Curragh Preview Sunday 27th June 2021

It is Irish Derby weekend The Curragh, the three-day fixture beginning on Friday

Alan Marron is back to preview Day 3 of the Irish Derby meeting from The Curragh.

What a weekend we are having folks. 3 winners on Friday and 3 winners on Saturday. Romantic Proposal (11/4), Fourhometwo (4/1) and Dalton Highway (12/1) leaving my followers in clover. 

We will be looking to continue in the same vein on Sunday so make sure you scroll down and check it out. 


1.30 BARRONSTOWN STUD IRISH EBF (C & G) MAIDEN (2yo) Winner €9,735 11 runners 7f Good RTV

Colin Keane and Ger Lyons have been in fine form this season with their group of juveniles and the horse that interests me most here is ATOMIC JONES who runs in the colours of Sean Jones.

This horse went through the sales ring for 75k at the Arqana Sales but the price increased to 95k at the UK Tattersalls Sales and he could be a very nice type.

His sire, Wootton Bassett, showed that he had plenty of speed in his races having won over sprint trips.

The market will likely tell plenty but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Atomic Jones was fighting it now near the finish.


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2.00 AIRLIE STUD STAKES (GROUP 2) (FILLIES) (2yo) Winner €59,000 5 runners 6f Good RTE2 (STALLS Centre)

CHEERUPSLEEPYJEAN is a very worthy favourite here and she should take plenty of beating having finished ten lengths in front of Yet at Royal Ascot.

She was a very impressive winner on debut at the Curragh, getting the better of Charlie De Rio by 2 ¼ lengths, going away.

Her second start was a little flat to say the least but the vet reported after the race that she was blowing hard.

I would draw a line through that run and she came back to form in no uncertain terms at Royal Ascot in the Queen Mary.

If she is in similar form then she should take a world of beating here.


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2.30 SHERRY FITZGERALD COUNTRY HOMES HANDICAP (3yo+) Winner €11,800 19 runners 6f Good RTE2 (STALLS Centre)

Many of ye who follow my previews will know that BLAIRMAYNE is one of my favourite horses in training and he has appeared here more than once.

He is now rated 83 and he ran a very strong race to finish second off this mark behind Mr Lupton in the Bold Lad Sprint Handicap back in September.

Last time out Andrew Slattery reported that the horse acted up in the stalls and was denied a clear run. Shane Foley is back on board this time around and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a much better performance.

He has won twice over course and distance and, with luck in running, he could make it a course hat-trick.

Solid each-way chance and will be hard to keep out of the frame.


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3.05 ROCKINGHAM HANDICAP (PREMIER HANDICAP) (3yo+) Winner €59,000 17 runners 5f Good RTE2 (STALLS Centre)

Last year’s winner STRONG JOHNSON comes into this race in decent form, having finished second at Tipperary last time out when beaten a head by Master Matt.

He was successful in this race last year off a mark of 81 and is now rated 88.

Connections look to have planned a repeat victory as they have booked Cian Mac Redmond, who will claim seven pounds off his back. That will leave him on the same mark of 81 and I think we could see a very strong performance.

While there is a chance he may need a little juice in the ground, I think the Curragh have the ground in perfect nick.

He will be staying on late and fast and he looks to have a solid each-way chance in a typically-competitive handicap.











3.40 ALWASMIYAH PRETTY POLLY STAKES (GROUP 1) (FILLIES & MARES) (3yo+) Winner €147,500 8 runners 1m2f Good RTE2

Willie Mc Creery and Billy Lee team up with EPONA PLAYS who has really shot up through the ranks this season and without doubt she deserves her shout at a Group One.

I am also of the opinion that she will be suited by the step up in trip and I think she will be in contention as the race draws to a close.

She was extremely impressive in the Landwades Stud Stakes last time on softer ground and she really appeals to me as one of the likelier winners of this race.

She seems very uncomplicated and travels nicely in her races. She stayed on well over a mile at Naas prior to her last start and that suggests that the extended trip will be right up her street.

Should go very close.











4.10 COMER GROUP INTERNATIONAL CURRAGH CUP (GROUP 2) (3yo+) Winner €59,000 8 runners 1m6f Good RTE2

This race will centre around whether race fitness is key as PONDUS looks to have the edge over Passion.

Pondus ran an excellent race last time when carrying 9-10 in a decent handicap and only went down by ¾ of a length.

I think he will improve massively off the back of that race and the step back up in grade will suit. This horse had a stint in Australia at the end of the season where he was second on both starts in two decent pots.

He will have to improve again to justify the ratings and, while he also has to give weight to Passion, I think he is a much better betting proposition.

I think he will be very hard to beat here and will be my NAP on the day. 



4.45 IRISH STALLION FARMS EBF “RAGUSA” HANDICAP (PREMIER HANDICAP) (4yo+) Winner €29,500 11 runners 1m4f Good RTV

Henry De Bromhead has had a season to remember with his runners in both codes and looks to have a very strong chance here with MOSALA with Billy Lee on board.

This horse was very consistent over the winter at Dundalk but showed that he can be just as effective on the grass when second to Tauran Shaman at Leopardstown back on the 9th May.

The handicapper has raised him 5lb for that run but I think there is plenty more improvement to come on a sound surface. The run at Leopardstown was his first run for 114 days and this may have been the plan for quite a while.

I would keep an eye on the market but he could be very hard to beat with luck in running.












It could be a very good day for Billy Lee as he finishes his day aboard PUNAKHA for Willie Mc Creery.

This filly got loose prior to her last run but she ran an exceptional race to finish second behind Frill at Gowran Park.

She kept on strongly on that occasion and, from a decent draw in stall eight, I could see her giving the highly-rated colts in this race plenty to think about.

She caught the eye on her debut at Naas when she ran on strongly, suggesting that a maiden is surely within her grasp. Billy should be able to slot her in and get some cover and see what she has from the two-furlong pole to home.

I think she is one to keep an eye on for later in the season.

She will be tough to keep out of the frame here.

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*Odds were correct at time of publishing the article