LUCKY SHAMROCK HITS SUPERB NAPS HAT-TRICK: Unstoppable Shamrock cleaned up again yesterday, superbly leading from the front with a third successive top-priced nap:
* Thursday: ADIYNARA, WON 5-1
* Friday: SPORTSMASTER, WON 4-1
* Saturday MISTY FOR ME, WON 100-30
30-1 DOUBLE AT BETDAQ OFFERS: He doubled the Pretty Polly winner, Misty For Me, with Red Cadeaux (WON 7-2) at around 30-1 at morning offers. This followed a 32-1 double at SP on Thursday, with Adiynara (WON 5-1) and Jamesie (WON 9-2).
FOUR WINNERS OUT OF FOUR AT 100-1 IN HIS DAQ MULTIPLES: His five Daq Multiples (one non-runner) yesterday added two more winners to Red Cadeaux and Misty For Me: Princess Sinead (WON 13-8) and Experience (WON evens) to land a possible yankee, with the accumulator alone worth 100-1.
DOUBLES AND TREBLES GALORE: If you’d followed his Daq Multiples in the last fortnight, this week you’d have had 11 doubles and nine trebles up, last week six doubles and one treble.
There could be two Derby winners at the Curragh today. The Railway Stakes juveniles test has been a major guide to the following year’s Classics, ever since the great god himself, Nijinsky, won it in 1969 for an even greater god of my youth, Vincent O’Brien.
2.10 The Curragh (Railway Stakes) More recently, Rock Of Gibraltar (2001) has won this two-year-old trial, among eight Ballydoyle winners in the last 10 years.
But the modern master of that great stable, Aidan O’Brien, has his work cut out with Choir and Vault against Marble Hill runner-up, Tough As Nails.
Tough As Nails represents Royal Ascot form, since the Marble Hill winner, Power, went on to win the Coventry and the third, Fire Lily, was fourth in the Queen Mary.
Even then, the Richard Hannon raider, Lilbourne Lad, is favourite, or jointly so this morning, but he would have to come on a bit, since he has been beaten by the Coventry sixth.
Picking a winner from the front three in the betting, with less than a point separating them, is like putting your hand in a jam-jar full of wasps. But there is a potential betting sting: I’ll have an old punt on Vault at 11.5; you know how Ballydoyle’s ‘not wanted’ often turns out to be the winner!
2.40 The Curragh (Premier Sprint) The stats say there’s been only one winner with more than 9st 3lb in the last decade and only one aged more than five years.
In fact, three-year-olds had a spurt of six wins out of eight until 2009. Just one favourite won in that time and, in the last seven years, there have been winners at 14-1 and two at 20-1.
The draw may have had something to do with those ‘shock’ results. In the last five years the one-two by stall has been 25-23, 18-21, 22-19, 10-13, 9-21.
Of the high numbers I like Wokingham runner Colonel Mak (badly drawn that day at Ascot), with Fran Berry booked, and Cheviot, laid out long term for this. Group placed and so consistent, Knock Stars is so installed to be able to come up the middle.
At 15.5, 21.0 and 17.5 respectively, I’ll take those three against the field. I’ll kick myself if Ger Lyons wins with The Reaper but so far he’s needed a sounder surface.
3.10 The Curragh (Sapphire Stakes) The English have won all three runnings of this and it’s a pleasant surprise to see a conditions sprint in which Inxile, a total pirate of our prizes, is not, in fact, the top rating.
Invincible Ash, who finished in front of him in a Group 2 behind J J The Jet Plane at Meydan, runs off 111 yet receives weight from Inxile (109).
Hamish McGonagall has never won so much as a Listed so I can’t see him as a threat to these two Group-3 horses, though I’d worry about Arctic if it rained. Invincible Ash is a value 5.6 on Betdaq this morning.
3.50 The Curragh (Irish Derby) Excuses can make winners but you only want to be on at a price, and Carlton House is too short, offered as if he beat Treasure Beach at Epsom. He didn’t.
I see the Racing Post Spotlight says that Carlton House is fancied to make amends ‘if getting the run of the race.’ With four Ballydoyle runners? You must be joking (or hoping to get a mention in the honours’ list).
Treasure Beach has had his defeat of Nathaniel at Chester franked by the second at Royal Ascot and, if only for consistency in the form, he must be the choice, having already finished in front of the others, barring Roderic O’Connor.
I could fancy ‘Roderic’ only on soft ground and I could fancy Native Khan on firm but I think it will be genuinely good ground on which the form so far will be confirmed.
NAP: Invincible Ash (3.10 The Curragh)
NEXT BEST: Treasure Beach (3.50 The Curragh)
OUTSIDERS: Vault (2.10 the Curragh), Colonel Mak, Cheviot, Knock Stars (2.40 The Curragh)
DAQ TRIO: Invincible Ash (3.10 the Curragh), Treasure Beach (3.50 The Curragh), Celendine (4.30 The Curragh)