3.20 Curragh: Handicap, 6f (3YO plus)
I suspect that Master Speaker won’t ever find a better chance to win a race than this. A usually solid, competitive runner, he won only once in 14 starts, and that on the All,Weather, albeit placed in seven more races. Mainly in hot Handicaps of marks around 90 plus. He’s down to a career lowest mark now, the same as when finishing a fine second behind Bubbly Bellini in a very competitive 6f Handicap here at the Curragh last month. That particular piece of form looks strong and works already out with a subsequent winner.
Master Speaker drops into a much lesser race here, can race off the same mark over the same CD with ground conditions to suit – he looks a huge price to my eyes. Main danger is in form Oor Jock, who travelled like the winner at Leopardstown recently, but found the additional furlong the deal breaker. His Curragh record is dismal though.
Master Speaker @ 6/1 Coral – 5pts win
4.20 Curragh: Alleged Stakes (Listed)
Questions marks over almost every horse in this renewal of the Alleged Stakes. Former Dewhurst winner Parish Hall was beaten in this very same race in exact same conditions as favourite last year. That time it was his seasonal reappearance, this season he has already a race under his belt, then beaten odds-on at Dundalk by an 88 rated individual. He looks vulnerable here yet again. But to whom?
Well, the 7/4 favourite Massinga makes plenty of appeal. Trained by red hot Dermot Weld, lightly raced, recent Listed race winner. She ticks plenty of the right boxes. I’m wondering if the drop in trip is what she really wants, though? She stayed easily 12f on bottomless ground a fortnight ago. Maybe, she is fine as she has form over shorter as well. Says she is still a short price and I’m too overwhelmed.
There aren’t too many alternatives, on the other side. Can you fancy one time Derby fancy Geoffrey Chaucer? Not really. He’s lightly raced and hasn’t been seen since finishing last in the Derby. But his last win dates back to September 2013…. over 1m! In-form Aussie Valentine should give a good account. But the drying ground could be against her I feel. Loch Garman was a smart individual…. 2 years ago. God knows what to expect from him after 686 days off the track.
A chance is taken on Canadian filly On Location. She is extremely well bred and won a maiden at Dundalk earlier this month in good style, despite being in season. I understand she’s been covered by Dawn Approach since then and the trainer is pretty sweet on her. Ground shouldn’t be too much of a problem as we may end up with something like good to yielding I suspect.
The step up to 10f should be suitable, as on pedigree she has it. A daughter of Dubai World Cup winner Street Cry, out of a multiple Stakes races winning mare of up to 12f – she may be rushed into this here, but has clearly talent and may be able to spring a surprise, which in fact wouldn’t be that much of a surprise.
On Location @ 25/1 Paddy Power – 5pts win