Two races for us this afternoon as we go to Newmarket and the Curragh for the Irish Derby. The going on the July course at Newmarket is soft and there are already plenty of non-runners. Light rain is forecast during racing. At the Curragh it is Good to Yielding.
3.55 Newmarket John Sunley Memorial Criterion Stakes (Group 3)
Two weeks ago at York we concentrated on Mutakayyef and Muwaary in the Ganton Stakes. They finished first and third respectively.
Muwaary was noted on his return after almost two years off and looks sure to go well.
His temperament could be an issue, as he got himself “excited” during the prelims at York.
So Beloved ties in with the consistent Breton Rock. Little to choose between them as they finished with just under a length apart at Haydock last time.
I marginally prefer Breton Rock, with the soft ground not a problem.
My provisional pricing is:
Breton Rock 7/2
So Beloved 4/1
5.20 Curragh Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Group 1)
Six of these run in the Epsom Derby and I would be very surprised if today’s winner doesn’t come from the two that finished 1st and 3rd. Namely Harzand and Idaho.
Unfortunately that is reflected in the market.
There is an argument that on today’s quicker ground on a flatter track Idaho has a realistic chance of turning Epsom form around with Harzand. Added to this the niggling problems that Harzand has encountered in preparation. But he had problems before Epsom and won going away.
AP O’Brien has three of the nine declared in this, all connected to the Magnier/Tabor ownership. Along with Idaho we have Shogun who struggled in the Epsom Derby and Claudio Monteverdi. It could prove a tactical battle.
If Harzand is the same horse he was at Epsom he will win. But I wouldn’t want to be taking the current odds-on about him.
Red Verdon 10/1