There are huge fields for most of today’s races at the Curragh, which hosts a replacement card for the recently abandoned meeting at Sligo, but punters should be rewarded for supporting Khukri in the opening race, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF maiden for two-year-old colts and geldings.
Jessica Harrington’s Sepoy colt made a most promising debut at this track when running subsequent Group 3 winner and twice Group 2 runner-up Intelligence Cross to a length and a half. On the back of that effort he was sent off favourite for another maiden at this venue, but had to settle for third place behind De Boss Man and Ice Canyon.
However, Khukri was up there from the outset and may have paid the price for having to race from a long way out. Today’s race looks easier and there’s a distinct chance he will be allowed an easy lead. He has the form to come home in front and, if afforded that easy lead, it’ll be disappointing if he doesn’t score with plenty to spare.
The most obvious danger is the 83-rated Bective, but he has had plenty of opportunities, and thus Presidential is preferred as the one to give the selection most to think about. Kevin Prendergast’s horse made a pleasing start, when sixth behind Sportsmanship on debut, and, while off for more than two months, his stable is in much better form now than it was then. With improvement likely, he should run a big race.
Feeling Easy can take the closing race, the Irish Injured Jockeys’ Fund Handicap. An experienced sort in Britain prior to joining Anthony Mulholland, the four-year-old caught the eye behind Mcguigan on her Irish debut, and built on that effort when finding only the in-form Ducky Mallon too good in a big-field handicap at Navan.
Noted staying on to good effect over that six-furlong trip, the return to seven should suit at this stage of her career and she can gain a long overdue return to the winner’s enclosure.
The market should be informative in the second race, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF fillies’ maiden over six furlongs, but there was enough promise in Art Nouvelle’s first start to suggest she will be a major player in this race.
She was slow to get going, made nice progress approaching the furlong marker, but could find no extra in the closing stages. One would expect a significant step forward from that outing, and a big run looks assured.
Aidan O’Brien’s runners, Nutcracker Suite and newcomer Asking, should be noted in the market, while Blitz was a disappointing favourite when a couple of places behind Art Nouvelle last time, but is respected on previous form.
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