Our resident pundit has three selections in Ireland today, including a two-point nap at the Curragh.
BUTTERFLIES (NAP) (best price 9-2) improved immeasurably on her first two start when landing a maiden at Gowran last time out and although it might appear to be form fair removed from that expected of pattern company, the time figure she posted that day suggests otherwise. Always prominent from a good break at the Co Kilkenny venue, the daughter of Galileo overhauled the front-running Decisive Intent in the final 100 yards to win going away and with the third, fifth and ninth all advertising the form since, there’s every reason to believe it was an above-average contest for the track. Having already run promisingly at today’s track over an inadequate trip the time before, Aidan O’Brien’s filly should be an altogether more streetwise proposition returning to the Co Kildare venue this time around and with the galloping nature of the course and stiff uphill finish likely to play into her strengths, she can advertise her credentials for some of next season’s marquee prizes for top-quality fillies.
MY MANEKINEKO (best price 8-1) arrives here in tip-top shape following a series of solid performances under both codes and he looks set to continue his fine run of form at a track where he’s already been previously successful. Since that victory over today’s C&D this time last year, James Nash’s charge has also won on the Flat at Dundalk and on his most recent outing at Tramore he would have added to that tally if it wasn’t for a huge effort by eventual winner St Lawrence Gap. Given the speed figure generated at the Co Waterford track the form should turn out to be pretty reliable and with a likely strong pace looking the order of the day once again, the son of Authorised should get the perfect set up for his stalk and pounce style of racing.
If patterns are anything to go by, CAILIN MOR (best price 14-1) is treading a similar path to last year when she really began to flourish from August onwards and she looks to have a decent chance of being competitive back at a track where she’s run some of her best races in the past. Seemingly bang out of form in the earlier part of the campaign, just like last season when the autumn leaves began to turn colour, Micky Halford’s charge has started to flourish and on the evidence of her last two performances she looks primed to strike sooner rather than later. A cracking effort when fourth behind Dream Walker in the big premier 7f handicap at Galway was bettered with her display in a listed race at Killarney last time out when she came from some way off the pace to finish a never-nearer third at the line. Indeed, a closer inspection of her performance that day, suggested she ran way beyond the expectations of her current rating (clocked the fastest sectionals on card from four out) and now back in handicap company at a track that very much plays into her strengths, the daughter of Lope De Vega has plenty in her favour in her bid to land her biggest pot so far to date.