Sunday Irish Racing Tips: Iridessa to build on Killarney promise in Debutante

The Curragh.
Irish Champions Weekend trials at the Curragh.

It's trials day for Irish Champions Weekend at the Curragh this afternoon with the two-year-olds particularly in focus and Tony Keenan has found four horses to back...

"Since he started training, Joseph O’Brien has won with a juvenile on debut just four times (from 85 runners): Intricately, True Blue Moon, Cava and Iridessa, the first-named a subsequent Group 1 winner, the next two circa 100 types."

1.5 Point Back Iridessa @ 11.010/1 or bigger in the Curragh 14:35

These two days at the Curragh are billed as trials for Irish Champions Weekend back at the same track and Leopardstown in three weeks' time though the runners for the feature races like the Champion Stakes and the Matron have likely already had their final run.

Looking at the former race during the week, it was surprisingly hard to find runners; Roaring Lion and Saxon Warrior will likely meet for the fifth time this season but after that it was confusing, Poet's Word rated unlikely by his trainer, Cracksman and Study Of Man being aimed at the Arc and Lancaster Bomber still out injured.

With the race cutting up, perhaps Michael Stoute will consider running Crystal Ocean. He seemed intent on the Arc with him when interviewed yesterday but a 10-furlong Group 1 win would certainly make him more marketable as a stallion.

Maybe he is a specialist at a mile-and-a-half but he produced some fast sectionals in races like the Gordon Stakes and the Leger last year and completed the last four furlongs of his Newbury win in May faster than any of the field in the Lockinge on the same card.

If he were to run, odds of 10/1 (his current price with the Sportsbook) would shorten dramatically and it is not hard to see him being sent off second favourite to Roaring Lion.

As to the Curragh this afternoon, it seems sensible to work off the idea that the ground will soften from the declared good, good-to-yielding in places. The weather forecasting sites had up on 12 millimetres of predicated rainfall this morning which should change the going.

Curragh 14:35 - Iridessa to improve plenty for excellent debut

This looks a particularly strong Debutante with a field full of potential but at the prices Iridessa could be the bet.

Since he started training, Joseph O'Brien has won with a juvenile on debut just four times (from 85 runners): Intricately, True Blue Moon, Cava and Iridessa, the first-named a subsequent Group 1 winner, the next two circa 100 types. His two-year-olds improve substantially for their debuts but Iridessa has already run to a good level and the form of her win at Killarney has substance.

She came from rear off a slow pace to beat a trio of race-fit colts that are now rated 98, 88 and 93 respectively and received only one half-crack of the whip to win by four lengths. Softened ground is an unknown but she showed some knee-action first time up and Donnacha O'Brien seems to have chosen her over the non-Ryan Moore ridden Ballydoyle fillies that also look to have significant upside.

Curragh 15:05 - Bolger runner is improving with experience and can hit the frame

Anthony Van Dyck looks the clear pick in the Futurity though this seven-furlong trip could be his minimum and his supporters may have an edgy moment or two when he initially comes under pressure; he hit an in-running high of 2.982/1 from a Betfair SP of 1.738/11 when winning the Tyros last time.

The market seems to rate Klute and Christmas as his biggest dangers but it might be Guaranteed who gives him most to think about. He finished behind Klute on debut when sectional times gave him a little upgrade but more than that he simply didn't have a clue how to race, looking very green and one that would improve plenty for the run.

He did that when breaking his maiden next time, a win that on the clock makes him the clear second pick to the favourite, and the form has worked out belatedly with Giga White and Third World winning recently. He is worth a small place bet.

Curragh 15:40 - Softening ground will suit Success Days

Success Days tends to do well in races like this when some of his rivals are often aiming at a later target and may be able to take advantage of any lack of fitness in Verbal Dexterity who hasn't run since last October.

Certainly he has his optimum conditions of 10 furlongs and some cut in the ground - the more rain, the better for him - whereas the likes of Ming may want it faster and his last run in the Marois was not as bad as it seemed.

He was off a 77-day break there and was essentially used as a pacemaker for Romanised over a trip too sharp and that run should have brought him along for a race where the gallop is not likely to be anything as frenetic.

Curragh 16:15 - Rovetta overpriced of the Harrington pair

There is a possibility Rovetta finds this trip on the sharp side having won over 14 furlongs last time and she did nearly double in price in-running (something to bear in mind if betting that way) but this field has some pace with the likes of Mazzuri, Echo Park and Grace Rafaela and they should go a decent gallop.

She was fortunate to beat Newcross on the day but that still looks good form reverting to a fillies-only race and the time was decent too. Colm O'Donoghue has opted for Echo Park ahead of her but she got to dictate a really slow pace last time at Sligo and there may not be quite so much between them as the betting suggests.

Tony Keenan 2018 P/L

-37.2 points

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