With Cartmel sadly sinking under an overnight deluge, where today’s daily selection would have been, (and no doubt would have won easily…) I’ve had to avert my attention to the Curragh instead.
It is the first of three days of quality action at Irish flat racing’s HQ, featuring the Irish Derby tomorrow of course. There is plenty to look forward to over the course of the weekend.
Hopefully whatever way you play it over the three days, your coffers will have been boosted by a nice priced winner (or place) in the very first race of the three-day jamboree – Up Above is worth supporting each-way at 20/1 with bet365 in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at 4.30.
Plenty of newcomers from leading stables are in opposition to Up Above today, but even the most precocious of two-year-olds can get beaten through inexperience on debut, and it is worth wondering why they are making their debuts only now, after some of the bigger two-year-old events have been run at Royal Ascot – suggesting maybe that they have been slow to come to hand.
There might be a superstar amongst them, but they are vulnerable to something that has shown ability on debut, and could improve significantly.
Step forward the Michael O’Callaghan-trained Up Above, and while the bare form sceptics will point to the fact that he was beaten 5½ lengths into fifth of seven on debut at Naas, and wonder where that improvement may come from, I’d suggest otherwise.
Well, considering Up Above raced in a smaller group of three on the far side at Naas that day, and beat the other two in his group senseless, and given that the stands side was significantly favoured at that meeting, my slightly anecdotal assessment of his performance would be that he was on a par with the winner of the race Albion Square.
Albion Square went on to contest the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, and was sixth home on the stands side group in that contest. There is no way that Albion Square would be 20/1 in this race at 4.30 at the Curragh today.
Michael O’Callaghan’s two-year-olds have shown marked improvement from their debuts to boot – so much so that Admiral D won on second start, while Twilight Jet took in a Group 3 on his second start, wasn’t disgraced, and duly won on third start.
At 20/1, with a very solid debut effort behind him, and the prospect of a decent draw in stall 11 under the stands side rail, (which was favoured at the last Curragh meeting,) there is no way Up Above should be 20/1, and is a great each-way bet with Bet365.