Sunday ITV Racing Tips: Tony Calvin is hoping Wand can weave her Magic

Curragh race action
Tony Calvin has two recommended bets at the Curragh on Sunday
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5:00 min read

The second day of Irish Champions weekend is set to be a cracker at the Curragh, and our resident tipster Tony Calvin has a couple of selections to consider...

"We certainly do know she is very much at home at the Curragh, where she romped home on her return as well as finishing second to Iridessa in the Pretty Polly last season, and her Eclipse fourth to Ghaiyyath and Enable in July was nigh on a career-best."

Magic Wand at [4.5] or bigger in 14:35 at Curragh

I cannot say my heart sang when clocking that three Chelmsford races made up part of ITV's coverage on Sunday, but the track does talk the talk, and walk the walk, when it comes to prize money - though their Twitter calls for more meetings continue to fall on deaf ears - and at least they are 0-105 handicaps worth £20k, so I shouldn't be so sniffy.

Whether or not they throw up a bet is another matter, as I have to admit that the all-weather track does not form a central plank of my horse racing punting.

Still, I am nothing if not open-minded, so I will start here before heading over the water to have a look at day two of the Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh.

Chelmsford must be a bit gutted that none of their three terrestrial races have even attracted eight runners - and the same goes for ITV, and Alan at the Levy as well - but I guess no-one should be surprised when we are back up to saturation levels in the racing calendar and three afternoon meetings in the UK are being staged, including an all-weather alternative at Wolverhampton.

On that theme, Sky Sports Racing must have been pulling their hair out at the course-scheduling that saw them having to broadcast from four meetings on Saturday afternoon on their biggest domestic day of the year.

It is not their fault (and they are far from alone with these clashes, as the tracks hold the power on when they race) but it is madness that they could not dedicate more time to Doncaster, and they missed the start of the opener, with the National Hunt card at Fontwell leading into their races.

Lunacy that the sport needs to address, somehow.

Arbalet and Raucous at Chelmsford, but no tips

Just five are in the 1m handicap at 14:20 and we can expect old favourite Vale Of Kent and impressive Newmarket winner Laser Show to go at it on the front end.

If either of that pair get an easy enough lead, then it could be game over, but I think Arbalet would have won at Ascot last Saturday had he not been mucked about by the third all throughout the final furlong and a 2lb rise may not stop him gaining compensation at a course where he has run well before. Expect him to tuck in third.

However, the layers were never likely to make a howler pricing him up in a five-runner race, and they haven't, so no bet.

There is precious little between the seven in the betting for the 6f handicap at 14:55 and you can see why as, not to put too fine and obvious a point on it, they all have their chance.

Raucous is probably the horse I like most after an excellent comeback run at Newmarket and he has run well on all four visits here, but am I backing him at around 7/2?

No, ta.

We are also one shy of an each-way race in the 7f handicap at 15:25, and I didn't have a betting opinion here - maybe Sanaadh is overpriced, but then again we have not seen him since February - so let's hit the Curragh for our Sunday bets.

Magic could prove to be a cut above her rivals

The ground looks likely to be on the easy of side of good there (it is good to yielding, with a largely dry weekend forecast) and, while that is not ideal for Magic Wand - she is best on quicker ground - it shouldn't be anywhere near bad enough to inconvenience her unduly, and I reckon she can see off a raft of promising 3yos.

I naturally assumed she would be clear favourite, given her proven Group 1 ability, but the first firms up on Friday all made her a 9/2 chance, and that seemed too big, though she has trimmed up since.

Granted, you have to forgive her a rare poor run in the Nassau at Goodwood last time, where she was backed off the boards, but she didn't look at all at home on the track and may have done too much in front as well, and it may be significant that she has disappointed at Epsom in the past, too. Perhaps she simply likes a more conventional course.

We certainly do know she is very much at home at the Curragh, where she romped home on her return as well as finishing second to Iridessa in the Pretty Polly last season, and her Eclipse fourth to Ghaiyyath and Enable in July was nigh on a career-best.

I think she can bounce back to form and outclass these in this Group 2 at 14:35 - the 3yos will have to go some if Magic Wand runs to the Sandown form - so back her at [4.5] or bigger.

I like to play at juicier prices, but she could prove a cut above in this grade.

Thunder can make some noises stepped up in trip

A glance at the Flying Five at 15:10 quickly had me looking for the next race - it is impossible, but I met one of Make A Challenge's owners at the Dublin Festival in February and he was a lovely bloke, so he gets my nominal vote - and the Moyglare Stakes at 15:40 has a short-priced favourite in Pretty Gorgeous.

She overturned her previous defeat by Shale in no uncertain terms in the Debutante Stakes on soft ground here last time, when dismissing that filly and Mother Earth with ease, and a reproduction of that performance will see her difficult to beat.

The betting tells you as much, though she has drifted from odds-on to around 11/8 on the exchange, even if I would have to be dragged kicking and screaming to back her myself as there are plenty of unexposed fillies ranged against her and the ground conditions will not be as testing here.

I am willing to have a rare 2yo bet in the race, as I was very taken with Thunder Beauty's debut win here over 6f in July, and she is worth a small interest at [17.0] or bigger.

Now, clearly, she has a lot to find with the form fillies but, given her stamina-laden pedigree on the distaff side, she did very well to win over 6f first time up and the step up to 7f must be a massive plus for her.

She travelled well throughout and was very strong at the line on her debut, the time of the victory was fair, and the form of the race has worked out okay, too.

The second, third and fourth have been beaten since but they have all run well in defeat, and the fourth is now rated 91 after a good Group 3 run last time. The fifth also won on her next start, too.

At 16/1+, she is worth a small nibble.

Cracking Group 1s but no-bet races for me

The big three of Battleground, Lucky Vega and Master Of The Seas predictably dominate the market in the National Stakes at 16:10 and you pay your money and take your choice about which one you think will come out best.

All are similarly-priced and all have excellent credentials, which is bad news for potential each way-backers looking to get a big priced horse in the frame.

Betting angles into the Irish St Leger at 16:40 are few and far between, but I would have chanced last year's winner Search For a Song at the Sportsbook's industry-best 13/2 each-way had her stable been in better form. She shaped very well behind Magical over an inadequate 1m2f here in July.

Going into Saturday's race, her trainer Dermot Weld was experiencing a barren September (and he has had plenty of fancied horses beaten, too) and that was enough to deter me in a race where six of the eight have makeable claims, and I wouldn't rule out the 33/1 chance Barbados either.

Tony Calvin,

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