14:10 Curragh

MATILDA PICOTTE (best price 16/1) was a breathtaking winner on debut over course-and-distance, and while she could only finish fourth next time in a Group Three, when sent off favourite against Meditate, she travelled the best that day on the front end and probably did too much too soon as a consequence, which is why she floundered in the closing stages. That form couldn’t have worked out any better though, as the winner, Meditate, followed-up in the Albany at Royal Ascot. The return to this longer trip and the forecast rain-softened ground will be much more suitable and she looks fair value to potentially get better of the favourite here. Win only. 
Matilda Picotte - 1pt @ 6/1

14:40 Curragh

SWIFT FLIGHT (best price 10/1) was tentatively handled to finish fifth last time, when sent off favourite, and should be approaching peak fitness after a close-up second on his return over five furlongs here. He ran very well to finish third behind Heavenly Power on his previous visit to this venue in a large-field handicap over course-and-distance. That was his last start over six furlongs, so there should be plenty more to come over this trip and, off a lenient-looking mark of 77, he’s a serious each-way player with five places generally available.

I also like the claims of Eddie Lynam’s HEAVENLY POWER (best price 11/2), who is a half-brother to the classy sprinter Slade Power and shaped very well despite being slowly away from the gates. He will strip a lot fitter for that seasonal debut and has already shown a liking for this course having collected a prize over course-and-distance on soft ground back in August last year. That form has been positively advertised since with the third, fourth and fifth winning next time. With further improvement on the cards, off a two-pound lower mark than last time, everything looks in place for this son of Dark Angel to figure in the outcome with five places generally available.  

Swift Flight - 1pt e/w @ 10/1
Heavenly Power - 1pt e/w @ 11/2

15:10 Curragh

MAKE A CHALLENGE (best price 33/1) has seemingly been overlooked here on account of his underwhelming return to action, but the seven-year-old is a class horse on his day, hence why he’s won ten times, including five in pattern company and makes a rare handicap start here with a good each-way chance. He was well beaten on his return last time but will have needed the run and he had previously ran very well to finish fourth in a red-hot Group Two over course-and-distance on his penultimate start and went close in another Group Two here last May which reads good form.

He’s scored twice over track and trip and wasn’t disgraced when fifth in the Group One Flying Five here two years ago. All of his form points to him being a much better animal when the rain arrives and that’s likely to be the case here. Denis Hogan’s charge should come on considerably for his latest reappearance and has the class to win this lower grade event with a good seven-pounds claimer essentially booked to ride. He’s the best horse in the race and shouldn’t be anywhere near the double-figure odds he is on a strict reading of his overall form. Five places generally available. 

BLIND BEGGAR (best price 11/1) has only won once in his career so far and is winless for Ger Lyons but he’s been so consistent in defeat on numerous occasions and is worth an each-way interest at the morning odds. He looked like opening his account for the year last time, where he travelled well but didn’t pick up as initially expected. However, he kept on well to finish third and I get the feeling he’s more effective under softer conditions, so the arrival of rain will be a blessing.

He’s only gone up a pound for that latest effort, which remains lenient, and he’s drawn well in stall six. With the five places generally available, he looks more than capable of being in the mix and can hopefully get his head in front if able to go through with his finishing effort this time round with first-time blinkers applied. 

Make A Challenge - 1pt e/w @ 33/1
Blind Beggar - 1pt e/w @ 11/1

15:45 Curragh

My Astra and La Petite Coco could have this race between themselves according to the bookmakers, but CONCERT HALL (best price 6/1) shouldn’t be overlooked considering she’s already placed in two classics this season and will find this a touch easier. She beat subsequent Ribblesdale winner Magical Lagoon on her reappearance and was only half-a-length behind Tuesday in the Irish 1,000 Guineas. She backed that up with a solid fourth in the Oaks at Epsom behind the latter and Ryan Moore might try to dictate matters here with her proven stamina over further an asset to have at this course. Ideally, better ground would have been preferred, but she’s done nothing wrong all season in her three starts and should be competitive here. 
Concert Hall - 1pt e/w @ 6/1