Horse Racing Tips

Wednesday Irish Racing Tips: Cracking Card At The Curragh

The Curragh stages a good-quality Wednesday evening meeting

"Provided the headgear has the same effect this time around, he should take plenty of stopping from what could well prove to be an ideal draw"

In-form tipster Mark Milligan is back to look at Wednesday's excellent Curragh card, where he has a few for us to get stuck into...

Wednesday evening sees the Curragh stage a cracking flat card, an offering which has a good smattering of competitive handicaps interspersed with conditions races that could well contain a future star or two.

The last two renewals of the opening 7f juvenile maiden (17:10) have been won by Aidan O'Brien with Point Lonsdale and Lope Y Fernandez -
both of whom went on to run in the Chesham at Royal Ascot - the former winning it, in fact.

O'Brien is doubly represented this year, with newcomer Auguste Rodin the most interesting of his pair.

Auguste Rodin is an impeccably bred son of Deep Impact, his dam being the triple Group 1 winner Rhododendron, who also finished second in Enable's Oaks. This one is her first foal and clearly expectations will be high given his pedigree.

While not a betting race, this is a contest to keep a close eye on with the future in mind.

Age Of Kings to build on promising debut

The following 6f conditions contest (17:45) sees Ballydoyle running another exciting juvenile, Age Of Kings, who made a very promising debut when just touched off by a nose at Naas in early May.

He rallied well there despite looking green (flashed tail) and should have learnt plenty from that experience.

A very expensive purchase at 1.1m guineas, this son of Kingman is another that could well be plying his trade in some of the better two-year-old races as the season progresses.

A newcomer to keep an eye on here is Ger Lyons' New Image, a son of Frankel, who of course is responsible for Homeless Songs, one of the most exciting three-year-old fillies around currently.

However, he'll likely need to be above average to concede experience to Age Of Kings, who ought to get the job done at a short price on just his second outing.

Again, not a punting race for me, but it promises to be an invaluable one to watch and learn from.

Moore/Mullins combo always respected

A race I will getting involved with, however, is the Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Premier Handicap at 19:10, where I think it's worth keeping a pair onside in what is a competitive race.

Ryan Moore and Willie Mullins are always to be feared when teaming up in these sorts of races and they have a strong chance once more.

Micro Manage represents the dynamic duo here, and his flat rating of 97 compares quite favourably to his hurdles mark of 132.

This son of Rip Van Winkle had a decent first season over hurdles, winning a maiden in March after a couple of runner-up finishes.

Back on the flat last time, he was a little outpointed in listed company (albeit not seen to best effect on the day) and will be much more at home back in the handicap ranks. He's actually quite unexposed on the level compared to most of these rivals and could well have more to come.

I was also intrigued by his entry in the Group 1 Irish St Leger later in the year. He likely won't be good enough for that, but I thought it interesting that he was put in the race.

Aggie also worth keeping onside

This being a trappy race, I wanted to have two darts to fire, and I'm particularly interested in Joseph O'Brien's Powerful Aggie, who could still be on a fair mark.

She won a pair of handicaps last season off 77 and 86 before finishing the year with a good second to Yaxeni over 2m at Naas in October.

Connections thought enough of Powerful Aggie to pitch her into listed company for her first two starts this year, though she was probably biting off a bit more that she could chew there and is another that will benefit for coming back in grade.

I think she still looks fairly handicapped off 94, a mark just 3lb above that which she raced off when runner-up in that Naas contest.

I'm hoping she'll go off double-figure odds and looks well worth keeping in the arsenal, with both her and Micro Manage likely to give us good runs for our money.

Quirky Neo can win again

There's a suspicion that Neo Soul may no be entirely straightforward, though that didn't stop him bolting up in a good-quality sprint handicap at Cork a few weeks ago and he'll take plenty of stopping as he bids to follow up in the 5f Sky Bet Junefest Premier Handicap at 18:45.

The key to Neo Soul at Cork appeared to be the re-application of blinkers, which saw him take his form to a new level, storming home ahead of Red Lacewing despite a few flashes of the tail along the way.

Provided the headgear has the same effect this time around, he should take plenty of stopping from what could well prove to be an ideal draw in stall 8.

I did have a long look at Thunder Eclipse too, as I'm a big fan of his 10-lb claiming jockey Danny Gilligan. A product of the pony racing sphere, Gilligan has yet to ride a winner under rules, but it's only a matter of time before he does, and he's a name to keep a close eye on.

Recommended bets

Mark's P/L

Staked: 192
Returns: 247.76
P/L: +55.76


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