It is with great joy that I get back into the swing of writing these articles after a few days off after Royal Ascot. Ascot was an interesting week, with plenty of new pieces of form to get stuck into for the rest of the year. Personally, I was glad to provide a few winners, and most importantly to come out of the week in profit. Winners such as Quick Suzy and Rohaan contributed greatly to that. However, it is always nice to take a step away and recharge the batteries – and there is no better time to get back into the swing than Irish Derby Day at the Curragh. I will have a brief look at a few races with a few bets down below.
3.05 – Railway Stakes (6f)
The Railway Stakes often throws up a few exciting horses and this year is no different. I would in fact hazard a guess that the two most exciting 2YO colts in Ireland are running in this race, and both of them missed Royal Ascot. Castle Star obviously sets the form standard in this race, having won his last two very impressively and dispensing Masseto (form franked) last time out. However, I would be wary that the ground is the key to his most impressive performances and back on a sounder surface, I would have my doubts. I am much more keen on Dr Zempf for the team of Ger Lyons and Colin Keane. This colt could not have done it more impressively on debut, when dispensing on the smart Elliptic in very facile fashion. It is of no surprise to see Lyons take the option of swerving an Ascot engagement with a 2YO and he has targeted this race in recent years with smart types. At a price of 3/1 with Paddy Power – I make him a good bet to make it 2/2 and enhance his already large reputation.
3.45 – Irish Derby (1m4f)
The showpiece event on today’s card sees a fascinating renewal of the Irish Derby. It comes with a mixture of form being put together, with the 2nd, 3rd and 4th from the Derby opposing against a few that skipped the landmark Epsom event. I have always been a massive fan of Hurricane Lane, and this fandom will not be stopping today. I think at a price of 11/2 with Sky Bet, who are offering a generous 4 places – is a stonking bet each way. Hurricane Lane comes into this race with the best form in the book. Having beaten the talented Maximal on reappearance, he beat High Definition in the Dante in good fashion. He then came a gallant third in the Derby, having looked awkward on the track and having lost his two front shoes. He returns to a more conventional track here, and I’d be extremely surprised to see him not go very close.
4.50 – Celebration Stakes (1m)
My final bet of the day comes in the Celebration Stakes, where I’ll be looking for a huge run from the Mick Halford charge, Sinawann (NAP). Having looked a promising 2YO – Sinawann put in some excellent performances last year, when finishing just a nose behind Safe Voyage in the Boomerang Mile, alongside a good Group win at Leopardstown. His reappearance at that track was full of promise, and one that shaped like there was more to come next time out. In what looks like a race lacking in depth for a listed event – Sinawann should take all the beating despite his group winners’ penalty. At a best price of 5/2 with Bet365 – he is my best bet of the day.