3.45 Curragh: Irish Derby
It’s Irish Derby day at the Curragh, but there’s a disappointing turnout with just 8 runners declared for this Group 1 over a mile and a half. On paper, it looks a straight match between the one filly in the race & winner of the Epsom Oaks, Tuesday, and Epsom Derby 3rd, Westover. The former is an interesting runner with the big question being how will she fare against the boys? She definitely has the form in the bag, with an English 1000 Guineas 3rd & an Irish 1000 Guineas 2nd alongside that Oaks win. Hard to ignore but her price is skinny. Westover, meanwhile, was the unexposed one in the Derby & he ran a cracker to finish an unlucky 3rd having repeatedly been denied a run. The biggest worry for him is whether a more conventional track is to his liking. With both the market leaders trading at 2/1 or less, there must surely be value elsewhere. Piz Badile & Glory Daze are 2 more to come here after racing at Epsom with the former expected to be something special before disappointing on the Downs 3 weeks ago. Lionel is progressive for David Menusier but he looks to have it all to do here & may be better on softer ground, a comment that can also be applied to Paddy Twomey’s representative, French Claim.
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The Group 3 Gallinule run over a mile and a quarter here 5 weeks ago might be the race to concentrate on & I’m siding with the winner, Hannibal Barca, to follow up here. Boundless Ocean was arguably unlucky in 3rd having struggled to get a run & he’s a big price here, but I’m not sure he was getting to the winner. Furthermore, it was the selection’s first run of the year & he’s sure to strip fitter for that, despite still landing the spoils by a comfortable length. He was a decent 2 year old, finishing 4th in the Group 1 Futurity behind Luxembourg before being sold out of the Brian Meehan yard for 500,000 gns. He’s had just the 1 start for his new yard, that being the win in the Gallinule. He travelled well into the race & looks a proper galloper the way he just hit the front & kept galloping. Fitter today, & with the step up in trip sure to suit, it’s hard to see this course winner not running a massive race. Beyond the front 2 in the market, it looks a weak race to me & I can easily see the selection upsetting the party at nice each way odds.
Back Hannibal Barca (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 9.50 Betfair Sportsbook BOG (⅕ odds 1-3)