A busy weekend in store for Irish racing fans. Four meetings should keep us all on our toes. Democrats will appreciate the equal split between both codes. Due to family, and Pinatubo, commitments I will concentrate on Sunday’s fare.
The going is heavy in Limerick. It won’t be changing. With 10 mm’s of rain forecast in Kildare, it should mean soft ground at the Curragh.
The Munster National (16:35) is the highlight of the Limerick card. Black Scorpion currently heads the betting.
Given the wholesale punt on Movewiththetimes in the Kerry National, it would come as little surprise if he were to end up the jolly.
I will take them both on. Nambour looks interesting at the prices. He was a talented novice hurdler. As with most Gigginstown runners his future looked to lie over fences. Sadly, he went missing for almost three years. He made his comeback at Navan a couple of weeks ago. Having travelled well, and looking an accomplished jumper, he suffered a classic novice’s fall five from home.
He just clipped the top and failed to get his landing gear out. Connections waste no time in pitching him into handicap company. That’s understandable. If the ability remains, a mark of 132 would look lenient. There are plenty of questions.
He departed before facing Navan’s merciless hill. It’s quite possible he’d have fallen out the back of the telly. There was enough to suggest he may not have though. Paddy may dangle an extra-place carrot here but I will decline.
This horse looks like a win only project.
The Curragh offers up another handicap minefield in the Irish Cesarawitch (16:25). Again I will be playing a win-only strategy here. The reason is I’m backing two horses. Nessun Dorma looks sure to go well. Willie Mullins charge ran a solid fifth in a handicap on Irish Champions Weekend. The trip was probably on the sharp side. He was also disadvantaged by being held up in a steadily-run race.
That race is working out very well. Off the same mark, and with conditions on Sunday more suitable, this relatively unexposed six-year-old is worth a bet. As is Red Gerry. He’s only a three-year-old. After a hugely promising second in Navan early in the season, he seemed to regress a bit.
He put that right with a resounding maiden win in Tipperary on his penultimate start. He backed that up with a second to a progressive rival last time. He shapes like he will relish the extra distance on Sunday. Chris Hayes is doing his lightest weight in the last 12 months. I will take the hint.
Lady Jane Wilde cost me a few quid on Irish Champions Weekend. I was happy to take a chance on her handling the quick ground. That looks like it was a mistake. Perhaps I can claw my money back in the Legacy Stakes at 14:05. She returns to the scene of her stunning debut success.
The form of that race looks solid. Granted that run was over seven furlongs. Conditions should ensure an adequate test on Sunday though. It’s hard to shake the impression she will be a really talented filly given deep ground.
I’ll pay to find out if that impression is correct.
Norivento looks worth a tickle in the last (17:35). He was a bit disappointing at Listowel last time. I would forgive any horse a below-par effort on testing ground at that track. He won on his previous start in Cork. The form of that win is questionable. His second at the Curragh three runs ago reads well though.
He’s far from exposed, and the ground will probably be okay and will help to bring his stamina into play. We should get a double-figure price.