Irish Derby SmartPlays: Saturday June 28

Racing comes from the Curragh this weekend
Racing comes from the Curragh this weekend

Timeform's Irish team pick out their three best bets for Derby day at The Curragh...

"Although it might not win many prizes for originality, it’s impossible to oppose Australia given the impressive fashion in which he took the Epsom equivalent"

We kick off proceedings with the opening six-furlong maiden (15:10) and in what will become something of a recurring theme over the weekend, Ballydoyle look to hold an extremely strong hand. All three of Aidan O'Brien's runners hold Group 1 entries, but Cape Clear Island looks to be the first string in terms of jockey bookings and he can build on his C&D debut earlier this month by going one better here. Baldonnel also made an encouraging start and Dunquin looks the best of the newcomers, but in all likelihood the selection will prove too strong. 

It's the Group 3 Sapphire Stakes over five furlongs under consideration next (15:45) and given that Maarek followed his Duke of York victory with a good runner-up effort behind Slade Power in the Greenlands Stakes, he looks to have an excellent chance to regain the winning thread here. Obviously his claims will be enhanced if more rain arrives but he's proven himself well up to this level time and time again and although the likes of Jamesie and Timelass Call merit respect, Maarek remains the class act in the race and is expected to prove it. 

The final bet of the day comes in the feature race, the 2014 renewal of the Irish Derby over a mile-and-a-half (17:30). Although it might not win many prizes for originality, it's impossible to oppose Australia given the impressive fashion in which he took the Epsom equivalent. He more than justified his lofty reputation and looks a star colt in the making and although you'd expect stablemates Geoffrey Chaucer and Orchestra to acquit themselves better this time around, if the selection is in the same form as three weeks ago there will only be one winner.

Timeform Irish SmartPlays
All at the Curragh

Back Cape Clear Island in the 15:10
Back Maarek in the 15:45
Back Australia in the 17:30

 

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