The Curragh hosts its third meeting in as many weeks with the Irish Cambridgeshire the feature at 16:20. Tony Keenan has previewed the card for betting.betfair...
"For today, I’m much more interested in the claims of Pincheck who is two from two at a mile since joining Jessica Harrington and should be well-suited by the likely strong pace here."
The Ebor Meeting delivered this week, as it so often does, though the same could not be said of Irish trainers who were without a winner across the four days. That follows on from a Royal Ascot where only Aidan O'Brien and Willie Mullins had winners and one wonders if all this might have a knock-on effect for the level of British participation over Irish Champions Weekend. Certainly the O'Brien runners will always put up a formidable defence but the rest of the Irish flat scene lacks depth at the moment and there could be some very winnable races at Leopardstown and the Curragh in a fortnight's time.
Curragh 14:35 - Spell can make her way into the frame
Much improved for the blinkers and tongue-tie, U S Navy Flag sets a pretty high bar for the Round Tower though it was a surprise to see Golden Spell put in the fifth choice of the market considering her form is well ahead of the maiden winners Landshark and Ball Girl. Landshark did well to win as the race unfolded last time but the time was ordinary as were the horses in behind him while Ball Girl could struggle with this drop back to six furlongs.
Golden Spell on the other hand put up her career-best over this course and distance three starts back, form that worked out well with the third winning a valuable nursery at Galway since. Things haven't gone her way subsequently; she was held up off a slow pace and met some trouble behind Happily before finishing second in a strange race here when the winner raced away from the rest up the centre of the track. Getting Shane Foley back in the saddle is a plus as is faster ground than last time and she is well up to making the frame.
Curragh 15:10 - Progressive Polly can beat a strong field
Judging on the depth of the field, the winner of this sprint handicap will need a few pounds in hand to win and despite having gone up 24lbs in the ratings already this year, Polly Douglas appeals as well-treated. Her win at Navan last month has worked out well with winners like Duplication, Ice Cold In Alex and Ducky Mallon coming out of the race while she was unlucky not to finish closer when eighth to the last-named of those next time at this track. A good second to Sweetest Taboo last weekend when that one was likely suited by racing away from the field, her recent improvement has been backed up by a number of good time-figures.
Curragh 16:20 - Competitive Cambridgeshire can got to Pincheck
A pair that ran well at Galway, Dream Walker and Hibou, head the betting for the Cambridgeshire but both had things go their way at Ballybrit, getting clear runs when plenty around them were meeting trouble. For today, I'm much more interested in the claims of Pincheck who is two from two at a mile since joining Jessica Harrington and should be well-suited by the likely strong pace here. He ran well over 10 furlongs last time at Roscommon but was too free to show his best and will be much better suited by this drop in trip.
As it's a big handicap at the Curragh, I can't resist a small saver on Breathe Easy who has long saved his best efforts for the track. His second to Miles To Memphis in the Ladies Derby was viewed by some as a farcical race where the hold-up horses had no chance but the sectional times say it was well-run and the time-figure was right up with his best. He's effective over further than this mile trip but that could be a positive in a race that seems likely to be well-run.
1.5 Point Place Back Golden Spell @ 3.55/2 or bigger in the Curragh 14:35
0.5 Point Back Polly Douglas @ 10.519/2 or bigger in the Curragh 15:10
1 Point Pincheck @ 17.5 or bigger in the Curragh 16:20
0.5 Point Breathe Easy @ 30.029/1 or bigger in the Curragh 16:20
2017 P+L: -2.5 points