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A good day of racing at the Curragh gets underway with a 5-furlong maiden where most of these fillies are making their debuts on the racetrack. Meditate for Aidan O’Brien along with Remind for Joseph O’Brien and Slaney Time for Jim Bolger all have plenty of stamina in their pedigrees, so it will be interesting to see how these juveniles perform over this minimum trip on Sunday afternoon at flat HQ.
I’ll take a punt on DRUNK IN LOVE who has a spiriting pedigree and the benefit of a run following her fourth-place finish at Dundalk earlier this month. Having been sent off favourite for that contest, she wasn’t knocked about by Leigh Roche and will have learned plenty for the run. It’s been an excellent start to the season for Michael O’Callaghan and Amo Racing and hopefully she’ll give them another winner.
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Like Meditate in the opener, Little Big Bear was a juvenile in which Aidan O’Brien spoke positively about in his recent stable tour. The Master of Ballydoyle said, “He has been working very well and stood out in his work when we took them away,” so he’s clearly one to watch and any market support would be encouraging as always on debut. This looks a competitive affair with nearly all the big stables represented except Dermot Weld.
Jim Bolger runs National Question here having skipped Cork last weekend, while Tough Talk for Ger Lyons and Moyglare looks another interesting debutante. However, it’s Amo Racing for me again with FORCEFUL SPEED the selection for Adrian Murray and Leigh Roche. The son of New Bay ran a cracker and was only pipped on debut by Ocean Quest at this venue on the opening day of the season and looks the one to beat.
High Definition makes his seasonal reappearance in the Group 3 Alleged Stakes following a disappointing three-year-old season in 2021. Aidan O’Brien has said he was probably too weak last season and has worked well in his build-up to this race. His Dante run was eye-catching last May but he flopped in both the Irish Derby and Great Voltigeur before never running a race in the St Leger at Doncaster last September.
Noel Meade looks to have the biggest challengers with both Helvic Dream and LAYFAYETTE running for Tu Va stables. Helvic Dream finished fourth in this race last year before stepping up to secure Group 1 success in the Tattersalls Gold Cup last May. He’s the best horse in this race but might need to the run while giving weight away to his stablemate. Layfayette took the Devoy Stakes at Naas in good fashion and looks value to run a good race from off the pace once again under Oisin Orr.
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MARKAZ PANAME showed a lot of class when winning on his seasonal debut at Naas two-weeks ago and looks the one to progress further in the Group 3 Gladness Stakes on Sunday. The son of Markaz has matured this season according to Ger Lyons and was gelded before his victory in the Madrid handicap. He receives weight for age and looks the horse to beat against a host of exposed rivals with Emilie Gray looking perhaps the biggest danger following her fifth in the Park Express Stakes.
WATERVILLE makes his debut for Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore and on pre-season chatter he should be winning this before contesting some big races in the next few months. The son of Camelot is a half-brother to Sea Of Class who finished an unlucky second to Enable in the 2018 Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. A recent quote from Aidan O’Brien suggests he’s above average and ready to strike; “I’d say he’s a fair bit better than a maiden winner. He looks a bit different, he’s a Derby type and works well.”
Sunday Curragh Tips
- 13:20 – Drunk In Love
- 13:55 – Forceful Speed
- 15:05 – Layfayette
- 15:40 – Markaz Panane
- 16:45 – Waterville
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