Group Two Minstrel Stakes Guide 2022

Andy Smith | @AndySmithRacing

Curragh - July 16 2022
Curragh 13:10
Ryan Moore

Order Of Australia

J: Ryan Moore
T: A P O'Brien
Age: 5
Weight: 9-10
OR: 118
Days: 33

Aidan O’Brien’s charge is clear at the weights here and lines up off the back of an impressive 3rd behind Baaeed in the Queen Anne Stakes.

It took the son of Australia until late in his 3 year old career to break his maiden tag but did so decently enough. He backed that up well enough afterwards at a low level but failed to fire in group company after when being well beaten in a group 3. A narrow group 1 success at the Breeder’s Cup followed, just getting the better of stablemate Circus Maximus.

Last season he failed to really build upon his group 1 success. Winning a group 2 over 7 furlongs, he then failed to really make his presence felt over a mile in top level races. Behind brushed aside by superstars like Baaeed, Palace Pier and Love.

This season he retuned in the Queen Anne Stakes and shaped smartly to be 3rd behind Baaeed. This drop in class should suit and he looks a class above the rest of the opposition here.

Curragh - July 16 2022
Curragh 13:10
Shane Foley

Real Appeal

J: Shane Foley
T: Mrs John Harrington
Age: 5
Weight: 9-10
OR: 109
Days: 38

Jessica Harrington’s 5 year old started life over in France as a 2 year old where her managed to score listed honours handsomely as a juvenile.

Moved to the care of Jim Bolger off the back of that, he struggled to find his feet racing in Ireland and found himself being gelded at the end of the 2019 season. The operation failed to draw out any success and he failed to score a win for Bolger before moving to the Harrington yard in 2020.

Unable to win in his first season for his new yard, he shaped better last year when wining a handicap smartly before scoring a group 3 over in Ireland over 7 furlongs. Stepped up to a mile off the back of that saw the gelding manage to score a group 2 success at Leopardstown but his form has suffered since.

A poor showing at the Breeders’ Cup rounded out the season and this season he’s failed to put his best foot forward. Soundly beaten on both runs this season over 7 furlongs and a mile in group 3 company, he looks to have plenty to find here and might just be wanting for quality at a higher level.

Curragh - July 16 2022
Curragh 13:10
Donagh O'Connor

Prisoner's Dilemma

J: Donagh O'Connor
T: J F Levins
Age: 6
Weight: 9-10
OR: 103
Days: 22

This 6 year old has spent the majority of his career in handicaps and looks to try his hand in group company for the first time here.

Despite not showing a whole lot in his first few seasons of racing, Prisoner’s Dilemma hit new heights over the last 8 months and showed his progression over a variety of trips. Scoring a handicap over 7 furlongs off a mark of 75, he easily dealt with a raise from the handicapper to score off a revised mark of 81 next time out.

Dropping to 6 furlongs he got his head back in front despite a heavy weight to win off of 84. the handicapper seemingly getting getting the better of him with a rating of 91 at the end of last season, he returned off a short break in May to win a conditions race over 6 furlongs.

Last seen contesting a listed race over 6 furlongs he just failed to show the pace needed in a higher company and was beaten by Teresa Mendoza to be 2nd. This is a step up in grade however and more will be required here.

Curragh - July 16 2022
Curragh 13:10
W J Lee

Pearls Galore

J: W J Lee
T: P Twomey
Age: 5
Weight: 9-7
OR: 109
Days: 56

After breaking her maiden as a 3 year old in fine fashion, Pearls Galore made the transition to handicap company and scored with bundles in hand. Just beaten in group company off the back of that she returned in smart form last year.

Despite being beaten on return in group 3 company, she scored handily with a run under her belt to win a group 3 over 7 furlongs against her own sex. She backed that up in style to win another group 3 smartly. However, taken to group 1 level off the back of that she failed to put her best foot forward. Despite an impressive run behind Space Blues in the Prix de la Foret to be 2nd.

This season she’s returned in fine form over a mile. Scoring a listed race over a mile nicely before finally scoring a group win when last seen at the Curragh back in May. She’s only won a group race against her own sex but she’s looked better than ever this season and shouldn’t be easily discounted here.

Curragh - July 16 2022
Curragh 13:10


T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 4
Weight: 9-10
OR: 110
Days: 267

Joseph O’Brien’s charge comes here off the back of a long lay off.

Snapraeteara scored twice as a juvenile, winning a maiden and an auction race before having his sights aimed higher. Groups races saw him wanting for quality as a 2 year old and he finished his opening campaign with only the two wins in the book.

Kept at a higher level last season, the son of Buratino scored at listed level smartly over 7 furlongs but struggled when sent for group races off the back of that. Looking to be struggling for quality in group 3 races, a drop back down to listed level saw him capture another win in fine fashion over 7 furlongs.

His last two runs of last year left plenty to be desired however. Only beating 2 rivals home in a group 2 over a mile before coming last in a listed race at Leopardstown, he’s since been gelded and makes his seasonal debut here. Connections will be hoping the gelding operation will have unlocked some improvement but he has struggled at group level before.

Curragh - July 16 2022
Curragh 13:10
Colin Keane

Dr Zempf

J: Colin Keane
T: G M Lyons
Age: 3
Weight: 9-3
Days: 38

Ger Lyons’ 3 year old Dr Zempf takes his chance against older horse here. After winning his debut impressively last year, Dr Zempf was immediately sent to group company and ran well multiple times at a higher level.

Running well in the Railway Stakes and the Phoenix Stakes, he rounded out the season with a poor showing in the Middle Park Stakes.

A return in listed company this year saw the son of Dark Angel win smartly over 7 furlongs before before a try at a mile saw him well beaten. Dropped back to 7 furlongs last time out, Dr Zempf won a group 3 in impressive style at Leopardstown and looks to have really found his niche over this trip.

He moves up in grade here but looks to be at his best over this trip and should have more to offer.