Parish Hall Classiest In The Field
Sunday’s Group 3 Royal Whip Stakes (4.05) has again attracted a quality field where history suggests siding with the classiest runners was the wisest policy.
The official ratings bear this fact out, as of the last 10 Royal Whip winners, nine were rated 107 or more, and Aidan O’Brien’s has one in that class on Sunday via Kingsbarns.
This well-bred 4yo colt has clearly had problems, and was last seen trailing in third (of 5) in a Listed event back in April. Beaten at 4/6 that day, punters will need to be careful on Sunday, but he obviously has the class to win this race easily, though proving it may be harder than what it looks on paper.
O’Brien also runs Hall Of Mirrors, another with a bit to prove having won just one of his eight career runs. Having missed all of 2013, this 4yo returned with a 2l third (of 5) in a Group 3 in May (1m2f), prior to a couple of flops and remains another to be wary of at a short price.
Bolger and Weld
The fact O’Brien won this race four times in the last decade does add some hope for his runners, but he’ll be worried about Dermot Weld or Jim Bolger’s runners, as they won this race twice apiece since 2004. Weld is responsible for the 3yo filly, Edelmira (107), this time around, who has already won two of her three races.
Having won a maiden over 1m1f (soft), Edelmira made up for a subsequent flop by winning a Group 3 at Cork a few weeks ago by a decisive 3l (1m4f, soft). While this represents a step back in trip, she has a good combination of speed and stamina, which will prove a handy asset.
Bolger meanwhile, has Parish Hall (112), who also tasted Group 3 success over this C&D last month, and the fact he now has Group 3 form-figures of 231221, means he should be thereabouts.
The fly in the ointment, though, could be Ger Lyons’, Magnolia Beach, who unlike some in this race arrives in good form. This 3yo colt finished runner-up the last twice in valuable handicaps over 1m2f-1m3f, will handle Sunday’s conditions and deserves a first chance at Group level.
Of the last 10 Royal Whip winners…
10 winners returned 4/1 or shorter
9 were officially rated 107 or higher
9 made the top two last time – others were 1-27
9 won twice or more
5 ran at Leopardstown last time
British-breds have a 100% record (4-4)
A O’Brien won it four times, D Weld and J Bolger twice apiece
Not a straightforward contest with both of Aidan O’Brien’s having something to prove, along with the potential for the race turning into a sprint.
Despite having to give weight away, Parish Hall will enjoy the ground if it stays firm
, but should the rain arrive, then Edelmira would appeal more.