It has been an exciting week for the Tote, with last Tuesday’s Pick 6 pool swelling to a record €566,443.50 and with just two Tote punters solving the puzzle, they claimed a dividend of €198,255.40 each.
This is what the big Tote bets are all about, the possibility of a life-changing win from a small investment and it was an incredibly exciting evening for all involved.
This weekend’s main Tote action comes on the Group 1 card at the Curragh on Sunday and it presents a real challenge to Tote punters with a fiendish mix of contests that looks to be a good opportunity to scoop a big pot as the Pick 6, Placepot and Jackpot are guaranteed for €25,000, €15,000 and €5,000 respectively.
The card kicks off with the Irish Stallion Farms European Breeders Fund Maiden (2:35) and it is a typically competitive maiden for this track.
The one that everyone is sure to be talking about is the Aidan O’Brien-trained John F Kennedy. He arrived to Leopardstown with a big reputation a fortnight ago, but could only finish second to Hall Of Fame. He is sure to improve from that and will be tough to beat.
The best alternative to him looks to be the Mick Halford-trained Portage, with him having made a very promising debut behind East India at this track last month.
The Loder European Breeders Fund Fillies Race (3:05) brings together an interesting mix of previous winners and maidens and the pick of the former ground is the Aidan O’Brien-trained Toogoodtobetrue.
The daughter of Oasis Dream improved from her promising debut when winning at this track last time and is open to further improvement.
Of the maidens, the Kevin Prendergast-trained Tamadhor should be included after her promising debut at Galway last week.
The Gabriel Curran Memorial Handicap (3:35) is a very competitive contest and being well covered is probably the way to go.
The Sabrina Harty-trained Have A Nice Day, the Johnny Murtagh-trained Fix It and the Tony Martin-trained Anner Queen (runs on Friday evening at Tipperary) all warrant respect.
The Group 1 Keeneland Phoenix Stakes (4:05) is arguably one of the best two-year-old races run all season and the Richard Hannon-trained Kool Kompany sets the standard.
The son of Jeremy has already won two Group 2 contests and he is the one to beat. If one is to improve past him, the Eddie Lynam-trained Anthem Alexander could be the one following her impressive victory in the Queen Mark Stakes at Royal Ascot in June.
The Group 3 Phoenix Sprint Stakes (4:35) is a high-class sprint and the pick of the home team could well be the Evanna McCutcheon-trained Maarek.
The seven-year-old has won in Group 1 company and with the recent rain very much being in his favour, he is likely to run well. The best of the rest is the Roger Varian-trained Rocky Ground.
The Kerry Businesswomen’s Network Handicap (5:05) is a tricky finishing point, but the Mick Halford-trained Hasanour and the Sheila Lavery-trained Gone Viral both stand out quite a bit and should make bold bids.