Curragh Preview Saturday 26th June 2021

It's Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby day at The Curragh on Saturday

Alan Marron is back to preview Day Two of Irish Derby weekend from The Curragh.

Winners were hard to come by at Royal Ascot but we made up for it on Friday with 3️⃣ lovely winners. Discoveries (7/4), Ice Cold In Alex (14/1) and Interpretation (7/2) made it a decent evening for followers of the preview.

 

We will be looking to land a couple of winners on Saturday so scroll down and check out my selections. ⬇️⬇️⬇️

 

Bar One Racing markets for today’s card at the Curragh are available here 

 

2.00 DUBAI DUTY FREE DASH STAKES 6F (LISTED RACE)

On official ratings ROMANTIC PROPOSAL looks to be nicely weighted and should confirm the form with Teresa Mendoza and Loch Lein.

She has improved off the back of both starts this season and looks one of the main contenders here.

When I watched back her last start which was in the Ballyogan Stakes it looked to me as if the ground was slightly against her.

She travelled nicely through the race and when she came with her challenge she just failed to quicken. The sounder surface will be in her favour and I think if she improves again then she is going to take plenty of beating.

I’m quite surprised she is as big as she is in the market. I think that will shorten closer to the off.

Should get Day Two off to a flyer for us.

 

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2.30 DUBAI DUTY FREE SUMMER FILLIES HANDICAP (PREMIER HANDICAP) 7F

FRENCH RAIN was having her first start for Joseph O’Brien since leaving the stable of Ger Lyons at Limerick last time out and she ran a cracker to finish second.

In third on that occasion was Longbourne who franked the form by winning in tidy fashion on Friday evening under Joey Sheridan. French Rain should improve off the back of that run and has been raised four pounds by the handicapper.

She has some very strong course formlines on good ground so if Joseph could find the key to her then I think she has plenty of ability to be competitive here.

Will be hard to keep out of the frame with luck in running.

 

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3.05 GAIN RAILWAY STAKES (GROUP 2) 6F

This is a very strong race for the grade and there are plenty of cases to be made for the field.

The one horse that stands out to me is CASTLE STAR. This colt has done nothing but impress me this season and I think he can improve off his Group Three victory last time and step up in grade here and win in style.

There could be a small question mark surrounding the ground but I think he travels extremely well in his races that it should be nothing to worry about.

Much like Romantic Proposal in the first race I think he is probably a shade bigger in the market than I would have expected.

He has the form in the book and should take all the beating. Major chance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.45 DUBAI DUTY FREE IRISH DERBY (GROUP 1) 1M 4F

The feature of the weekend and this is where I will be using my nap on the card.

HIGH DEFINITION produced an absolutely spellbinding performance on his debut to quicken up down the outside and win in very impressive fashion.

His second start was more workmanlike in the Beresford where he got the job done but didn’t overly impress me. Going into the Dante at York I was intrigued by the step up in trip and was sure he was one of the bets of the week.

He was very laboured but what I took out of the race is that he got outpaced and stayed on strongly suggesting that he will really appreciate the mile and a half.

He was certainly closing in on Hurricane Lane as the line approached and I think there is every chance the form will get reversed here.

He will take the world of beating.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.20 ARM HOLDING INTERNATIONAL STAKES (GROUP 3) 1M 2F

I am going to take a small chance here that LOUGH DERG might come back to something like the form he showed when successful on debut at Dundalk.

He was learning all the way to the line on that occasion and his form has been mixed since. He ran an excellent race to finish second in the Derrinstown behind Bolshoi Ballet and that form would be more than enough to put him as a leading contender in this race.

He reverts back from 1m 4f last time to 1m 2f and I think that could be the key.

He will be staying on at the finish and should be hard to keep out of the frame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.50 DUBAI DUTY FREE CELEBRATION LISTED STAKES 1M

Johnny Murtagh has his team in excellent form and will be hoping for a very strong run from his contender here FOURHOMETWO.

This horse has really caught my eye this season and is improving at a rate of knots. He ran very well in the Madrid Handicap on his first start of the season and then followed that up with victory at Naas on his second start of the season.

Even though he finished ahead of Sinawann last time there will be many people thinking that Sinawann could turn the form around as he will improve for his first start.

That will likely be the case but I think if Fourhometwo steps up again the weight concession of over a stone will be far too much.

I think this horse could be Group class later in the season and will be tough to beat here.

 

 

5.25 DUBAI DUTY FREE HANDICAP (PREMIER HANDICAP) 1M

Anyone who follows my previews on a regular basis will know that ALHAAZM is a favourite of mine from Dundalk and hopefully he can be as effective on the grass.

He arrives here on the back of four wins on the bounce and there is no doubt that the Prendergast team have freshened him up and have had this race in mind for quite a while.

His handicap mark on the turf is very similar to that of the all weather but I think he will appreciate the sound surface and with luck in running he will be hard to keep out of the frame.

He is quite uncomplicated and should go close if he comes back to the same form he showed at Dundalk.

Solid each-way chance.

 

 

5.55 DUBAI DUTY FREE IRISH EBF HANDICAP 2M

The final race of the day looks tricky to say the least but the Dermot Weld trained DALTON HIGHWAY could be nicely handicapped if he comes back into form.

He is a dual course and distance winner which included victory on this weekend last season off a mark of 86. He is now rated 88 but Sam Ewing will take a very valuable five pound off his back.

This race has plenty of question marks around the opposition while Dalton Highway is sure to stay the trip and the ground will also be in his favour.

He ran much better than his finishing position in the Ascot Stakes over 2m 3f and the return to 2m should really suit.

It’s not too often you look at a horse that has five zeros in his form and think that he has a good chance but I think Dalton Highway could be staying on when the others have cried enough.

Will be hard to keep out of the frame. 



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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article