Take Cover To Bring Stellar Form To Ireland

There is no doubt that some top class horses will light up the Curragh on day two of Irish Champions Weekend but from a betting perspective it is hard to get involved in the Group One races.

That said, there are other opportunities on the eight race card for punters to take a look at.

Andy Is A Lad On Form
Since 2006, Andy Slattery’s seasonal tally on the flat reads, 0, 1, 0, 1, 2, 2, 3, 3, 6, 7 and so far this year he is already on 17 for the season.

It’s been an incredible year for the Tipperary handler with an unforgettable Galway Festival thrown into the middle and he can land the opening Bold Lad Sprint Handicap at HQ on Sunday.

Sors is his representative and although the four-year-old is up near the top of the weights…

…Leonard takes off possibly one of the most valuable 5lbs claims in the country.

It’s not a race that has been exclusive to low-weighted horses though so hopefully Sors can defy the 7lb penalty he got for winning over the course and distance a fortnight ago.

Naggers is a good spare ride for Leigh Roche, while Intisaab carries a huge threat for David O’Meara but Sors is picked to put in a career best performance.

Old Timers Are Flying
Last year’s winner Sole Power is back to try and repeat his success in the Flying Five Stakes but it is another nine-year-old, Take Cover, who is given the nod this time around.

Third in this race last year for David Griffiths, the son of Singspiel has been in stellar form this season with a victory at Goodwood and then running third behind the two leading sprinters in Britain, Mecca’s Angel and Limato at York.

Take Cover won’t want much more rain at the Curragh.

But he ran a blinder last year on worse ground and seems to be a better horse this season.

He represents good value.

Big Weekend For Murtagh
In times gone by, Johnny Murtagh would have been the go to man for the big races and Irish Champions Weekend is a stage he would have relished in his riding days.

But this year has seen Murtagh enjoy a very good season in the training ranks and Hawke is given a tentative vote in the concluding Northfields Handicap.

The four-year-old made appeal when winning at Dundalk on his first start for Murtagh and while the 6lbs rise isn’t ideal, he may just be a sort who shapes into a listed performer and can win off his current mark of 100. It’s a wide open race and not one to get heavily stuck into, but Hawke may just still have a bit in hand.

Recommended Bets:
Sors (9/1) – 2:00 Curragh
Take Cover (4/1) – 3:10 Curragh
Hawke (11/1) – 5:55 Curragh

*Prices correct at time of publication.