Not all group races are equal and evidence can be seen in the respective fields for the Debutante and Royal Whip Stakes this afternoon. Whereas the former is a bona fide trial for next year's 1,000 Guineas, the latter is forgettable with a host of question mark horses engaged. The difference between the two fields is the participation of Aidan O'Brien runners; while he has three in the Debutante he is without a runner in the Royal Whip. While some worry that O'Brien is too dominant at home, the fact remains that our top-level racing would be woefully uncompetitive without him.
Curragh 14:45 - Soft ground opens up Curragh Stakes for an upset
Forecasts suggest there will be rain at the Curragh into this afternoon and with the going already described as yielding-soft that could make Declarationofpeace vulnerable. His breeding and form are more that of a fast ground type and in any case he hasn't really gone from a promising debut. It is worth dutching the less-exposed pair Emadee and Goodthingstaketime against him.
Emadee did well to win last time given how long she had to wait for a gap in a slowly-run race; the gears she showed to get out of trouble against experienced horses were impressive and the runner-up has since won impressively. Her family showed a liking for soft ground so this surface should suit. Fleet Review would be a short price for this so Goodthingstaketime has to be of interest because she had every disadvantage against him last time; she was off a break, raced away from the rail and had to make up ground off a slow gallop. Connections clearly think a bit of her as she is entered in the Cheveley Park and Chris Hayes has gotten off the listed winner Sirici to ride her.
Curragh 15:20 - Mary Tudor can upset a few in the Debutante
September is the key filly in the Debutante and has the best form on offer; a 57-day break since her last run and Ryan Moore preferring Happily hint that she may need this run ahead of a tilt at the Moyglare next month. That opens up the race for a bet and while Happily seems the most likely winner there is every chance something hits the frame at a big price.
Mary Tudor could be the one after a very promising debut at Cork where she gave the more experienced Magical plenty to think about. Despite being completely unfancied, she looked an excellent prospect in pulling clear with the winner, shaping like a filly that would enjoy the drop to seven furlongs and proved her effectiveness on softer ground at the same time. Outside of Happily and September, this is basically a collection of maiden winners and with the latter a possible to underperform, Mary Tudor looks overpriced.
Curragh 15:55 - Reckless Gold has plenty in his favour
This year's Royal Whip is a lesser of the evils race with none of the five runners up to winning a standard Group 3. The fancied runners have plenty of holes in them - Central Square may want it faster, Qatari Hunter is having his first run of the year, Shamreen ran poorly last time - and consequently Reckless Gold is of some interest. He handles cut well, in fact he's rarely raced on anything else, and has run quite well in both his starts this season while the cheekpieces could bring further improvement for a horse that remains relatively lightly-raced.
Curragh 16:30 - Bo Bridget to build on early promise for new trainer
Having initially been rated 68 with one of her previous yards, Bo Bridget has dropped to a mark of 55 and both her efforts for Adrian Murray suggest she can win a low-grade race off that rating. Her first run for the stable was behind Carrigeen Prince (re-opposes today) at Naas when she had to wait for a gap and did well to finish so close. Though a beaten favourite next time at Tipperary, it was likely a better effort as she was up against a well-treated pair and paid for racing too close to a strong pace late on. Today's trip is a slight concern but she has lots in favour otherwise being proven on the ground and drawn in a favourable low stall.
Curragh 17:00 - Take on underpriced last-time-out winners
Both the recent winners in this race, Mainicin and Pearl Of The West, are opposable; the former had a hard race during the week and may not like this ground while the latter looks too high in the handicap after her Galway success. Detailed is likely to go well after an unlucky second at Galway where she seemed about to win before being hampered close home by a loose horse. Her previous form is strong and she looks progressive enough to take this rise in class in her stride.
Bibliotheca is worth a small saver and she is totally at home on soft ground. A big eye-catcher over course-and-distance last September, she has started to deliver on that promise lately, going down narrowly in a Ballinrobe maiden last time having been made plenty of use of. The handicapper has left her on the same mark of 68 which is fair given that the horse that beat her ran well at Galway off 77 subsequently.
0.5 Point Back Emadee @ 9.89/1 or bigger in the Curragh 14:45
0.5 Point Back Goodthingstaketime @ 7.87/1 or bigger in the Curragh 14:45
1 Point Place Back Mary Tudor @ 7.613/2 or bigger in the Curragh 15:20
0.5 Point Back Reckless Gold @ 5.59/2 or bigger in the Curragh 15:55
0.5 Point Back Bo Bridget @ 13.5 or bigger in the Curragh 16:30
0.5 Point Place Back Bo Bridget @ 4.216/5 or bigger in the Curragh 16:30
1 Point Back Detailed @ 5.59/2 or bigger in the Curragh 17:00
0.5 Point Back Bibliotheca @ 12.011/1 or bigger in the Curragh 17:00
2017 P+L: -8.2 points