‘SAM’ SOLE SATURDAY WINNER AFTER SPECTACULAR WEEK: Sam Bass (WON 9-4) held Shamrock’s head up yesterday but it was a quiet Saturday after his doubles during the week at 50-1 and 23-1 and his winning singles at 20-1, 16-1 and 14.0 (WON 11-2) on Betdaq.
TIP-TOP CURRAGH CARD: Today’s Curragh card features four consecutive Group races plus the Irish Cambridgeshire. Shamrock’s feeling lucky again with Betdaq-value bets at 14.0, 13.5 and 11.0. And a 9.0 nap!
2.45 The Curragh (Round Tower Stakes): Winners at 20-1 and 14-1 (twice) in the last four years suggest that we look beyond the favourite, Lightening Pearl.
If she wins, it will be a big boost – and further cramp her odds – for Maybe in the Moyglare (4.25), who beat her here three weeks ago, with four previous winners behind, and the Round Tower has gone to fillies four times in seven years.
There wasn’t much between Boris Grigoriev and An Ghalana over 5f here with Experience (holds Aaraas), who had beaten Lightening Pearl at Navan, close up.
It all goes to make me think (adding two and two and probably making five) that Experience’s once-raced David Wachman stablemate, Captain Obvious (9.0 on Betdaq at time of writing), could be the surprise packet.
3.15 The Curragh: It’s 4-2 to three-year-olds in this fillies and mares race and, with the ground remaining on the firm side, I’m choosing a price from among Haziyna and Wild Wind for Ireland and the English raiders Field Day and Primevere.
Bible Belt, ‘the same horse’ as Wild Wind on form last year, and progressive this, is a worthy favourite but short; I can get nearly three times anything else.
In fact, I can get around four times the price about Field Day (14.0), so I’m going to be a traitor and pick an English intruder: surely Brian Meehan hasn’t been so wrong that he’s run this Cape Cross filly in Group 1 and 2 without reason? Save on Bible Belt.
3.50 The Curragh (Flying Five): Sole Power was hot favourite at Tipperary and, though his usual slow start cost him, he’s 3lb better off for about a length with the second horse that day, Move In Time, who also faces an Invincible Ash (3rd) on 3lb better for a head.
Celerina, who got within a head of the Nunthorpe winner, Margot Did, at Ayr, was well behind at Tipperary; Roicead has to step up from handicaps; and Amour Propre has been a bridesmaid this year, in fact not scoring since May 2009.
I fancy Empowering (11.5) – beaten on the line over 6f by Katla at Naas – to try to make all over this 5f. A change of tactics failed here last time but, with every other runner in today’s race a chaser or a hold-up horse, he could get the lead.
4.25 The Curragh (Moyglare): In the great debate, I’m coming down on the side of La Collina, simply because she’s better value: 4.6 is plainly wrong since, though beaten by Maybe, she has pipped the colts in the Phoenix and has definitely improved.
5.00 The Curragh (Irish Cambridgeshire): There isn’t an edge here: the draw is all over the place, the winners’ ages vary and they win from 8st 1lb to 10st 1lb. The only constants are that the favourite never wins it but jumps jockeys do!
If Kevin Prendergast is playing up the winnings from La Collina, we’ll see money for Asheerah, in her first handicap and blinkered for the first time. But she’s 28.0 as I write.
The high eight stalls don’t cut much ice in this so I’m picking course specialist Napa Starr (13.0). I’d normally worry about the claimer but he’s the guy who’s been winning on the mare.
NAP: Captain Obvious (2.45 The Curragh)
NEXT BEST: La Collina (4.25 The Curragh)
WIN BET: Bible Belt (3.15 The Curragh)
OUTSIDERS: Field Day (3.15 The Curragh), Empowering (3.50 The Curragh), Napa Starr and Asheerah (5.00 The Curragh)
DAQ TRIO: Captain Obvious (2.45 The Curragh), Bible Belt (3.15 The Curragh), La Collina (4.25 The Curragh)