Today's tips: Curragh

The Mick Halford-trained Rayisa caught the eye in defeat in what looked a pretty hot maiden at the Curragh recently, and can be expected to improve enough to land the third race on this evening’s card at Galway.

The selection was patiently ridden, somewhat green, and didn’t enjoy the best of runs when fifth behind the very promising Zalfana.

With the 83-rated Star Of Kings little more than a length in front of her, it was a very smart first effort from Rayisa.

That came on good-to-firm ground, but the slight ease expected today isn’t of much concern, and the filly can land the spoils at the expense of Simannka, who also carries the colours of the Aga Khan.

Of those with official ratings Bobailin sets the standard but is somewhat exposed, while Orotaveo was quite well touted prior to a pleasing debut at Killarney, and is respected.

Cole Porter can build on the promise of his debut by taking the opener for trainer Aidan O’Brien, who is bidding for a fifth consecutive victory in the race.

Sent off favourite on his first start, he had to settle for fourth place behind the experienced Restive.

His kennel companion, Beacon Rock, and Precious Gold were behind that day, and they gave the form something of a boost when going on to fill the first two places in another Curragh maiden next time out.

Although Cole Porter was quite hard-ridden that day, the penny seemed to be dropping late, suggesting this tough track, over an extended mile, could bring out the best in him.

He already looks a promising staying sort for next season and, if positively ridden, will take a great deal of pegging back.

Alaskan Son appeals as the most likely danger.

On debut he was noted running on strongly, under a hands-and-heels ride, to finish a close second behind Landofhopeandglory.

That should have brought him on quite a bit, and he looks assured of running another big race.

Alveena can take the finale for Dermot Weld.

The filly showed real promise on debut, at Leopardstown, but disappointed somewhat at Naas on her next start, just six days later.

Perhaps that effort came too soon, as she returned from a five-week lay-off to run the consistent Catalyst to a nose on her most recent outing.

That was over nine and a half furlongs, at Wexford, and the step up to a mile and a half today should prompt further improvement. Ground conditions aren’t an issue, and the filly can prove too strong for the experienced Deor.

The feature is the listed Ardilaun Hotel Oyster Stakes, over 12 furlongs, and the entirely unexposed Almela is, by some way, the most interesting runner.

The subject of positive reports prior to her debut, at this track last month, she could hardly have been more impressive, beating admittedly modest rivals by 19 lengths and upwards.

This is a huge step up in grade, but the nature of that victory is hard to forget, and she take this en route to even better things.

Dark Crusader, who was also successful at the Galway Festival, looks sure to run well, and is feared most.


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