran well on the all weather on his first start last season.
He has to give weight away to his rivals here but I think he has plenty of class and is the one to beat.
3.20 1m Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (Group 1) (Colts & Fillies) (3yo)
The feature of the day and it looks an excellent renewal and hopefully we can get a race like last year when Ger Lyons’ push button Siskin landed the Group One for the Glenburnie team.
Kevin Prendergast and Chris Hayes will team up with MONAASIB and I think he is slightly overpriced. He ran an excellent trial for this when third to Poetic Flare at Leopardstown. Poetic Flare franked that form when landing the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and will be in opposition here again.
Monaasib wont mind the softer ground having won at Cork and finished second at Naas in similar conditions. He looked like he would come on plenty from his Leopardstown run and I think he will get much closer to Poetic Flare should he line up. Monaasib is also a course winner and that could be something that will keep him on many shortlists ahead of this race.
He looks an excellent each way selection and should be hard to keep out of the frame.
3.55 1m Lanwades Stud Stakes (Group 2) (Fillies & Mares) (4yo+)
EPONA PLAYS was very impressive when landing the Lodge Park Stud Irish EBF Park Express Stakes last time out at Naas and if she can improve off the back of that she could take plenty of beating this time around.
She carried 10-2 on that occasion and that makes the result look much better as she had the likes of Parent’s Prayer and Fantasy Lady in behind. She will have seven pound to find with Champers Elysee on the ratings but in receipt of three pound I think she might be the one to give the likely favourite the most to do.
With luck in running she will be hard to keep out of the frame.
4.25 1m Spring Fillies Handicap (3yo)
Ger Lyons and Colin Keane team up with HOLLY GOLIGHTLY here and she really impressed me last time out at Gowran Park where she landed her maiden in fine style.
She was the least fancied of the Lyons pair on that occasion and was ridden by Gary Carroll but she made all and kept on strongly all the way up the straight.
She is the type that Ger Lyons could improve and this race looks the next step in her progression. She is drawn nicely in stall four and the softer conditions won’t inconvenience here.
I think she is likely to improve off the maiden victory and should go close here.
5.00 6f Handicap (4yo+)
For those of ye who follow my previews will notice that BLAIRMAYNE has appeared on a number of occasions and he normally comes good at this time of year. He was second to Half Nutz last time out at Naas and that should leave him spot on for his second start of the season.
He has been put up two pound by the handicapper and was second off this mark of 83 behind Mr Lupton in the “Bold Lad” handicap back in September last year.
He is drawn in 23 and the high draw could be in his favour as much of the pace looks to be drawn high.
He should have come on from his first run and will be hard to keep out of the frame with luck in running.
5.30 7f Heed Your Hunch At Betway Handicap (3yo)
The winner of the “Birdcatcher” at Naas last season was COLFER KAY and with conditions sure to suit I would expect a big performance from this filly on her third start of the season.
She will be a pound lower than the mark she landed the Birdcatcher off and that should surely bring her into the equation here. She was very keen at Navan last time when she finished 6th of nine behind Independent Missy.
She could just be coming into form and she will be hard to keep out of the frame here with track and trip to suit. She has a nice draw in stall one and will hopefully finish her race off nicely from off the pace.
Solid each way shout.