IRISH EYES ON BOY JOCKEY’S ROYAL RIDE: It’s an O’Brien day says Shamrock as he looks for Irish winners at the big York meeting, wanting his money on the father’s horse in one race while rating the son’s tactical chance on the royal runner in the big one. He also backs an O’Brien outsider in the Futurity at the Curragh.
It’s my Master Tactician award. And I nominate top Irish apprentice Joseph O’Brien, thrust into the limelight this year on horses for his father, the King Of Ballydoyle, but with an absolutely magic chance to win the Ebor Handicap at York today for The Queen of England.
YORK: Tactician (3.40) is better off with Mount Athos, thanks to Joseph’s claim, for a narrow defeat in last year’s Melrose, the lesser-handicap equivalent over the same trip at 2.30, but, from his 20 draw, will need to be a tactician himself on a horse that likes to go with the pace but faces a difficult left-hand turn.
Pat Shanahan has a similar problem on front-runner Across The Rhine (2.00), in stall 11 and this time with only 7f to go. Can he get over on Tracey Collins’ five-year-old?
How those ante-post bets make you blush sometimes! I had 66-1 that Apache was Aidan O’Brien’s big hope for the English Derby. But the good news is that, though I was scalped by the layers at Epsom, I might have them tearing their hair out when I land a 13.0 bet on Apache (2.30) in this year’s Melrose.
CURRAGH: Meanwhile Aidan is odds on to steal the St Leger Trial with Fame And Glory (3.15) but he may need this run after a break, dropped back in trip after his Ascot Gold Cup glory.
I imagine he will have too much class for the three-year-old Saddlers Rock, who’s only raced four times, but I’m going to have a place on the 23.0 outsider Taameer.
I shall get at least two-and-a-half times my money on the Betdaq place market, while Fame And Glory win punters are trying to scrape a quarter of their stake.
The Futurity (4.25) is a fabulous test of six last-time winners from eight runners, with one of the two others having won earlier and the eighth the pacemaker for Parish Hall.
I stuck my neck out for Astrology, 10-1 winner for David McCabe when seemingly the Ballydoyle second string at Leopardstown, and I’m going to stay with him despite his second-string status again and at least 7-1 to bet with.
NAP: Astrology (4.25 Curragh)
NEXT BEST: Tactician (3.40 York)
EACH-WAY BETS: Across The Rhine (2.00 York), Apache (2.30 York)
PLACE-ONLY BET: Taameer (3.15 Curragh)
DAQ TRIO: Apache (2.30 York), Tactician (3.40 York) and Astrology (4.25 Curragh)