Sunday Irish Racing Tips: Wonderful can earn her Classic stripes at the Curragh

Alan is backing Just Wonderful in today's Irish 1000 Guineas

A superb day of action is in store with the Irish 1000 Guineas taking centre stage. Alan Dudman returns with his best bets for the afternoon...

"The fair nature of the Curragh track should be more suitable than Newmarket, and she already has two wins here."

Back Just Wonderful @ 6.05/1 in the 16:25

Two to back in big field handicap

I can easily pass on the opening 13:50, but I am going in with two bets at big prices for the 14:20 6f handicap with Polly Douglas and Caesar's Comet.

Both are drawn high, which is a plus, as it appears those housed over the far side might be up against it. The market certainly indicated this last night on the Sportsbook with ten of the top 12 in the betting all berthed in a double-digit box.

The 14/1 price on Caesar's Comet is bet number one, and with the Sportsbook, we also have the benefit of using the Extra Place Special - and we'll need it, with 28 in the field.

Caesar's Comet was a bit unlucky last time at Sligo when denied a clear run, and he ran very well to finish second at Musselburgh previously from 62. He can remain competitive from a 4lb higher rating.

A livelier surface certainly suits best, and he's boxed in 18 which looks beneficial. Ideally I'd like a handy racer, especially as not many won yesterday at the meeting from off the pace, but I think the track will suit. With such a big field, they should go a proper gallop, which is another plus as Caesar's Comet does stay 7f.

The second bet with Polly Douglas is a bigger price at 25/1.

She might not be good enough to win, but she raced in a better standard last year - including a fourth in a 0-80 from a mark of 57 and does act at the track.

Quick ground suits and she returns after a small break of 156 days - and she has raced well after a break in the past.

Give another chance to Mid Winster on handicap debut

It's another handicap at 14:50, but with the eight runners, the 14/1 price on Mid Winster interests me.

I put her up as a selection last month at Dundalk, but she ran poorly and was never involved in the race at all. It looked as though she was badly in need of that run.

It seems she has been written off totally after that dismal effort, but she was a useful juvenile last term. She won her maiden over course and distance on good to firm ground despite looking a bit green, and she displayed a nice turn of pace in that race and looked like one with above average ability.

She also fared well at Listed level, again at the Curragh, and she finished fourth behind a couple of horses with triple-digit ratings.

Mid Winster is better than her reappearance and conditions won't be a problem for her handicap debut. I am happy to give her another chance, and with the eight in the race, will take her each-way.

Short odds for Magical - again

The Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup offers up the chance to back Magical at odds of 1/5, which hardly sets the pulse racing in terms of a bet. Likewise, it may get a few of the layers eager to take on the 4yo filly.

If she gets beaten, it would rank equal to the shock of Calyx getting turned over yesterday at Haydock.

With her only serious rival Flag Of Honour (pictured below, left) already 0-2 down in his private battle with Magical following defeats in the Mooresbridge and the Alleged, it is hard to make a case for him to pull one back.

Flag Of Honour 1280 .jpg

Magical is a genuine Group 1 horse who is very versatile in terms of trip and ground and has hardly traded much higher than her Betfair SP price in her two victories this term.

I briefly had a look at Verbal Dexterity's much-improved effort last time behind Hazapour, but that's about as far as I got with him, as the ground might be too quick.

Expect a much-improved effort from Just Wonderful in Classic

Aidan O'Brien's Hermosa is bidding to become only the fourth filly to complete the English and Irish 1000 Guineas double, and there's not a lot to argue with in terms of her chances and her price at 11/4 on the Sportsbook. Ryan Moore has said she is the one to beat, and you can click here to read what he has to say about his ride in the Classic.

She was pretty convincing at Newmarket wasn't she?

However, I don't want to give up on O'Brien's Just Wonderful, and I'm nominating her as the bet at 16:25.

Her race at Newmarket was a luckless one. She was drawn in 15 and broke awkwardly out of the stalls, which immediately put her on the back foot. And that most certainly wasn't the place to be in the race as Hermosa was absolutely flying away with the lead. Hermosa made all to win, the second was handy. The cards were stacked against Just Wonderful at the beginning.

Hermosa 1000 HQ 1280 .jpg

She looked a bit outpaced too and then was all at sea leaving the half-mile point. She didn't go in and out of the dip well either - and that was evident in her Rockfel run as a 2yo too at HQ. But to her great credit, she stayed on bravely and wasn't beaten by a huge margin. I liked her willingness to battle on.

Quick ground suits, and connections have described her as a great traveller who likes to get a waiting ride for a turn of foot. The fair nature of the Curragh track should be more suitable than Newmarket, and she already has two wins here.

Her Rockfel victory from last season was very impressive, and I'll take her at around the 6.05/1 mark.

Dreaming of a winner with Ascot

The 17:00 looks an open handicap with a mixture of older horses and ones that are perhaps not so well handicapped.

Dream Ascot is certainly the one that stands out in terms of an unexposed runner who is capable of flying a bit higher than her rating of 87.

She caught the eye in every single one of her three runs last term. She won on debut and fared well (if a little short of room) on her handicap debut at Cork, and she didn't run too
badly in a strong Listed race at Killarney.

This will be her first run of the season, and she's quite a big filly who will certainly stretch out to stay beyond today's trip of 1m. She might need the run as her last race was in
August, but I give her a chance as an unexposed runner.

*Click here to read Ryan Moore's exclusive thoughts on his rides at the Curragh on Sunday

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