13:40 Curragh

Leg 1 Selections: AUGUSTE RODIN

A lot of well-bred newcomers in the opener but this looks a good opportunity for AUGUSTE RODIN to open his account at the second time of asking here. He met quite a bit of interference when a beaten odds-on favourite on debut but stayed on well to finish a clear second.

The winner Crypto Force hasn’t exactly boosted the form since, who was well beaten in the Chesham at Royal Ascot, but Aidan’s two-year-old’s tend to strip a lot fitter for their first run and the same can be expected with this son of Deep Impact. He’s got an excellent pedigree and Ryan Moore can get him home in front.

14:10 Curragh


STATUETTE looked very special when hacking up on debut four weeks ago, where she beat an experienced rival with plenty to spare. This is a big step up in grade but she’s open to further improvement and is likely to be popular, so has to be included.

I want to give another chance to MATILDA PICOTTE though, who was ultra-impressive over track and trip on debut and while she could only finish fourth next time in a Group Three, she travelled best that day and only lost second in the closing stages. The form has worked out well with the winner Meditate following up at Royal Ascot and, with the return to this longer trip and expected softer ground to suit, she’s worth a second look.

14:40 Curragh


Eddie Lynam’s HEAVENLY POWER is a half-brother to the classy Slade Power and he caught the eye when second on his return over seven furlongs here last time. He will strip a lot fitter for the run and the expected rain will do him no harm, as he won over course and distance on soft ground, back in August. With further improvement on the cards, he should figure in the outcome.

SWIFT FLIGHT could only manage fifth when sent off favourite last time, but he’s consistent and ran well to finish third behind Heavenly Power on his previous visit to this venue in a large-field handicap, which came over course-and-distance. That was his last start over six furlongs, so there should be more to come over this trip and, with the forecast rain in his favour, he’s a serious player.

15:10 Curragh


This is really competitive but MAKE A CHALLENGE is ridiculously overpriced despite arriving on the back of an underwhelming return to action. The seven-year-old is a class horse on his day, which is why he’s won ten times, including five in pattern company. He was well beaten here on his return but will have needed the run and he ran very well to finish fourth in a red-hot Group Two over course-and-distance on his penultimate start, as well as when going close in another Group Two here last May.

He’s scored twice over track and trip and was even a good fifth in the Group One Flying Five here two years ago. All of his form points to him being a much better horse when there’s juice in the ground and that’s likely to happen here, so if able to leave his seasonal debut behind, Denis Hogan’s charge could be hard to beat here despite his odds suggesting otherwise. BLIND BEGGAR finds it difficult to win, but he’s consistent in defeat and has a good record when there’s rain about. If the application of blinkers has a positive effect, Ger Lyons’ four-year-old could be about to strike.

15:45 Curragh


The feature race is the Pretty Polly Stakes and I am finding it difficult to see LA PETITE COCO out of the frame here. She improved out of all recognition when making it four wins from five starts for this stable in September, in which she gained a Group Two course-and-distance, beating five-time Group One winner Love. She has proved her stamina over further and, even though she is the only runner without a prep-run, she’s the one to beat with the potential to be even better this season.

CONCERT HALL shouldn’t be overlooked though, who is probably a shade overpriced considering she’s already placed in two classics this season. She beat subsequent Ribblesdale winner Magical Lagoon on her reappearance and having finished 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. Purplepay is feared, but she was behind Aidan O’Brien’s filly here in May and might not be suited to this longer distance either. With stamina assured, Ryan Moore might try to dictate matters here on the former and should prove hard to keep out of the frame.

16:20 Curragh


Jessica Harrington’s AUTUMN EVENING has been in decent form over hurdles this year and while he reverts back to the Flat off a seven-pounds higher mark than when second back in October, he should have more to offer with conditions expected to suit. He has proved he stays a bit further than this, so he should give this a good go and can hopefully fill the frame.

HMS SEAHORSE was placed at both the Cheltenham and Punchestown festival over hurdles and looks nicely treated on his return to the Flat. He seems ground-versatile and came close to scoring the last time he was spotted in this sphere. Paul Nolan’s charge should have no issue over this longer trip and can make his presence felt with Chris Hayes doing the steering.