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IRISH DERBY VERDICT: SHAMROCK looks ahead to the Irish Derby – the 7.15pm at Fairyhouse this evening.

A wide open renewal of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby and as colleague DAQMAN has been counting down to this week – it’s not the list of A-Listers that we might have expected.

Whilst it’s great to have racing back – the season is pretty topsy-turvy now with a lot of the major Pattern races coming in quick succession.

One of the big talking points here is whether Santiago (best rated in the race at 111) can repeat his winning form from Royal Ascot just eight days ago when he was impressive in landing the Queen’s Vase over 1m 6f. He’s down in trip and racing on much quicker ground so it would be some training achievement, even for Aidan O’Brien, to go back to back here. It’s also worth noting that both of Santiago’s previous wins have come with give in the ground.

Aidan saddles six in the race, but his sons Joseph and Donnacha also have serious contenders.

I’m going to take a chance with a PLACE NAP on the unbeaten Crossfirehurricane who comes into this looking for a five-timer and he proved he has a touch of class last time out here when winning the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes. He holds Gold Maze and Sherpa (who has been quite well backed today) who were 2nd and 3rd and I see no reason why he can’t confirm that form over the 1m 4f. He certainly was doing his best work in the closing stages last time and again will get decent ground.

SHAMROCK’S BETS (place bet, for the purposes of settlement will be settled at current BETDAQ price of 3.30):
PLACE NAP: Crossfirehurricane (7.15 Curragh)

2020 NAPS: 31/72 +85.99 (to a 10 unit daily level stake)

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