Horse Racing tips: Brendan Duke’s 5 to thrive in Ireland on Sunday

Irish form expert Brendan Duke tries to crack the code for Fairyhouse’s Flat card and over the jumps at Sligo.

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We’ve got a double-header in Ireland on Sunday. There is some Flat action in Fairyhouse, while National Hunt aficionados will look towards Sligo. There are a few showers about ,but they shouldn’t make much difference to the current going descriptions.

The Brownstown Stakes at 15:20 is the feature event at Fairyhouse and it looks like a competitive renewal, but I couldn’t find a bet in that race. So, here are a few selections that will carry my cash.


15:05 Sligo – Sit Down Lucy

SIT DOWN LUCY should go well in this mare’s handicap hurdle. She was beaten quite a long way in Punchestown last time out, But the winner of that race – The West Awaits – is a talented mare mind you. There won’t be anything of her calibre in this race and Sit Down Lucy travelled strongly through that race.

Sunday’s drop in trip should hold no fears. A bad mistake at the penultimate flight probably cost her second place in the race, but it does mean that she gets in here off a potentially lenient mark. This contest should be run at a reasonable pace and her tactical speed could prove crucial on this sharp track. As you might expect, the opposition in this race bring plenty of potential to the party, however I suspect that Sit Down Lucy will prove the best of them though. She can make class tell.


15:55 Fairyhouse – Prince Of Verona

We go over to Fairyhouse for a three-year-old handicap and there are some well-bred horses on show here. PRINCE OF VERONA is one of them and he cost nearly a million dollars as a yearling. Denis Hogan picked him up after a disappointing debut at the Curragh last year and since then, the horse has progressed nicely.

He hasn’t helped himself by being headstrong in his races, but he settled much better when winning in Naas last time out. That form is untested, but encouragingly the second and third were unexposed sorts from top yards. Prince Of Verona travelled strongly in that race, and still looked a bit green in the closing stages. He was value for more that the winning margin.

He looks a big unit on the telly, and may just be coming to himself physically. There is no obvious front runner on Sunday. Given how well he settled in Naas, it wouldn’t come as a massive shock if Joey Sheridan lets his mount stride on. Sheridan’s 5lbs claim takes some of the sting out of the 9lbs rise the horse got for that Naas win.

16:15 Sligo – Lady Rocco

We back to Sligo for this handicap hurdle and All Class could be a blot on the handicap here. She has shown jumping frailties in the past mind you, and will be a short price. I will take her on with topweight LADY ROCCO, as this mare put in a solid shift on her comeback in Wexford recently.

That was her first run for eight months, and the trip was probably on the sharp side. I expect her to run better over the extra four furlongs here. This relatively unexposed sort has run well at Sligo before and I expect she will do so again. Hopefully, that will prove good enough.


16:30 Fairyhouse – Kalanoura

I’m hopeful that Gavin Cromwell can bag both divisions of the 12-furlong handicap at Fairyhouse and first up, he’s got KALANOURA. The snag with this mare is that she’s yet to win a race, but she doesn’t appear ungenuine to my eye though.

She ran pretty well last week in Bellewstown and that was her first run since April. She got a bit tired late on, and it seems reasonable to presume she will strip fitter on Sunday. A couple of pieces of form suggest a mark of 58 is exploitable and significantly, she gets the benefit of Robert Whearty’s 10lbs claim here.

As mentioned last week, he’s serious value for that mammoth allowance and Kalanoura should be well positioned from her inside draw. With so much in her favour, connections will be disappointed if she doesn’t get that elusive first win.



17:05 Fairyhouse – Aprils Joy

I hope to be listening to Beethoven’s Ode To Joy around teatime, as APRILS JOY should go close in the last. She did us a good turn in Downpatrick last time out and that came over hurdles. She looks well treated on the Flat and she was arguably unlucky in Cork on penultimate start. She races off the same mark here and that run came over 10 furlongs.

The extra distance on Sunday should prove right up her street. She’s tactically versatile, ground versatile and seems to relish a battle. This looks quite a deep race for the grade and that does mean we should get reasonable odds. She rates as my best bet of the day.

Brendan Duke’s tips summary:

15:05 Sligo – Sit Down Lucy
15:55 Fairyhouse – Prince Of Verona
16:15 Sligo – Lady Rocco
16:30 Fairyhouse – Kalanoura
17:05 Fairyhouse – Aprils Joy



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