Lionel looks tailor-made for Derby test
Back Lionel @ 9.08/1 in the 15:45 at the Curragh
Mah Mate Bob was anything but a mate yesterday with a very flat run at Cartmel. It's back to the level for Saturday and the Classic card at the Curragh awaits.
We'll take in the Irish Derby, and a race that has had an interesting build-up as Westover will have Colin Keane on, while Tuesday being supplemented adds some magic to the race as she bids to emulate Balanchine as the first filly to win the Irish Derby since her success under Frankie Dettori.
Those were the days eh?
David Menuisier's Lionel is a horse I have some time for, and he featured in winning double for the column for his Cocked Hat win at Salisbury in May despite drifting in the market.
He seems to be maturing, and Menuisier was quick to earmark the Curragh for his next stop as mentally he wouldn't have handled Epsom with all the hullaballo that goes with it, but Menuisier also was keen to point out that he's good once he learns one thing.
His stamina-laden pedigree was evident for his Salisbury victory, as he was outpaced off a steady lead, but won over the 1m2f despite those factors going against him.
A galloping track such as the Curragh looks ideal for this son of Gretchen, and Menuisier might be able to keep the Arc dream alive in his native France with a big performance here. Considering Tuesday and Westover take a huge chunk of the market out between them at 6/4 and 7/4, Lionel is a decent each-way bet with the eight runners and an 8/1 price.
Storm The Stars took in the Cocked Hat and Irish Derby a few years ago finishing second at the Curragh, and the Salisbury race does produce good stayers with stamina.
Joseph seeking second International win
Back Vega Magnifico @ 5.04/1 in the 16:20 at the Curragh
Joseph O'Brien will be familiar knowing what it takes to win the Group 3 International Stakes at 16:20 as not only has his father Aidan cleaned up in recent years, but Joseph won this with Buckhurst in 2019.
He had similar profile to today's selection Vega Magnifico as an unexposed runner stepping up into Group company, although back then Buckhurst had already had one go in Pattern class, while Vega Magnifico goes straight into deep waters following a very impressive performance to win a Navan Maiden in May.
Visually it was most impressive, and the time figure wasn't bad either as he took care of a couple of dad's horses with ease. He got a nice lead early, and moved like a decent horse down the back straight to put himself into pole position down the straight. His instant acceleration as he came wide was even more impressive as he scooted away to show a fine turn of foot.
He had shaped well on his sole juvenile start in a good Naas race where he travelled well but his inexperience caught him out a little. The second, third and fourth have turned into good performers.
The dam of Vega Magnifico has been a stellar broodmare in her career with eight of her nine runners all winning races, and I wouldn't be surprised if O'Brien junior has his eye on some of those decent Australian races.
Today represents a big hike in class according to ratings as he stands on 94, while his Timeform figure is 108 but he does hold a 'p'.
Both selections are by Lope De Vega, who has turned into an elite sire at 125,000 euros a pop.
June single bet winners
Prince Dundee 5/2 Won
Blackrod 8/1 Placed
Royal Scotsman 9/1 Placed
Mooneista 10/1 Placed
Zaccerela 15/2 Placed
One World 3/1 Won
All Lies Ahead 7/1 Placed
Magical Morning 5/1 Won
Palm Lily 9/4 Won
May single bet winners
Sole Pretender Evens Won
Clear The Runway 6/4 Won
Rich Belief 3/1 Won
Exit To Where 9/4 Won
Boardman 9/4 Won
Sea La Rosa 11/4 Won
Quickthorn 4/1 Won
Alpine Sierra 15/8 Won
Secret Shadow 9/2 Placed
Mooneista 13/2 Placed
Lionel 3/1 Won
Sea Silk Road 13/8 Won
Johnston's Blue 11/4 Won
Haarar 9/2 Won
Lariat 6/1 Placed
Haizoom 10/1 Won and Placed
Sea Silk Road 8/1 Won
Brotherly Company 17/2 Won