'Rock' can roll for Tate in Curragh raid
Redevelopment continues at the Curragh, but so too does the all-important racing and I'm looking forward to seeing more from the Dermot Weld-trained JAEGA, which looks overpriced around 5/1 in the Group Three Fillies' Plusvital Irish EBF Blue Wind Stakes (4.30).
She looked a cut above the rest when winning her debut maiden at Leopardstown last month, and Weld has said they've been patient with her and like her a lot. She's got an entry for the Irish Oaks and while today's Group Three is a big step up in class, from what we've seen so far there's a lot to get excited about.
In the Listed Sole Power Sprint Stakes (3.20), I'm keen on the James Tate-trained KYLLANG ROCK, and I'll be more than happy if he goes off at his forecast price of 7/2 or any higher. Tate has sent only a handful of horses to Ireland in the past few years, and hasn't met with much success, but this one could break the duck based on his win over Alpha Delphini in a minor event at Musselburgh.
Alpha Delphini has since gone on to place in a Group Three, and Tate's four-year-old looks the one to beat here, although Gerard O'Leary's Primo Uomo will make a good race of it.
If the early markets are anything to go by, T FOR TANGO could be friendless in the betting for the 6f Plusvital Speed Gene Handicap (2.45), but I'm not letting that put me off, and am going to throw down a few shekels each-way at 25/1 or thereabouts.
While he hasn't done a whole lot since winning his debut maiden over 5f just over a year ago, he's been struggling with a high mark in the 80s in the handicaps.
From an initial opening mark of 90 in a handicap here back in August, the assessor is finally cutting him some slack and today's rating of 78 should put him in with a fighting chance of a place at the least.
We've a couple of trial races at Leopardstown tomorrow, and Aidan O'Brien's MAGICAL looks the pick of the bunch in the Group Three Derrinstown Stud 1,000 Guineas Trial (3.10).
Expected to go off around 2/1, she sets the standard here based on her success in a Group Two and her placing in a Group One last term, and her seasonal debut when finishing mid-division in the Prix de la Grotte at Longchamp last time is forgiven as she just didn't settle down. We know she's better than that showing.
I'm also warm on O'Brien's NELSON for the Group Three Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes (3.40), and a price of 3/1 or above is my idea of a decent-value bet.
On jockey bookings, Nelson is the second-string under Donnacha O'Brien with Seamie Heffernan on board the likely favourite The Pentagon, but the selection is putting in some decent efforts with three career wins from six - including a four-runner Ballysax Stakes win here last month. They both have more to come but at the prices, Nelson gets the nod.
Regular readers will know I'm not generally keen on backing older horses, but I'll make an exception for ten-year-old GORDON LORD BYRON, which is trading around 10/3 at the time of writing for the Group Three Amethyst Stakes (2.35).
Fourth in a Group Two at Doha back in February, this will be his 86th race in total and while he may be now past his best, this is yet another wide-open contest and he's got as good a chance as any.
He's been effective at this distance before, although Ger Lyons' Brendan Brackan is also one for the shortlist and was rallying on heavy ground when third in a Listed race here in April.
Over hurdles at Killarney tomorrow, ROCK DE BAUNE is an interesting entry for the Grade B Redweld Stables Handicap Hurdle (2.55).
Down at the bottom of the weights with a rating of 123, this is his handicap hurdle debut and that rating seems reasonably fair considering he's shown some useful form over sticks, including a juvenile win at Auteuil back in October. At 25/1, he's another one to take each-way.