The Mandarin’s Irish Derby at The Curragh Racecard

The Curragh

Dubai Duty Free Stakes (Listed) 1.25
Pirate Jenny
Ger Lyons holds the key to the opener on Irish Derby Day with Power Under Me, and Pirate Jenny, our selection. She was only just kept out of the winner’s enclosure by Geocentric in another Listed contest at Cork last time out, staying on well in the final furlong. Returning to six furlongs will suit, and it’s a big ask whether stablemate Power Under me can afford to give her over a stone and remain on top, intriguing duel in store

Dubai Duty Free Summer Fillies Handicap 2.00
Night Of Romance
Hailing from Joseph O’Brien’s in-form yard, Night Of Romance can run a big race now competing in handicap company. She had a terrific summer last year, winning three on the bounce, twice at Leicester when out of Karl Burke’s Middleham stable, before going to Joseph O’Brien, and notching up the hat-trick at Doncaster. A winner on her last start at seven furlongs at Gowran Park, and sure to go close again

Dubai Duty Free Celebration Stakes (Listed) 2.35
Straight Answer
He ran a decent race in the Ballycorus Stakes at Leopardstown a couple of weeks ago, and this step up in trip to the mile looks to be just the ticket for this Kodiac colt. He has course form here, and with Colin Keane on the reins could not be in better hands. Raadobarg is obviously a big danger now with Johnny Murtagh, but Straight Answer is one going the right way, so gets the nod

GAIN Railway Stakes (Group 2) 3.05
Blackbeard (nap)
He was fourth in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot on pretty quick ground, but this Group 2 does looks a cooler race, so he can go for the hat-trick of wins at Headquarters, after a brace of wins here in May. Crispy Cat is the obvious danger after his running on third in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, but Blackbeard edges it over this trip. Respected

Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Group 1) 3.45
Westover (nb)
In a fascinating renewal, where Aidan O’Brien’s Tuesday tries to become the first filly since Balanchine in 1994 to serve it up to the colts, English raider Westover from Ralph Beckett’s yard should be the one to keep on side. His third in The Derby at Epsom Downs was a fine run, having impressed at the Classic Trial at Sandown Park earlier in the season, and is just the sort of progressive type to land a big prize like this. Colin Keane is booked for the trip, and Westover is sure to put in a big run sporting the Juddmonte silks that graced his sire, the great Frankel

Arm Holding International Stakes (Group 3) 4.20
Rumbles Of Thunder
Paddy Twomey has his string in fine order, and must have high hopes that his French import, Rumbles Of Thunder, can adapt to this quicker surface, and take this ten furlong Group 3. He finished under a hands and heels ride from Colin Keane when landing a Listed contest at Gowran Park last month, and surely has more in the locker. A big run on the cards, and certainly not thrown in against the highly rated Mac Swiney

Dubai Duty Free Handicap 4.50
No More Porter
A typically competitive handicap for this big day at Headquarters, so we’ll go with John Feane’s course and distance winner, No More Porter. He won here last summer, and was a length runner-up last month in the valuable Emerald Mile Handicap. Likely to be on the premises again, lining up from an unchanged mark

Dubai Duty Free Handicap 5.25
Chicago Bear
We are going to side with the in-form Chicago Bear for the final race on Irish Derby day. Johnny Murtagh has his Siyouni gelding on a hat-trick, after wins here and at Leopardstown, so can continue in winning form for the in-form trainer. In the mix from a decent draw in stall 3, go close

The Mandarin

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