The Curragh is the venue for this weekend’s headline card in Ireland. This Saturday, the Curragh will host eight races in an action packed card. Two races catch the eye, the Fitzdares Royal Whip Stakes and Irish St Leger Trial Stakes, both are Grade 3 races and have a host of interesting runners.
Here we preview everything you need to know.
Royal Whip Stakes
At the time of writing six horses are slated to run in this year’s Royal Whip Stakes. The betting is lead by a really classy horse in the form of the Aidan O’Brien trained Luxembourg.
At just three, Luxembourg is still relatively unexposed and easily brings the best form into the race. A winner of three of his four starts, his wins include victories at both Group 2 and Group 1 level. His only defeat came in the 2000 Guineas where he still finished a credible third.
He will go off at exceptionally short odds and is very much the horse to beat. It will take something special to beat him.
There is a huge gap in the betting until we find the Willie McCreery trained Insinuendo. On paper he has a bundle to find on his more illustrious rival at the top of the market but his form does have a solid look about it.
An admirable performer at Grade 2 level, he is a winner at this level and has netted success in Grade 3 races. He has found the heat too high in Grade 1 contests and that form would suggest he has a lot to find here, but it’s right that Insinuendo starts as the clear second favourite.
G M Lyons has had another good year and his horse, Georgeville, rounds out the top three in the betting. On paper it looks like Georgeville has a tonne to find to trouble the top two. With three Grade 3 runs behind him season, the best result he has posted is a 4th place finish.
A lifetime best performance will be needed if he is to play a part in the final proceedings.
At a bigger price, Point Gellibrand is an intriguing runner for trainer Joseph O’Brien. This is his first run in graded company and he comes into the race off the back of a comfortable victory in maiden company. This is a huge step up in class but he remains unexposed. If he has been able to improve on his previous efforts he could be the unknown horse in the field.
Rounding out the last two horses in the betting are the Aidan O’Brien duo of Anchorage and Realism. Both are likely to be the outsiders of the field and will likely start at a big price.
Anchorage has had three runs this season but hasn’t made the top 3 in any of these races. He has often found life tricky at this level and it looks unlikely he will win in graded company for the first time here.
Realism will be running in just his third career race and has struggled mightily in maiden company. Thrown in at the deep end it would be one of the shocks of the season if he were to win here.
Royal Whip Stakes Betting Pick
In what could turn into a procession, it’s incredibly hard to look past Luxembourg. In what is seen as a tune up ahead of bigger races to come, Aidan O’Brien will be hoping his mount can win by some margin and we think he will
|HORSE||JOCKEY||ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS|
|Insinuendo||W J Lee||+600|
|Point Gellibrand||Shane Crosse||+1200|
St Leger Trial
Six runners will head to post for this year’s Irish St Leger Trial Stakes. A Grade 3 contest in its own right, the winner of this race will nab a spot in the Irish St Leger due to be held later this year.
It’s fitting we start the preview of this race with last year’s winning trainer Joseph O’Brien. O’Brien’s victory with Twilight Payment, broke up a seven year run of victories by his father Aiden and he will be looking to double up here with the six year old Raise You.
Raise You has been lightly campaigned this season having had just two runs. Those two runs have been promising with a Listed success and narrow 2nd place finish. He has never tasted success in graded company before but will have a strong chance of putting that record right here.
O’Brien runs two in the race with his other fancy being Temple of Artemis. Likely to be the third favourite for the race, this will be his first race under O’Brien’s stewardship after changing yards away from his father Aiden. The move to a new yard is surprising given he enters this race off the back of winning his last race.
Joseph O’Brien is as shrewd as they come and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the horse make a huge leap forward.
Considering his legendary status, it’s slightly surprising to see that Dermot Weld has only won this race twice. In Search For A Song he looks to have a real contender. Now six, it’s easy to forget what a class horse Search For A Song has been.
A previous winner of Grade 1 contests, things have been harder since but he did win a Grade 3 last year. This year he has been a frustrating horse to follow, but a return to slightly calmer waters should see him run a big race.
Looking to emulate the success of both his father and brother, Donnacha O’Brien is trying to carve out his own name as a trainer. Already a winning trainer at graded level, he is looking to land yet another prestigious prize and runs Moon Daisy here.
Mostly a handicap and listed level runner, his one and only foray into Group company ended in a fourth place finish. He has a lot to find with some of his rivals. This will be his 6th run of the season and he is yet to win. It looks unlikely his record will change here.
Aidan O’Brien has enjoyed a terrific time in this race, winning seven of the last eight renewals of the race. In Honeycomb it looks like he has a heap to find. He has just had four runs in his career but has failed to make an impact in any of his races.
It looks unlikely that a first win will come here.
Seattle Rock will start as a huge outsider and is likely to go off at a three figure price. A four year old he has mostly done his racing in maiden company. He has had some time off the track since his last place finish in listed company in April. If Seattle Rock were to win it would be one of the shocks of the season.
|HORSE||JOCKEY||ODDS BY JAZZSPORTS|
|Raise You||Shane Crosse||+150|
|Search For A Song||Chris Hayes||+150|
|Temple Of Artemis||Declan McDonogh||+333|
|Moon Daisy||Gavin Ryan||+1100|
|Seattle Greek||Nathan Crosse||+10000|
St Leger Trial Betting Prediction
Raise You looks to have been cleverly campaigned this season and having won well in listed company this year he could be the one to be on.
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