Curragh Review – Sunday, April 7th
5f 2yo Maiden
Fast In The Wind had a bit of breeding to him, costing 45k and a half to Maybe Grace; had a clear run of things when switched wide from rear and his trainer’s horses have started the season well as has often been the case. Coach House was strong in the market and very well-bred out of Lesson In Humility; travelled just about best and one that is likely to be better for the run. With where Saakhen raced in rear, he was always likely to get trouble trapped in a pocket and came home well when finally extricated from it; in contrast to the winner, he had a troubled run. I get the impression that the Prendergast runners are being underrated by the market at the moment, perhaps working off the belief that he is finished, but despite only having had one winner this season a lot of them have outrun their odds. Highland Falcon ran poorly, beaten more than twice as far as in the first race of the year and that is an early knock to that form.
They walked here and while Moth has done well to come from off a slow pace and quickened it up she has beaten very little (only the horse she raced with in Naas last backend) and is hard to get carried away with; Guineas prices are far-fetched. Bethany Bay and Tobann had the run of this from the front but could make little impact; neither has the most endearing head-carriage; the former holding it off to the side in the finish while the latter held it to the side mid-race. Sea Shadow failed to build on a promising debut.
7f Group 3
Things likely went the way of Custom Cut, getting an easy one in front, but he deserves credit all the same, fighting on well in the closing stages as higher rated horses came at him; whether he is good enough to win again at this level remains to be seen. Hard to be anything but positive about Nephrite; came off a long break here, given an exaggerated hold-up ride off a slow pace and travelled best; won’t mind cutting back to 6f and his breeding would support him being a sprinter. La Collina was off the bridle earlier than most but kept finding; she is one that would not have been suited by a slowly-run 7f and will do better back at a mile; the Ridgewood Pearl on Guineas weekend is the obvious race for her. Bold Thady Quill is in the form of his life though whether he is any better than this is doubtful. Carmody said Foxtrot Romeo was nowhere near fit but the market said otherwise (move for him on-course as is often the case with this crowd); he ran poorly and has it to prove as does Lady Wingshot who tends to improve for the run but will need to step up markedly from this.
Another slowly-run affair and Maude Adams is worth marking up; came from rear with a good run and won with a bit in hand in the end; got 7lbs up to 84 but no surprise if she can win off that again as looks on the improve. Winning Impact doesn’t get this trip but can certainly win off this sort of mark at 7f. Miller Beach met some trouble entering the final furlong and is value for more than this; both his good runs have come on turf with a slight ease. Smoke Charger ran really well from a pound out of the handicap; he got shuffled back at a key stage by fading leaders but came home well and with a mark of 52 on the turf can surely win in the bottom grade. Bendzoldan looks out of form while Daring Man got a poor ride; a dubious stayer at this trip as well as a hound, he was in front over 2f out but didn’t get home and got little cover either; he’s also one that goes well fresh so is not sure to be in the same heart next time.
The pace was slow enough early but it lifted soon enough; the front-running Inis Meain is likeable and still improving on the flat and beat some higher rated horses here; he provided another boost to the Lincoln form. Like Nephrite earlier, hard to be negative on Parish Hall; raced keenly and coming off a long break (also reportedly met a setback when being prepped for Dubai), he did wander in the closing stages and held head a bit awkwardly but appeared to be going forward. The bounce would be a worry next time but he could improve coming into this off a setback. Steps To Freedom is an open book, not good enough in this grade and better conceding weight against inferiors; his figures in listed races or better are:433793, other flat races:12211. Ernest Hemingway’s mark overrates him. Montebell was strong in the market and raced keenly; she would be better off running in a handicap with her mark of 95.
A race full of badly-handicapped horses as indicated by Tantalising winning and first six being covered by about 2 lengths. Fantasy King travelled well in rear and came home strongly but he’s one that could bounce next time and has never been straightforward. Beach Of Falesa was another than travelled well but she found little and can’t be excused this as it was her second run; she is hardly well-treated at this point. It is worth taking a negative view of this form.
Worth taking a reasonably positive view of the form of the front two, particularly Manalapan who travelled better than Ruler Of The World and won’t mind cutting back in trip; this was a fine debut and his small yard means he might be underbet next time. Hudson’s Bay was fiercely disappointing especially given the form of the yard.