Curragh Saturday Preview - 27/05/23

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Curragh - May 26 2023
Curragh 12:20
Ryan Moore


J: Ryan Moore
T: A P O'Brien
Age: 2
Weight: 9-5
Days: 26

The first race of the afternoon from the Curragh is the Maiden over 6f and Unquestionable is sure to improve from his debut run over 5f.

Making his debut at the Curragh on soft ground when making a respectable debut to finish a good third behind stablemate His Majesty in the Listed First Flier Stakes.

Now dropping into a Maiden having experience on the field he looks the obvious selection and with Moore choosing to ride him instead of City Of Troy, picks the selection in himself.

Curragh - May 26 2023
Curragh 12:55
Wayne Lordan

His Majesty

J: Wayne Lordan
T: A P O'Brien
Age: 2
Weight: 9-5
Days: 26

Next up is the Group Three Marble Hill Stakes over 6f and although basically doing everything wrong on debut His Majesty was a good winner with the penny dropping late.

Winning the Listed First Flier Stakes over 5f, he looked to need 6f and gets that this afternoon and hopefully being more straight forward.

The further he goes the better he will be and hopefully improving for his debut run he could be quite smart.

Curragh - May 26 2023
Curragh 13:30
Ryan Moore


J: Ryan Moore
T: Charles Hills
Age: 7
Weight: 9-5
OR: 113
Days: 37

Another nice event on the Curragh card is the Group Two Greenlands Stakes over 6f and the Charles Hills trained Garrus can make it back to back wins.

A horse that seems to be getting better at the age of seven having had a run over 7f at Riyadh in February which put him spot on for his run at Newmarket in the Group Three Abernant Stakes when landing the event.

Six furlongs is his pinnacle trip and having also shown good form at this distance at a similar level throughout his career he has every chance to go close again, with quicker ground playing to his strengths.

Curragh - May 26 2023
Curragh 14:05
Seamie Heffernan

Run For Oscar

J: Seamie Heffernan
T: C Byrnes
Age: 8
Weight: 9-7
OR: 101
Days: 231

The Listed Orby Stakes come next and the Charles Byrnes trained Run For Oscar dropping back to 1m4f could be tough to beat off a mark of 101.

An easy winner at Haydock last season over two miles in a Class 4 Stayers Handicap during the Sunday Series off a mark of 82, he then went to Newmarket up to 2m2f and again made a mockery of his mark to land the Cesarewitch Handicap with good ground playing to his strengths.

Sent hurdling on three occasions after that he was a superb third in the Grade Three Stayers Handicap Hurdle at Haydock behind the well handicapped Botox Has.

Third again when dropped back to 2m4f at Punchestown behind two smart types in Saint Sam and Any Second Now, he then went into the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham festival and with the ground turning close to heavy he could only manage 11th.

Given time since then he returns on a sounder surface on the flat and showing how much he had in hand on his runs last season, there might still be juice in 101.

Curragh - May 26 2023
Curragh 14:40
Jamie Spencer

Royal Scotsman

J: Jamie Spencer
T: Paul & Oliver Cole
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 118
Days: 21

The feature event of the afternoon from the Curragh is the Group One Irish 2000 Guineas over a mile and having been a big eye-catcher in the English 2000 Guineas Royal Scotsman could take the beating back on better ground.

A very smart juvenile last term when finishing fourth on debut in a hot maiden behind the likes of Noble Style and Walbank, he then went to Goodwood over 6f again and bolted up in a Novice Stakes by five lengths.

Sent to Royal Ascot when a good third in the Group Two Coventry Stakes behind Bradsell and Persian Force, he then went into the Group Two Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood when getting back to winning ways.

Seen twice more before the end of the season he finished a fair fifth of 12 in the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes when now looking like he wanted a step up in trip and getting that in his final event last term in the Group One Dewhurst Stakes when a head second behind Chaldean over 7f.

Showing he stays that trip and arguably would get further, he made his seasonal debut in the Group One 2000 Guineas and was a staying on third when hitting all kinds of trouble in ground he does not like.

He will have to reverse the form with Hi Royal, but we believe if he gets a clear passage he is a better horse than him and hopefully at his peak he is the best in the field.

Curragh - May 26 2023
Curragh 15:15
W J Lee

King Of Scotia

J: W J Lee
T: M D O'Callaghan
Age: 3
Weight: 9-4
OR: 87
Days: 21

The first Handicap of the afternoon on Saturday in Ireland is the Finaly Volvo Handicap over 7f and King Of Scotia for Michael O'Callaghan.

Second on his first two starts as a juvenile last term behind Continuous and Brighter London, he then finished off the season at Leopardstown when back in seventh behind the smart Cairo in the Group Three Killavullan Stakes.

Getting off the mark for his career at Dundalk over 7f in good fashion, he was then sent handicapping over 6f at Naas when second to the smart Red Letter Bray.

Fourth of 10 on his final start at Naas again over 6f behind the talented Lord Massusus, he steps back up to his preferred trip of 7f in this event and looks to have wiggle room off his mark of 87.

Curragh - May 26 2023
Curragh 16:25

Up And Under

T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 3
Weight: 9-8
OR: 106
Days: 20

The final selection on the Curragh card on Saturday is the Joseph O'Brien trained Up And Under who has been knocking on the door of late behind some nice types and this race presents itself as a good place to get off the mark.

Third on his sole juvenile start over a mile at Navan behind Salt Lake City for Aidan O'Brien, he was then put away for his three year old campaign this term.

Starting at Leopardstown up in trip to 1m2f in the Group Three Ballysax Stakes when second behind White Birch who has since gone on to frank the form in the Group Two Dante Stakes, he was then second again on his final start over the same C&D behind another nice type in Sprewell.

The one to beat.