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No shortage of runners for an eight-race card in the Curragh on Saturday, but I found bets hard to come by all the same. Cadamosto and Broome should win, they will be heavily favoured in the betting though. The maidens looked tricky and that left me with just three selections.
Hopefully, there is a winner or two among them and the ground is on the easy side at the moment. With little or no rain forecast, I expect it will be good ground come post time.
The Gladness Stakes looks a trappy affair, where Speak In Colours, Lancaster House and Know It All are the class of the field. The first two have something to prove after a string of sub-par efforts, while Know it All should run well but would ideally prefer an extra furlong. She’s also a strapping mare who may take time to get fully fit and she can be opposed on comeback.
LUSTOWN BABA rates the selection as this mare took her form to a new level at the backend of last season. She bolted up in a 6-furlong handicap at the Curragh before following up in a Listed race over the same course and distance. She also finished fourth on seasonal comeback in Cork two weeks ago.
She has taken a run or two to find her best in the past and the only snag with that theory is that she went off favourite in that Cork race. She was clearly thought straight enough to do herself justice. Otherwise, it looked very much like a tune up and she travelled well before looking to blow up a couple of furlongs out.
Her best form has come on soft ground. She won’t get that here, but there should be enough cushion in the surface for her. I’m hopeful this extra furlong will help, she’s unbeaten at the track and could easily progress again this season. There are enough positives to justify a wager.
We all have our cliff horses and RAISE YOU is one of mine. I’m making like a lemming and lining up to back him in the mile handicap as this was a talented horse when with Andrew Balding. I thought the switch to Joseph O’Brien last season would reap a rich dividend, but it didn’t.
The horse ran too freely in his races, however there was enough in those runs to suggest plenty of ability remains. He tanked through a race at the Curragh in October before his rank tendencies took a toll. He backed that up with solid efforts in Leopardstown and Naas. He has also been gelded in the off season.
That can’t do any harm, and may help him to relax in his races. There are 22 runners, and plenty of pace options, in this race. That should help his talented claiming jockey to switch the horse off. Based on jockey bookings, Raise You isn’t his stable’s main hope here. The horse has gone well fresh in the past though and he’s a stakes performer running in a handicap. That’s enough for me to take one last cliff jump.
Just the 27 runners in the sprint handicap that closes the card. The draw could play a big part here, but I’m not going to try and second guess that. A horse in my tracker popped up here so despite what looks a minefield, I will have a modest wager.
LORD DUDLEY makes just his sixth career start here. The first four were underwhelming but his latest effort in Naas was more like it and he was nibbled at in the betting that day. Despite signs of greenness, both at the start and in the race, he stuck on pretty well for third. The winner has since let the form down, but the other placed horses arrived in decent nick so it’s probably reasonable form for the grade.
The extra furlong on Saturday looks sure to suit. But his lack of experience for a big field test is a worry. He will get every assistance from the saddle mind you. In Colin Keane we trust!
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