Some of the best Irish flat horses around run at the Curragh this afternoon and Tony Keenan has been through the card to find his best bets...
"Nonetheless has already handled an ease at Galway and looks like she could be well-handicapped off 80.Not only is her Galway form working out – the race has already thrown up three winners – but she was better than the result; her jockey had to make his move too early off a slow gallop and she raced wide for much of the race."
Irish-trained horses may have won the Voltigeur, the Yorkshire Oaks and the Ebor itself this past week but there are more of our top-class flat horses running at the Curragh today than at York with US Army Ranger, Fascinating Rock and Churchill all on show. The track brands this as a trials day for Irish Champions Weekend and the fields say plenty for how that event has already become a major target meeting despite entering just its third year.
Curragh 14:15 - Anna May be suited by soft conditions
A few of these look to have inflated marks by dint of down the field efforts in pattern or listed races and are probably worth opposing until the handicapper relents. Anna May Wong on the other hand is making her nursery debut and 79 looks fair on a couple of her maiden runs; she was third in a race that worked out well at Fairyhouse before having plenty go wrong when racing over an insufficient five furlongs at Naas.
Her most recent run is not so impressive but that could prove a good race - the winner Holy Cat is clearly well-regarded - but more than that she may not have handled the fast going; the dam side of her breeding is all for cut while her sire Dream Ahead gets plenty of soft ground types. A draw in stall one would typically be a negative over the sprint track here but the stalls are in the centre of the course this weekend which tends to negate the bias.
Curragh 15:45 - Days can prove a Success in Royal Whip
This is has to be among the best renewals of the Royal Whip, and it's a race with a long history dating back to 1821; indeed, it is Ireland's oldest continuously run race. We have an Epsom Derby runner-up facing off with a dual Group 1 winner as well as the classy pair Endless Drama and Success Days.
Trainer comments are an oft-maligned aspect of the betting puzzle, cynical punters believing that trainers tell the public what they want us to hear, but they can provide a betting edge for those reading between the lines. Anyone reading Aidan O'Brien and Dermot Weld in the lead-up to this race would be in no doubt that both US Army Ranger and Fascinating Rock will need the run in a big way while Ger Lyons has left the impression that the decision to run Endless Drama over this trip is more that of the owner than trainer.
That leaves Success Days whose trainer has been more positive about his wellbeing, saying that he has come right over the last ten days. His first three runs this season suggest he is well capable of mid-110 efforts and it may take no more to win this with the front two in the betting having penalties and lacking fitness. The ground has come for him in a big way and he's worth keeping on side in all markets; I have recommended him as a win bet here but the place markets are also interesting.
Curragh 17:45 - Second string Nonetheless the value in the last
There are plenty of progressive types in this field including Cirin Toinne and Glenmayne but it is hard to ignore the claims of Nonetheless at the prices. Declan McDonogh has chosen Aimhirgin Lass ahead of her, perhaps with soft ground in mind, but Nonetheless has already handled an ease at Galway and looks like she could be well-handicapped off 80.
Not only is her Galway form working out - the race has already thrown up three winners - but she was better than the result; her jockey had to make his move too early off a slow gallop and she raced wide for much of the race. Double-figure prices are big.
0.5 Point Back Anna May Wong @ 13.012/1 or bigger in the Curragh 14:15
0.5 Point Place Back Anna May Wong @ 3.259/4 or bigger in the Curragh 14:15
1 Point Back Success Days @ 17.016/1 or bigger in the Curragh 15:45
1.5 Point Back Nonetheless @ 13.012/1 or bigger in the Curragh 17:45
Flat Season P+L: +12.6 points