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16:25 CURRAGH – LOVEDAY
The Listed Curragh Stakes for the juveniles gets action at HQ underway on Friday where LOVEDAY can continue her progression for Willie McCreery. The daughter of Bungle Inthejungle has plenty of experience after five-career starts, which included a good second to Castle Star in the listed First Flier Stakes here back in May.
She comes here having secured a much-deserved win at Down Royal when dominating from the front with Money Tree back in second place. Michael O’Callaghan’s runner also races here having enhanced the form by winning her maiden at Tipperary last week. Zebelle is an interesting raider from the UK while Head Mistress is another on the short-list for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane.
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17:10 TRAMORE – MYTH BUSTER
MYTH BUSTER returned to race a solid third on return at Killarney last month and looks more than capable of landing the opening EY Chase at Tramore. He finally landed a Beginners Chase at Thurles in March following plenty of previous experience which included a fifth-place finish in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown last Christmas. This track and a slight drop in trip are positives towards his chances with Ya Boy Ya looking the main danger to Henry de Bromhead’s runner.
18:00 CURRAGH – EARLSWOOD (NAP)
Innisfree returns from a long absence hoping to provide Aidan O’Brien with an 11th victory in the Royal Whip Stakes. Vincent O’Brien still holds the record with 13 victories overall with the current Master of Ballydoyle first winning this Group 3 contest in 1999 with Dancing Sunset under Christy Roche. Innisfree ended the 2019 season as a talented juvenile having won the Beresford Stakes and finishing second to Kameko in the Futurity at Newcastle.
It would be some training performance by O’Brien and his team if managing victory after missing his three-year-old season and now returning after 651-days off the racetrack. Leo De Fury has some excellent from in the book and should improve for his seasonal return at Leopardstown last month. However, EARLSWOOD gets the verdict here and can continue the excellent season of Johnny Murtagh having formerly been trained by John Oxx last season.
The son of Pivotal looks the one here having started off his three-year-old campaign with victory in a Navan maiden before running an excellent third in the Dee Stakes at Chester. He followed that up with success in the Gallinule Stakes before returning to finish an excellent fourth in the Irish Derby. He encountered traffic problems at the two-furlong pole when making his challenge and was arguably unlucky not to be placed and he’s more than good enough to win this now dropping in grade.
18:45 TRAMORE – GRINN
David O’Brien’s runners always need respecting at Tramore and GRINN looks primed to strike in this handicap hurdle. The daughter of Glor Na Mara has failed to win as yet but produced several encouraging runs this summer to suggest a victory is only around the corner. She outran her odds when second at Roscommon before finishing fifth as a beaten favourite in Downpatrick back in June.
She returned after a break to finishing an eye-catching fourth when staying on under Sean Flanagan at Killarney last month. She also holds an entry here at the Festival on Sunday but runs in this race off the same official rating as Killarney (85) and should go close to victory with Mikey O’Connor taking off a handy 7lbs.
19:00 CURRAGH – PRINCESS ZOE
Aidan O’Brien has dominated this Irish St Leger Trial having won the last seven renewals with all those winners returning as favourite. There’s very little between his two runners here on official ratings with Amhran Na Bhfiann rated 112 and Wordsworth just behind on 111. The majority of these know each-other well having contested plenty of these staying races, including the Ascot Gold Cup back in June.
It was an amazing performance by PRINCESS ZOE to finish second behind Subjectivist at the Royal meeting having raced on better ground and overcoming a slightly troubled run under Joey Sheridan. She already has the better of plenty of these rivals on previous starts, including victories over both Emperor Of The Sun and Barrington Court at Galway last year. She can kick off her Autumn campaign with victory in this race before building up for a return to Paris in October for Tony Mullins.
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