SHAMROCK: While it’s unlikely we’ll see anything as spectacular as Little Big Bear’s performance in the Phoenix Stakes last weekend, it doesn’t mean we’re short of class at the Curragh with two Group 3’s and a Listed event all on offer.
Getting the day started is the six-furlong two-year-old maiden (1.45pm), and this looks a very competitive affair. With so many debutants on offer it might pay to stick with one that has already had their first day at school. Sioux Spirit went close over the minimum trip at Cork last month and with that experience under her belt, the filly could go close here.
Travelling over the same distance in the next race and still restricted to two-year-olds, this nursery looks equally trappy (2.20pm). Kodi Noir was last seen in the G3 Anglesey Stakes when losing out by a wide margin to none other than Little Big Bear. Finding himself in much calmer waters here, he will still have to fend off the likes of Lasmuigh who narrowly missed out on glory over this course and distance last month.
The six-furlong handicap (2.55pm) sees a couple arrive here on the back of a win last time out, but it could be worth following Lexington Dash who disappointed the last day when running in the Shergar Cup. With Siobhan Rutledge taking off a valuable five, the former Richard Hannon-trained gelding can get back to winning ways.
The five-furlong Listed race (3.30pm) is a small field and it looks like Ger Lyons filly Mauiewowie is the classiest of the bunch. She is also the most unexposed having just two racecourse experiences to her name. She is more than entitled to improve from her most recent run which saw her narrowly miss out when in Listed company on only her second appearance.
The Group 3 Royal Whip Stakes (4.05pm) looks all set for Luxembourg to strut his stuff. He hasn’t been seen since finishing third in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and providing he is fit this should be a procession for the son of Camelot.
The Irish St Leger Trial (4.40pm) is a fascinating race and is not lacking in any class. Search For A Song has been the bridesmaid for some of the best and biggest names in the staying division, Trueshan, Kyprios, Stradivarius. But it might just be time for Dermot Weld’s mare to have a confidence boosting win and take this Group 3. The 2019 Irish St Leger winner will be more at home on this quicker surface and, having not been seen since May, you can expect a bold showing.
The mile handicap (5.15pm) can be taken by Salt Whistle Bay at a bit of a price. Luke McAteer takes the ride, and the gelding has now dropped to below his last winning mark and having already won over the mile the trip should be no concern. Providing he turns up in form he could spring a bit of an upset.
The six-furlong handicap (5.50pm) that rounds the day out could be all set for Denis Hogan’s gelding to claim the bragging rights. Royal Tribute was well supported the last twice but just came up short on both occasions, the son of Kingman clearly thrives in these big fields and dropping back in trip to the preferred six-furlongs should do the trick.