There's an eight-race card at the Curragh this afternoon and Tony Keenan has been through it to find the best betting opportunities...
"Mighty Legend was caught out by an excellent ride from Pat Smullen on Flying Bullet (runs in the Gallinule Stakes earlier on the card) in a tactical race last time at Naas but finished very quickly and was an unlucky loser."
I previewed the feature races over Guineas Weekend earlier in the week and barely gave yesterday's big race winner Awtaad a mention; he made striking and surprising improvement from the Tetrarch Stakes and looks capable of winning another Group 1 though his trainer's comments that he could go up in trip are worrying as he looks a fast sort.
Fascinating Rock was my pick for the Tattersalls Gold Cup and he should go well now the rain has come and Time Test has gone. My confidence in Ashadihan has understandably waned but that's true of every midweek punter on the 1,000 Guineas after Minding was parachuted in on Friday morning. She remains of interest in the place and without markets though ground is a worry.
Curragh 15:05 - Take the mares against the rest
The horses at the top of the market look vulnerable here. Marshall Jennings, Canary Row and Aussie Valentine were one-two-three in the same ordinary Naas handicap last time and the winner could be anchored by his revised rating and wants better ground. Canary Row too is higher in the weights and has consistently struggled off marks in the 90s while Aussie Valentine was trained for the Irish Lincoln and his form has dropped off lately.
Cases can be made for both Plough Boy and Cailin Mor but the pair of last-time-out winners Creggs Pipes and Champagne Or Water should go close.
Creggs Pipes has put up big sectional performances on each of her last two starts and proved her stamina for this trip last time over course-and-distance; she remains well-treated. The race Champagne Or Water won at Gowran Park has already started to work out and to win that on seasonal return was a fine effort. It suggested she has improved over the winter and there are other positives too; the soft ground will suit and her stable are flying.
Curragh 16:10 - Stone Mountain worth a small play
There's a lot of Dundalk form on offer in this three-year-old handicap and it might come down to the horses that handles the switch in surface best. Stone Mountain seems more likely to go on the ground than most having shaped with distinct promise on a similar surface last time.
That run looks poor at first glance as he finished eleventh but he met trouble when starting his run two furlongs out and actually came home very well. The market seems to have missed that piece of bad luck and he holds both The Mouse Doctor and Power Grid on previous form.
Curragh 17:15 - Mighty Legend can master his field
Saafaar is an intriguing runner in the concluding maiden as he's the first to test the Derrinstown form but there's a suspicion he may not back up his pace-making fifth in that race. Mutadaffeq attracted early support when the markets went up and he was an eye-catcher on debut last season; the concerns are that the form didn't work out and he was taken out of a race on ground similar to this recently.
The solid one is Mighty Legend. He was caught out by an excellent ride from Pat Smullen on Flying Bullet (runs in the Gallinule Stakes earlier on the card) in a tactical race last time at Naas but finished very quickly and was an unlucky loser. Given his yard tends to start the turf season slowly, it is reasonable to expect him to improve again for last time and he should go close.
1 Point Back Creggs Pipes @ 12.011/1 or bigger in the Curragh 15:05
1 Point Back Champagne Or Water @ 15.014/1 or bigger in the Curragh 15:05
0.5 Point Back Stone Mountain @ 17.5 or bigger in the Curragh 16:10
1 Point Back Mighty Legend @ 5.79/2 or bigger in the Curragh 17:15
1 Point Place Back Mighty Legend @ 1.910/11 or bigger in the Curragh 17:15
Flat Season P+L: +1.4 points