Irish Eyes: Stick with King

  • Last Updated: June 8 2014, 17:47 BST

After the excitement of the Epsom Derby yesterday, we move to the home of the Irish Derby today for a decent card at The Curragh.

Joseph O'Brien can enjoy more success aboard Gypsy King
Joseph O'Brien can enjoy more success aboard Gypsy King

Dewhurst winner Parish Hall is the previous only Group One winner amongst the 107 horses on show at flat racings headquarters today, taking his chance in the Listed Silver Stakes.  His trainer Jim Bolger is coming back into form following a double (from four runners) at Limerick last night, the first time he has seen his charges win for two weeks.

Parish Hall would have got the vote today were if the ground had dried out sufficiently but with this morning’s updated description containing the words ‘yielding’ and ‘soft’, the best horse in the race is overlooked on account of the fact that he is better on a firmer surface.  He may still win but there are probably safer bets elsewhere on the card.

The 1m2f maiden looks like it will be fought out by John Oxx’s Tarziyna and the Ger Lyons-trained System Overload.  Oxx will have a fair idea what it takes to beat the latter, having provided the winner on both occasions that System Overload has been to the track. 

Ebanoran (ninth in yesterday’s Epsom Derby) was three and a half lengths in front of the Lyons colt here as a juvenile whilst the 89-rated Kerkeni just managed to hold him off at Naas in April.  He was declared for a good maiden in Irish 1000 Guineas day only to be withdrawn due to the change in going.  There is the chance of heavy showers later and any significant rain would not be in his favour, but he gets the next best vote to overcome Tarziyna, who is very talented and will be winning soon too.

The nap falls on Gypsy King in the concluding maiden.  He shares certain similarities with yesterday’s Derby winner in that he is trained by Aidan O’Brien, is ridden by Joseph and he is a son of the great Galileo. 

Admittedly, that’s where it ends really but it should be remembered that while Australia was contesting the Epsom Derby, Gypsy King is merely running in a maiden over the same trip today and the form he has shown on three starts to-date, means a contest of this calibre is well within his compass. 

A close third on his juvenile debut, he then ran third to subsequent Group Two winner Adelaide and the 90-rated Fiscal Focus at Leopardstown over a vastly inadequate one mile trip.  That was followed by a neck second over 10f to a 95-rated animal of Dermot Weld’s.  Rated 90 himself, Gypsy King is confidently expected to take today’s maiden with the extra 2 furlongs today undoubtedly in his favour.

It is slightly surprising that John Oxx’s Erinya is currently available at 6/1 with Skybet and consequently she gets the each-way vote in the 6f maiden.  Well fancied on her debut here last year, she ran with distinction for a long way before finding the 7f trip too far and fading to finish eleventh.  She remains highly rated at Oxx’s yard and she is given a second chance today.

Nap: Gypsy King, 5.50 The Curragh

Next Best: System Overload, 4.45 The Curragh

Each-Way: Erinya, 2.35 The Curragh