Timeform pick out three bets from the Curragh on the eve of the Irish Derby...
"Up in trip today, Sacred Dragon is worth another chance."
Our first bet comes in the apprentice Derby (19:00). It's nowhere near the standard of tomorrow's big race, but it is a competitive renewal. It can go the way of previous C&D winner Placere, who has cheekpieces on for the first time and will be suited by the return to this distance. Leah Claire and Lady Bennett have solid claims, whilst Mourani and King of The Romans also merit respect.
It's the Group 3 International Stakes half an hour later, though it has attracted just four entries, four coming from Ballydoyle and the other, Uleavemebreathless, being an outsider. Joseph O'Brien looks to have made the right choice, as the best we have seen from Most Improved puts Coolmore's new recruit (formerly with Brian Meehan) a bit ahead of these. He should get 10 furlongs and is taken to score on his belated first run for powerful connections. Aloof and Flying The Flag will be no pushovers, however.
Fionnuar is on a four-timer in the 20:00, but looks can be deceiving where she's concerned as she's been allowed too much rope on each of her last two starts, almost comically so at Naas on Wednesday. Instead, look further down the weights and side with Sacred Dragon, the only three-year-old in the field. He won a maiden at Dundalk in February on his last start for James Ryan and was sent off favourite when only sixth in a handicap here on his debut for his current yard. Up in trip today, Sacred Dragon is worth another chance.
Timeform Irish SmartPlays
All at the Curragh