Chessman to gain reward at Listed level
At the start of the season I backed Chessman at Naas, and whilst he clearly needed that, he has improved in a few starts since and is well up to winning at this Listed level.
Speak In Colours is the clear form pick from his recent fourth in the Diamond Jubilee, and whilst he could do with soft conditions, he has been performing very well on a quicker surface.
However, Chessman just about shades this as a bet. He travelled very smoothly last time out in the Group 2 Greenlands behind Mr Lupton. In fact, he was going as well as anything else in the race but received a bump from the knock-on effect of Mr Lupton's sweeping last-to-first run.
He previously ran well behind the hardy Surrounding at Naas over 7f. He is the sort of horse that does stay a bit further than today's 6f, but he does travel well and needs holding onto quite late as he possesses a turn of foot.
Drawn in 10 nearside might not be a bad thing.
Weld can keep Group 3 prize in the family with Georgeville
The Group 3 International Stakes was farmed by Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen with four successive victories from 2009. Three of those were with the win-machine Famous Name - who is a full brother to the dam of Georgeville, and he's a fascinating contender here up in class.
Weld knows this family inside out, as he trained the dam too in Big Break, and Saturday's runner looks to have plenty of the family class.
He has progressed quickly this season at 1m and 1m2f. He scored at Cork with a more forceful ride and stayed well, but he was most impressive when scooting to victory at Roscommon last time racing over the extra two furlongs. He absolutely tanked through the contest on the wide outside, and when he raced into the dip he went again away from his rivals to win easily by over three lengths.
Rated 97, he has got a bit to find on form, but he's a 3yo getting some weight here and he looks to be improving quickly.
The inclusion of Addeybb for William Haggas in the declarations certainly raises the class of the contest, but he is very much a soft ground performer, so you just have to sit tight with him in terms of the forecast, any rain and the ground. But he won very easily in the Wolferton last time.
Progressive Jassaar going from strength to strength
Sticking with the Weld team again, his progressive gelding Jassaar looks the one to beat in the 1m Premier Handicap at 16:05.
He was earmarked for the Royal Hunt Cup following his victory last time at the Curragh, but instead runs in this easier contest. He also holds entries at Group 2 and Group 3 level
later this season, plus an entry in the Bunbury Cup at Newmarket's big July meeting.
Jassaar really does move ever so well in his races. He displayed that winning his maiden at Limerick in soft conditions, but he travelled very well again on quicker ground winning
his latest race from 85. He looks a horse suited to a quicker surface, and could still be well handicapped from his current mark of 91.
Broome can make it 13 for O'Brien in Derby
Completing the Derby double at Epsom and Curragh has been achieved 18 times, which is surprisingly quite high. Not so surprising was the 5/4 price for Anthony Van Dyck when I checked out the early prices on the Sportsbook on Friday. He is one of five for trainer Aidan O'Brien (in a field of eight).
The trainer incidentally is bidding for his 13th victory in the race.
I won't be backing at 5/4. Madhmoon at 5/2 will have another crack at Van Dyck, and victory will be a popular one, not just on the betting front for those who are backing him, as his 86-year-old trainer Kevin Prendergast has never won the race. His father did, and his father also trained a winner of the race for owner Bing Crosby.
Madhmoon was deemed one of the unlucky ones at Epsom, when he clipped heels and stumbled four out. He also ran a very quick sectional of 10.74 from 3f to 2f.
That might just indicate a slight doubt in terms of staying, and there aren't too many hard luck stories at a much fairer track such as the Curragh.
At slightly bigger odds of 10/3, I am happy to side with O'Brien's Broome. His claims before his Epsom run were impeccable with easy wins in the Derrinstown and Ballysax to go alongside quite a hefty figure as a juvenile.
Watching his run at Epsom again, he came from a long way back as he was second-last when they started to race downhill. Then at the descent he was very wide, although on the flip side he was away from all the trouble.
Reportedly a lazy worker and sleepy (which is typical of his sire Australia), there could still be a fair bit of improvement to come from him, especially at a more conventional track. He also shapes like a stronger stayer than Madhmoon. He has needed a bit of shaking up and driving in his races thus far, and with five of the eight from Ballydoyle, this will hardly be a dawdle. I think he'll go well at the price and he certainly won't lack for staying power.