1.05 William Hill Free Or 4 Irish EBF Maiden 6f
New Image can get off the mark at the second time of asking. Ger Lyons’s colt hasn’t been seen since making his debut at the beginning of July, when he was well held by Age Of Kings, but comfortably ahead of his other rivals. That winner has reached a good standard since, with the third also running well in a subsequent maiden, so its useful form, and given time, the son of Frankel could be a different proposition now.
Hispanic is the obvious one, having finished third to Bay Of Plenty on his debut at Naas, running very greenly in the process. He’ll improve from that and could be tough to beat but will be priced accordingly.
SELECTION: NEW IMAGE
Next best: Hispanic
1.35 Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes (Group 2) 1m
This doesn’t look like a vintage renewal and although Adelaide River possibly brings the best form to the table, it might be worth taking a chance on his stablemate Continuous. He was an impressive winner of his maiden over seven furlongs at this course last month, picking up well to go clear of King Of Scotia, recording a good time in the process, just over a second slower than the times Meditate and Aesop’s Fables recorded in Group 2 races later on the card. He should progress nicely from that race and in truth he doesn’t have a whole deal to find because the second favourite, Pivotal Trigger, finished behind Adelaide River last time.
That was a one-mile Group 3 contest at ParisLongchamp, and you’d expect Adelaide River, who was having his second run there, to confirm the form. The other to note is Crypto Force, who looked really promising when he beat Auguste Rodin here earlier in the season. Bought for big money on the eve of Royal Ascot, he flopped in the Chesham, but is surely better than that effort and has been given time to develop since.
Next best: Crypto Force
2.10 William Hill Lengthen Your Odds Maiden 6f
These big field maidens at the Curragh can be trappy contests but Life In Colour looks a clear pick for this one. Willie McCreery’s filly ran well to finish third in two maidens as juvenile last season, but she took her form to another level when filling that position again on her seasonal debut in Cork back in April, finishing ahead of some higher rated fillies. She hasn’t been seen since but she should be fine fitness wise and can get off the mark now.
There seemed to be a lot of belief in Karakoul at the beginning of this season, not least because he was just beaten by Piz Badile in a maiden last year, but he has so far failed to live up to expectations. His second at Galway on his latest start was probably a career best however and he wears first-time cheekpieces here which may help.
SELECTION: LIFE IN COLOUR
Next best: Karakoul
2.45 Barberstown Castle Nursery Handicap 6f
Distillate finished ahead of Mile End when the pair met at Down Royal last time but there is good reason to expect the latter to reverse form today. Johnny Murtagh’s colt was slowly away and consequently badly positioned heading into the straight, where he met traffic before running on strongly late in the day. It was a real eyecatching run on what was just his fourth start and first in the nursery. He has lots of scope to improve now and first-time blinkers may help him even more.
Distillate should run well again but might be worth chancing one of the nursery debutants, namely Pure Circle. Joseph O’Brien’s filly put up her best performance to date when seventh in a Punchestown maiden earlier this month.
SELECTION: MILE END
Next best: Pure Circle
3.20 Goffs Million 7f
The first renewal of this contest since 2009 can go to Britain, with Edward Bethell’s Oviedo taken to scoop the big pot. He made a winning debut at Doncaster in July and then progressed significantly from that run when third to Chaldean in the Group 3 Acomb at York. He didn’t get the clearest passage through that contest, but once in daylight, he ran on strongly, and he has lots of scope to improve further now.
Hellsing sets a good standard having won a listed contest at Tipperary though prices of 3/1 looked a little short yesterday. It might be worth taking a flier on an outsider in these types of races and that could be The Franchise for the in-form Joseph O’Brien team. He was third to Continuous (runs in Beresford Stakes earlier) on his debut and should strip fitter and sharper now. The time of that maiden was good so his effort can be marked up.
Next best: The Franchise
3.55 William Hill Joe McGrath Handicap 5f
Strong Johnson makes plenty of appeal here returning to a course and distance he loves and with the champion jockey booked. He progressed into a Group 3 sprinter last season, with many of his best performances coming at this track. Having changed trainers in the off season, he has run well on his first three runs for Denis Cullen, notably finishing third over this course and distance first time up. His rating is 6lbs lower now and the ground should be perfect for him.
Curaheen Princess is having an excellent season with three wins and three seconds. All three wins have come at Navan but she was a course and distance winner here last October and looks sure to go well again despite a career high rating.
SELECTION: STRONG JOHNSON
Next best: Curraheen Princess
4.30 Tipperary Crystal Apprentice Handicap 1m
It has taken Dazzling Spirit a while to find her stride but good runs at Killarney, Leopardstown and Sligo earlier in the season showed she was going in the right direction and she was a completely different proposition coming off a 72-day break to win at Clonmel earlier this month. She got a nice run up the rail that day, but all the time she was hanging in and her rider could only use hands and heels. She still won comfortably and an 8lb rise may not stop her again now.
It is a similar situation with Star Of Cashel who bounced back to form with a comfortable win at Listowel earlier in the week. He has a 7lb penalty for that but might even be well handicapped when reassessed, as he won easily.
SELECTION: DAZZLING SPIRIT
Next best: Star Of Cashel
5.05 William Hill Pick Your Winners Handicap 7f
Navagio can add another course and distance win to his CV. Johnny Murtagh’s gelding won a good maiden here in May when he just got up to beat the useful Admiralty Place. He has since run well twice in handicaps at Listowel and Leopardstown, finishing second at the latter track for his latest run. Coming back to the Curragh will suit this consistent sort - has finished outside the top three just once form his seven starts.
Cosmic Vega has a nice profile as well. He started his career smartly for Jessica Harrington but couldn’t maintain his form at a high level. He moved to Mick Halford’s in the off season and his shown he is ready to win again after two useful handicap efforts, the latest coming at Galway where he was fourth to Soaring Monarch.
Next best: Cosmic Vega