Aidan O’Brien has dominated this race over the past decade and can kick-off Irish Oaks at the Curragh with HANS ANDERSEN securing victory in this 7-furlong juvenile maiden. The son of Frankel ran green on debut at Tipperary and became a little outpaced turning for home before the penny dropped in the closing furlong to finish an eye-catching second. The benefit of that run and better ground conditions are positives with Ryan Moore riding ahead of stable-mate Cairo.
Young Ireland is an obvious danger for Jim Bolger and Kevin Manning following his encouraging run when third to Auguste Rodin at Naas on debut. The Coolcullen team won this race with Mac Swiney in 2020, so the son of New Approach warrants respect on his second start. Elsewhere, Nation’s Call is an interesting homebred for Moyglare and Dermot Weld with Pigeon House and Al Riffa others on the shortlist for the inform Jessica Harrington and Joseph O’Brien stables.
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BIG GOSSEY finished fourth in the Paddy Power Scurry Handicap last year and deserves to get his head in-front on this occasion following very consistent runs in recent months. The son of Gutaifan has finally received a better draw having been handed low stall positions on all four sprint starts here at HQ this season. His latest effort here last month in the Rockingham Handicap was a cracking performance having raced forward from stall 3 and only headed close home when finishing second.
Danny Sheehy has developed a good relationship with this five-year-old having taken over the ride in April, and I’d expect he’ll race handy whilst finding a little cover from stall 11. The owners have reported the horse in good form and despite a 3Ib rise in the ratings, he looks a solid each-way contender. Elsewhere, Andreas Vesalius looks a serious player with Jake Coen once again in the saddle and cheekpieces now added by Joseph O’Brien following his second-place effort at Naas.
MOONEISTA can secure back-to-back victories in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes despite being rated 11Ibs higher than last year when scoring off 101. Colin Keane has decided to keep the ride over Geocentric for Ger Lyons following her staying on fourth behind Nature Strip in the King’s Stand Stakes last month. Jack Davison’s runner has been progressive this season and the likely strong pace set by Last Crusader, Geocentric, New York City and Brostaigh should play to her strengths.
Equilateral could be her biggest danger having finished just behind at Royal Ascot before getting no luck for Charlie Hills at Sandown two-weeks-ago. Elsewhere, Cadamosto returns quickly having disappointed in the July Cup at Newmarket last weekend, while Castle Star is back on track for Fozzy Stack having recorded some excellent juvenile form last season. It looks a good renewal of this race with Mooneista the one for me having developed into a fine sprinter for connections this season.
Georgie Benson secured victory in the Ladies Derby last year on Elite Trooper Grey and has an excellent chance of securing another success here at HQ on DARTINGTON. Gordon Elliott’s stable is in great form and this five-year-old is improving all the time having recently landed victories over hurdles at both Wexford and Tramore. The son of Siyouni is racing on the flat for the first time since leaving Marcus Tregoning and a rating of 76 might look lenient considering his current progression.
Kazakdaria finished a fine third on return for Dermot Weld over further here last month and will surely be popular with Rachael Blackmore booked to ride. Elsewhere, Vischio has already secured two victories at Gowran Park this season and should be in the mix for Jodie Townend. Derry Lad, Extensio and Wild Shot are others on the shortlist for Julie Burke, Syliva O’Donnell and Siobhan Rutledge in the saddle.
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Joseph O’Brien has won the last two renewals of this 6-furlong Nursery and has an excellent chance this year with ALL THINGS NICE. The daughter of Sioux Nation has some lovely form in the book and can give weight away to all rivals with Mikey Sheehy once again in the saddle. Her debut second to Kayhana at Limerick has worked out well with the third horse, Pandora Lovegood subsequently winning at Roscommon, with Montesilvano coming out of that race by winning at Leopardstown.
She showed excellent attitude when scoring from the front at Bellewstown and the drop back in trip looks a positive towards her chances of back-to-back victories. Holdonefordearlife should run well for Ken Condon having raced against some nice rivals this season, finishing behind Crispy Cat, The Antarctic and Woado. Slick Chick is another horse worth a shout considering the good form of Jessica Harrington and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see her challenging now handicapping.
LIVIA CELESTE has been in my tracker for some time and hopefully the daughter of Galileo can land the closing 1-mile Fillies Maiden on Saturday evening. Her third-place finish to Cairde Go Deo and History last August on just her second start reads extremely well and even more so considering the saddle slipped on Shane Crosse on that occasion. I’ve put a line through her poor run at Dundalk and was more than happy with her seasonal return behind Ha Ha Ha at Listowel last month.
She was staying on nicely under hands and heels in the closing stages with the winner subsequently enhancing the form by scoring recently at Leopardstown. Elsewhere, Benitoite returns for Jessica Harrington after a break with Spring Feeling and So Beautiful others on the shortlist. Spring Feeling can only improve for Ken Condon after her debut third at Naas, while So Beautiful is a Coolmore homebred by Galileo with Ryan Moore in the saddle.
Saturday Curragh tips
Saturday’s Racing Tips
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- Horse Racing Tips: Jason Weaver’s Newbury ITV Racing selections
- Gallop over to Paddy Power News for all the latest racing tips
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