Saxon Warrior To Defeat Dee Ex Bee
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is the feature race of the afternoon and cases can be made for many of the 12 runners in what looks an open enough race.
It would be a surprise if the Classic winner and Classic runner-up don’t fight out the finish.
Saxon to battle out victory
Dee Ex Bee finished in front of Saxon Warrior at Epsom but back on home soil it is Aidan O’Brien’s colt who is the odds on favourite for the Irish Derby on Saturday at 5.15.
Some resistance to the favourite seemed to be building since declaration time but Ryan Moore’s mount does look the one to beat.
Dee Ex Bee is two wins from eight and while he is a fine colt who will continue to run well in the best of company, he isn’t a prolific winner and his previous form at Epsom might have just stood to him late on at Epsom.
Aidan O’Brien is always highly complimentary of the Curragh track and he isn’t alone there. The more conventional track should suit Saxon Warrior who still looks to have the best form in the book when beating Masar in the English 2,000 Guineas.
The selection does have to prove that he will stay a mile and a half but the Epsom track could have been as responsible for his failure to make the frame in the English Derby as much as him not staying.
I think he’ll be the colt to give O’Brien a 13th win in the race and Ryan Moore a first.
Light weight can help McCreery’s charge Rock
The five furlong Rockingham could well be run in close to record time on Saturday at 2:15 with the recent dry weather spell in Ireland making sure that the quick ground horses will have their chance to shine.
This is a race that has gone for export a fair bit in recent years but local Curragh trainer Willie McCreery’s Patuano is worth an each way play at 16/1.
The four-year-old daughter of Choisir has been placed four times and won twice in her career, the most recent of those victories coming at the Curragh on quick ground over six furlongs.
That could well prove to be Patuano’s ideal trip but the drop back in trip shouldn’t be a massive inconvenience as she has won over the minimum trip at Cork. 16/1 might be a bit big if the race is run to suit.
Godolphin can land major prize at Newcastle
The Roger Charlton-trained Withhold has been all the rage ahead of the Northumberland Plate at Newcastle on Friday but his price looks very skimpy now as it closes in on 3/1.
Leigh Roche bypasses the Curragh to go over to ride Royal Ascot winner Lagostovegas for Willie Mullins and she’d have to have a chance again given that Mullins wanted to skip Ascot in favour to coming here.
However, the horse that stood out in the Northumberland Plate was Saeed bin Suroor’s course and distance winner Natural Scenery.
The five-year-old seems to have a nice racing weight with 9st3lbs and she wasn’t disgraced when finishing third in the Ebor at York last year and with that sort of form she’d have a chance here at 11/1.
After the Ebor run National Scenery was down the field in a Group 2 and then went to Dubai for four starts in hot company and back in this sort of grade off a mark of 101 looks to give her a chance.
Patuano – 2:15 Curragh
Saxon Warrior (4/5)- 17.15 Curragh
*Prices correct at time of publication