Irish Eyes: Decision time
Our Irish Eyes column picks out the best bets from today's meeting at the Curragh and Cork.
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It’s not always the wisest decision to nap a horse on his first start – this column did so with Australia on his debut last year! – but the vibes surrounding Ol’ Man River are very strong and provided he gets normal luck in ruining, he is expected to prevail at the business end of today’s opener from the Curragh.
Some of the early shows of odds-on were off-putting, especially as he is taking on more experienced rivals with decent levels of form under their belt today, but he is now out to as big as 6/4 and that seems fair enough. A fine strong horse, some good judges have deemed his homework as well above standard and, to be fair, that will have to be the case to win here. He has the physique and pedigree required to win a one-mile maiden here at this stage of his juvenile career and he should get us off to a good start.
Waltzing Matilda is a hopeful choice in the fillies Group 3. She remains a little unexposed and is the least experienced runner here with only four runs to her name but the pick of those is a four length fifth placing in the Jersey at Royal Ascot where she was the only filly in a field of 23.
She ran another cracker against the colts in the Minstrel Stakes last time out, when again finishing fifth, this time beaten two and a half lengths. The winner, Ansgar took last Sunday’s Group 3 Surpeme Stakes at Goodwood whilst the second, Darwin, subsequently ran third in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes. The third hasn’t been seen out since whilst the fourth ran a good race in the Topaz Mile at Galway. Both the Jersey and the Minstrel were over seven furlongs but Waltzing Matilda was finishing well on both occasions so so today’s trip should suit. Back amongst her own sex today, she appeals at 15/2 with Skybet.
Good Decision gets the each-way vote in the 4.50 down at Cork at a current 14/1 with Skybet. Christy Roche’s charge has dropped 9lb over his last three runs and is now down to a mark of 101 for this 80-102 event. His last win came at Wexford last year off 97 and with Jody McGarvey claiming 5lbs today, that put him bang there with every chance today.
Good Decision is owned by J.P. McManus, who also supplies the shorter priced favourite Kinneagh Cross, trained by Ronnie O’Leary. Kinneagh Cross however, has yet to win from 14 starts and suffered a heavy fall on his last start and was far from fluent two runs previously. With Roche’s horses in great form (two winner from his last six runners), Good Decision should go well.
Nap: Ol’ Man River, 2.05 The Curragh – 6/4 in places.
Next Best: Waltzing Matilda, 3.35 The Curragh - 15/2 Skybet
Each-Way: Good Decision, 4.50 Cork - 14/1 Skybet.