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the curragh 22 07 2023 sport preview

The Curragh – Saturday 22nd July

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The Curragh Horse Racing Preview…

It’s Irish Oaks Day at the Curragh this Saturday. Don’t forget to check out our social media and YouTube Channels for our teams’ thoughts on the feature race at 3:45. Alongside the Oaks, our team of expert tipsters have looked at the other pattern races on the card and highlighted their selections for each.

Race 1: 2:00 Jebel Ali Racecourse and Stables Anglesey Stakes (Group 3)

Pearls and Rubies sets the standard here after her second place finish in the Chesham at Royal Ascot. She has raced prominently on both of her starts to date and ought to do so again, with the top speed figure of 88 that she ran at Ascot putting her amongst the fastest in this field. However, it can be difficult to make all the running at the Curragh, especially if it rains and so we will take her on with an each-way play on Gunzburg. Paddy Twomey’s Filly has already run well at this level when she finished 2nd to Matrika in the Airlie Stud Stakes here at the start of the month. If she repeats that effort she should go close here, and she is best forgiven her 6th placed finish in a Listed race at Tipperary last time when she blew the start and was left behind in a race that favoured the front runners. She has recorded a top speed figure of 91 and if she runs to that level, she should at least hit the frame.

Race 2: 3:10 Barberstown Castle Sapphire Stakes (Group 2)

Art Power has a perfect record in Ireland and is an obvious selection after finishing 4th in the July Cup last weekend. He isn’t easily overlooked at this level, but this does look to be a deeper race than the Greenlands Stakes that he won here in May, and we will take him on with Go Athletico. He was a smart type for Philippe Decouz and Andreas Schultz when he was trained in France, but often struggled to get his head in front. He likes to be given a patient ride and to come through runners, which often meant he was given too much to do in French races, which are often run at a steadier pace. The switch to Ado McGuinness and Irish racing paid instant dividends when he won at Cork last month on his first start for his new connections. He travelled strongly through that Cork contest and ought to get a similarly strong pace to track here, which should set things up perfectly for a late run to the line.

Race 3: 4:20 Comer Group International Curragh Cup (Group 2)

Several of these ran at Royal Ascot, with Emily Dickinson achieving the most by finishing fourth in the Gold Cup. On that evidence, she should outperform Run for Oscar, who didn’t get the clearest run in the Queen Alexandra but may still have been expected to get closer to the winner, Dawn Rising. However, both now must drop down in trip and that could leave them vulnerable to a horse with a faster turn-of-foot. Top of that list would have to be Okita Soushi, who recorded a top speed figure of 109 when winning the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap. He looks capable of taking this step up in class and ought to get an ideal setup here with a strong pace to track behind. He is an improving Colt and should be able to cope with the step back into pattern company.

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