Curragh Saturday Preview - 25/06/22

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Curragh - June 24 2022
Curragh 12:25

Hermana Estrella

T: J A Stack
Age: 3
Weight: 8-9
OR: 105
Days: 34

The first race of the afternoon at the Curragh on Irish Derby day is the Listed Dash Stakes over 6f and Hermana Estrella is worth another go back at her preferred trip.

Only seen twice in her short career to date she made an emphatic debut over 6f on soft ground at Naas when seeing off the 2021 Queen Mary Stakes winner Quick Suzy by a length.

Given her first run this term when upped to a mile on three year old debut in the 1000 Guineas she needed the run, didn't handle the trip and only beat one home.

The Stack team have gone back to the drawing board and now back at 6f in a much easier race, she holds leading claims if kicking on from her sole juvenile run.

Curragh - June 24 2022
Curragh 13:00
Danny Sheehy


J: Danny Sheehy
T: J P Murtagh
Age: 3
Weight: 8-9
OR: 85
Days: 29

Next up is the Summer Fillies Handicap over seven furlongs and the horse that takes the eye is the Johnny Murtagh trained Karkiyna for Aga Khan.

The three year old daughter of Caravaggio was seen five times as a juvenile without getting off the mark but did show good ability in her last two runs.

Returning over 7f at the Curragh this season she was a good fifth in a Fillies' Maiden behind the likes of Perfect Thunder and Toy who aren't bad horses.

She then improved for that run to finish second at Gowran Park, but when seen last time out she finally broke her duck at Fairyhouse on good ground when a very easy winner over 7f.

Making her handicap debut in this event off 85 with talented claimer Danny Sheehy taking a further 3lb off makes her interesting.

Curragh - June 24 2022
Curragh 13:35
Dylan Browne McMonagle

Emphatic Answer

J: Dylan Browne McMonagle
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 4
Weight: 9-4
OR: 104
Days: 34

Another nice event is the Listed Celebration Stakes over a mile and Emphatic Answer for Joseph O'Brien might just be a bit overlooked in the market.

A four year old daughter of No Nay Never she was smart at the start of last season winning on her first two starts but after that in Listed and Group Three events she found things slightly tougher.

She rounded off last season with one of her best performances to date when a good second of 17 at Naas over a mile in the Listed Garnet Stakes.

Seen three times this season she looked to need her first two starts at the Curragh and Tipperary, but last time out gave a career best run to finish a narrow second over course and distance behind the progressive Pearls Galore.

She looks to be getting better and better as a four year old and if improving again holds a leading form line.

Curragh - June 24 2022
Curragh 14:05
Ryan Moore


J: Ryan Moore
T: A P O'Brien
Age: 2
Weight: 9-5
OR: 105
Days: 11

One of the big races of the day is the Group Two Railway Stakes over 6f and although a small but select field goes to post, it looks a very competitive market.

A 270,000gns purchase this son of No Nay Never has been very smart in all four of his events to date making his debut in April over 5f at Dundalk and winning nicely.

Kept over the same trip he was sent to the Curragh and managed to see off Crispy Cat who he takes on again in this by a short head in a Listed event.

Always looking to want 6f he was stepped up in trip and made it 3/3 when beating the very likeable Tough Talk for Ger Lyons by close to four lengths.

Sent to Royal Ascot last time out he was a smart fourth of 17 in the Group Two Coventry Stakes behind some nice horses and if none the worse for that run should resume his winning ways.

Curragh - June 24 2022
Curragh 14:45
Colin Keane


J: Colin Keane
T: Ralph Beckett
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 116
Days: 21

The feature race of the afternoon in Ireland is the Irish Derby over 1m4f and fancy the British raider Westover for Ralph Beckett to make it back to back wins for the English in the Irish Classic.

A three year old son of Frankel the colt was seen three times as a juvenile, winning on debut over a mile at Sandown in a decent event and then placing twice behind the Queen's Vase second and a nice type for Alice Haynes.

Progressing massively for a step up in trip on three year old debut he landed the Group Three bet365 Classic Trial at Sandown, which set him up perfectly for a crack at the Derby.

Up to 12f at Epsom he ran an absolute cracker to finish third behind Desert Crown, hitting traffic in running and when getting a clear run absolutely flew home and wasn't beaten far.

If the rain comes on Saturday he won't mind it and the Curragh looks a perfect galloping track that will suit him down to the ground.

Big player.

Curragh - June 24 2022
Curragh 15:50
Ronan Whelan

Pierre Lapin

J: Ronan Whelan
T: Adrian McGuinness
Age: 5
Weight: 9-6
OR: 92
Days: 36

The final selection of the afternoon comes in the Premier Handicap over a mile and the ex Roger Varian trained horse Pierre Lapin makes big appeal for Ado McGuinness.

A smart juvenile in England for Mohammed Obaid Al Maktoum winning his first two starts, he lost his way rapidly and was sold and moved over to Ireland.

A work in progress last season finding his way in handicaps In Ireland, England and Meydan, the penny finally seemed to have dropped last time out when upped back up to a mile.

In a very similar event to this he managed to finish a close up fourth of 27 over course and distance and running off the same mark with a fair draw, he could go even better.