Horse Racing tips: Brendan Duke’s 5 to follow for Sunday’s Irish meetings

Dukey has a dug through the cards to find your plays at the Curragh and Tipperary.


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We have another double header on Sunday in Ireland and that seems to have happened a lot recently. Well, my memory only stretches back about two weeks, so that statement shouldn’t be treated as gospel.

There’s a good Flat card in the Curragh featuring a couple of competitive stakes races. Meanwhile, the national hunt fare in Tipperary is more mundane, but I do quite like the look of one down there mind you.


13:35 Curragh – Kerkiyra

The Curragh card opens with a 7-furlong fillies maiden and Concert Hall was heavily backed when finishing second on debut in Fairyhouse. The winner of that race had impressed when winning a barrier trial. Hopefully, Concert Hall will prove popular with the punters again and that should mean we get reasonable odds of return on KERKIYRA.

This filly ran a lovely race on debut over this course and distance last month, she broke slowly and had to be niggled along at various stages. She was just too green to do herself justice. Ben Coen wasn’t hard on her, but it was encouraging to see how she responded to one tap behind the saddle. She finished a running on fourth, while the favourite and second favourite fought out the finish that day. The fifth has run pretty well since and I’d expect the form to work out.

Kerkiyra will need a stiffer test of stamina in time, but expect her to be more clued in on Sunday. Hopefully, she can bag a prominent position from her low draw.

14:10 Curragh – Power Under Me

I want to take on Order Of Australia in the MInstrel Stakes as he is penalised, and his lofty rating is based on a win in the Breeders Cup Mile. That looked a fluky result and there are a number of credible opponents. I’ll take a chance on POWER UNDER ME. This horse has only had three career starts and he was wildly impressive when winning a backend maiden in Naas last year.

His seasonal comeback was a little underwhelming, but he produced a much better effort in a Listed race last time out. He suffered interference, but still finished a close third and was subsequently promoted to second. Law Of Indices and Mooniesta advertised that form by running creditably in the Commonwealth Cup next time out. It would probably be folly to rate the form around Law Of Indices subsequent Group 1 heroics.

Power Under Me has only ever run on soft ground, but his pedigree would give encouragement that this quicker surface won’t hinder his chances. The extra furlong rates a positive for this unexposed sort.

15:30 Tipperary – Arrycan

Over to Tipperary for a handicap chase and ARRYCAN may have been let in lightly here and it’s understandable why the handicapper would go easy on the horse. He showed little or nothing in bumpers and over hurdles, but he has really taken to fences though.

He finished third at 150/1 on penultimate start before backing that up with a win in Downpatrick last time out and he produced a series of fast, accurate leaps that day. That form could be working out better, but the fifth did win next time out mind you. It just strikes me that Arrycan is coming to himself, as he’s a relatively lightly raced seven-year-old. His mark of 109 means he just qualifies for this race. Expect him to make that class, fencing technique tell.

17:00 Curragh – Wild Dollar

Back to the Curragh for a three-year old handicap over 10 furlongs, where WILD DOLLAR is interesting here. He broke his maiden over this course and distance in May. He was second across the line, but quite rightly got the race in the stewards room and the form of that race is working out a treat as it featured two subsequent impressive maiden winners.

Wild Dollar was inclined to take a grip in the early stages and Mark Gallagher wisely reined back to seek cover. That learning experience will not be lost on the horse, while the problem with that win is that it came on heavy ground. Wild Dollar will face very different conditions on Sunday and I do associate the progeny of Zoffany with cut in the ground.

He’s just a good stallion mind you and plenty of his stock are ground versatile. Despite the small field on Sunday, there are a couple of pace options in the race and that should help the Dollar to settle. He looks on a reasonable opening mark and there are enough positives to take a chance on the ground.

17:30 Curragh – Screen Siren

The Curragh card closes with a 5-furlong handicap and I like SCREEN SIREN here. She has been a bit tardy from the gates of late, which is not ideal over the minimum trip. It didn’t stop her winning in Cork on penultimate start and that form looks solid. She then finished fifth in Naas next time out, as she faced a better class of opponent there than we get in Sunday’s race.

She would probably have finished third but for suffering interference in the race and that form got a boost in Leopardstown the other day. The handicapper may have been generous in dropping this unexposed three-year-old by 1lbs. She should go close here, particularly if sharper at the stalls.

Brendan Duke’s tips summary:

13:35 Curragh – Kerkiyra
14:10 Curragh – Power Under Me
15:30 Tipperary – Arrycan
17:00 Curragh – Wild Dollar
17:30 Curragh – Screen Siren





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