Mick Fitz: US Navy Flag could fly at the Curragh

We've had ITV Racing's main man cast his eye over Saturday's action from Kildare, and he's picked out his fancies from the afternoon card...


13:50 – The Curragh

The opening race at the Curragh is a fillies maiden and it is a race where Aidan O’Brien has multiple entries. These races are tough to get a handle on as the unraced horses need a market check.

It’s not always the number one Ryan Moore ridden O’Brien horse that wins these contests.

The one I like in here is Romme for Ger Lyons. She is related to Outback Traveller who was a very good performer for Robert Cowell, she was a strong finishing second when fancied at Dundalk and could be the one here.

14.25 – The Curragh

Dali catches the eye here. This horse only ran six days ago but ran behind Sioux Nation. It is always dangerous to dismiss an Aidan O’Brien horse running again quickly and first time in a handicap. Comhgairdeas was beaten fav last time and could be interesting each way.

Curragh Racing, Curragh Racecourse, Newbridge, Co. Kildare 13/8/2017
Trainer Aidan O’Brien speaks to the media after Mendelssohn wins The Anglesey Lodge Equine Hospital Irish EBF Maiden
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tom Beary

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15.00 – The Curragh

The Marble Hill sees Aidan O’Brien with multiple runners and it’s hard to get a pecking order as all of his were impressive last time out.

Ryan Moore rides Van Beethoven and he skipped over the ground when winning at Naas. Land Force was impressive when winning at the Curragh and on faster ground he could be the speculative choice.

15.35 – The Curragh

I think Brando was beaten fair and square by a very smart sprinter in Harry’s Angel at York.

His trainer Kevin Ryan won this in 2012 with Tiddlywinks so knows what it takes. Brando has won here before too, so has lots going for him. Tasleet is having his first run of the season and that may make all the difference.

Keep an eye on the market for a real move for Merchant Navy as well. We don’t know how he will fare over here but traditionally Aussie sprinters have the edge on us in that department.

Ryan Moore

4.10 – The Curragh

Elarqam is all the rage here trying to achieve what his mother Attraction did and win the Irish Guineas. He definitely looked an improver when finishing 4th in the Guineas at Newmarket.

I am going to take him on here with US Navy Flag. He nearly came down in the 2000 Guineas and over there you can’t lose ground at a crucial stage of the race. There is no doubt he is smart and Ryan Moore keeps the faith.

4.45 – The Curragh

I love Hydrangea. When you think how closely matched with Rhododendron she is, that tells you how good this filly is. The only concern is she may well need to improve for the run. I am hoping she will put on an exhibition.

5.20 – The Curragh

The fillies handicap will end the day and Joseph & Donncha O’Brien team up with Wisdom Mind. This filly won a 16 runner maiden last time and could be the answer here.

Check Your Pockets could move in this market too, with a crafty trainer and decent jockey booking always worthy of a second look.

The very best of luck.

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What do you think?