Tag Archives: Cork

Sunday Selections: April, 7th 2019


2.35 Cork: Handicap (45-65) , 8.5f

I’m quite interested in the Ger Lyons trained filly Palabres. She ran incredibly well on debut last year in a red hot maiden that has thrown up a few good subsequent winners – Palabres herself running to a 61 TS rating under hands and heels that day.

She didn’t live up to the promise in three more starts, finishing down the field on each occasion. Ger Lyons suggesting the filly was mentally not ready, though:

“Maybe it was immaturity that was preventing her from showing on track what we thought we were seeing at home.”

He also expects her to be ready to go today. Off a lowly handicap mark, Palabres could easily be well handicapped now, also stepping up in trip – if she’s got a mind for racing. Her debut run certainly implies the existence of talent.

Slight worries about the trip and ground and also the wide draw. But if she’s well-in here, as I imagine she is, with also a bit of stamina on the sire side available, Palabres looks an overpriced individual in this open contest.

10pts win – Palabres @ 12/1 MB

Tuesday Selections: Zhukova can win Cork feature

Cork Racecourse

Good win for Harlequin Rock yesterday. Feels always good to get things right, as it doesn’t happen too often! Mass Rally looked to come storming home on the outside but faded away eventually. He needs more help from the handicapper these days. Katimavik was NR.

7.35 Ripon: Class 3 Handicap, 5f

This could be an excellent opportunity for the old boy Noble Storm to get back on the score sheet. The nine year old hasn’t been exactly close to winning this year but more often than not wasn’t disgraced nor far beaten.

He drops to a very handy mark now which should see him competitive in this grade, particular today with ground conditions sure to suit well.

Noble Storm @ 16/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win


7.50 Chelmsford: Class 3 Handicap, 10f

The two fillies at the top of the market could be hard to beat here. Talawat of bottom weight will go very close if she gets the trip against this better opposition. Martlet makes more appeal as she is proven over track and trip.

However I feel Taaqah is overpriced here. She went close over a mile at Chelmsford earlier this year, when runner-up behind Boonga Roogeta. She hasn’t been seen to best effect in her last two starts but the return to the All-Weather may help. She steps up in trip and that is the factor which may see her improving a bit again.

On pedigree she has every chance to do so as a son of Arch out of a Gone West mare who has a stake in multiple St. Leger winner Leading Light.

Taaqah has only one maiden win to her name yet, and that over 6f. It’s is not given that she appreciates the new trip. But it’s possible. There aren’t too many in this field with a realistic chance on handicapping terms and therefore I believe she is a rather big price here.

Taaqah @ 16/1 Ladbrokes – 5pts Win


8.00 Cork: Give Thanks Stakes (Fillies’ Group 3), 1m 4f

This two times races filly Zhukova progressed nicely from her debut run when she landed a Navan maiden in fine style back in June. Trainer Dermot Weld was quite happy and was hoping she would make into a nice Stakes filly over further. Today is the chance.

She lacks experience in this field but is extremely well bred and should appreciate the step up in trip. With natural progression she can go close.

Zhukova @ 14/1 Ladbrokes – 5pts Win

Outback Traveller Deserves Another Chance

Cork Racecourse

Mixed Saturday from a betting perspective. 1 winner with Ogbourne Downs, though by the smallest of margins. My initial feeling right after the race was: It’s lost. But the photo proved “decisive”. OD stuck his nose out when it mattered. What a relieve! Otherwise it would have been a tough day because Gabrial and Jakob Black both ran superb but only managed to finish 2nd. Lily’s Prince and Snow Cloud never gave me a run for my money. So, after all, a small profit.

Before I move on to Sunday: Let’s briefly mention the performance of the day: Twilight Son at York today. He followed up with another massively impressive display and his way is clearly paved towards Group racing from now on. No surprise, though. As I felt already after his win on 2000 Guineas day that’s he a Group horse in the making.


4.00 Salisbury: Cathedral Stakes (Listed), 6f

I can see why Absolutely So is market leader in this Listed contest, given his recent third place in a competitive Group 3. That says the likely very fast ground does definitely count against him. He has zero form in these kind of conditions.

Three year old Markaz has, though. However after nine career starts he still has only a maiden win to his name, though he performed with credit in most races, more often than not against classy opposition. This here is probably easier, and conditions will suit. But as a 3yo, despite weight for age, It’s a tough assignment.

A wind op helped Ruwaiyan to find back to form when he won a good Handicap at Goodwood in May. A subsequent poor effort in Listed company at Windsor may be forgiven and he is certainly one of the likelier sorts in this race.

Minalisa was a long way beaten in the very same race but probably needed the run. She is best judged on her Listed win at Naas in fast conditions last year. She is a definite contender if back on song.

Personally I’m most fascinated by Outback Traveller. He was very progressive as a juvenile as well as three year old. His Ascot win in October was nothing short of sensational. Admittedly he doesn’t seem to have grown over the winter but seem to have retained allot of his ability as he proved at Kempton on his seasonal debut when just beaten in a photo as to top weight by the very well handicapped Speculative Bid.

Under an even bigger weight he struggled the next time at Ascot when travelling to close to a suicidal pace, while Speculative Bid won the race, clearly franking the Kempton form. Outback Traveller drops back to 6f now which I feel suits this speedy sort, so should the quick ground. I’m inclined to give him another chance and find out once for all if he’s equally as good a four year old as he was in the last two seasons.

Outback Traveller @ 7/1 Ladbrokes – 5pts Win


4.40 Cork: Cork Derby (Premier Handicap), 1m 4f

An unsettled betting market and a wrong favourite – there aren’t many horses who make appeal in the Cork Derby. That is because fast conditions won’t suit many. Unsinkable appears to be Ger Lyons’s number one in this race, but stable mate Unrequited could likely be better suited by this test.

He clearly acts on fast ground and has the trip well within his range. He won a Handicap in emphatic fashion on his seasonal reappearance, effectively on the the bridle. He stepped up to 2m subsequently and travelled like the winner at the Curragh three weeks, though failed to stay eventually. He could still be well handicapped is my feeling and this race should suit down to the grounds.

I nominate a second selection for this race as I can’t split the two: Break My Mind for the in-form yard of Eddie Lynam. The filly is likely to be ready for her seasonal reappearance, and if that’s the case then she’s a big runner. It took her five races to get off the mark last year but she won a 12f maiden on fast ground at Fairyhouse in nice fashion back in September. Soft ground and drop in trip didn’t quite suit the next time but she still finished third when on her final start in 2014. But conditions will suit here at Cork and a mark off 82 seems more than fair.

Break My Mind @ 9/1 – William Hill 5pts Win
Unrequited @ 9/1 William Hill – 5pts Win

Eisenhower Open To Plenty Of Progress!


A maiden at Cork that doesn’t look overly strong. The short-priced Weld favourite looks like one I’m happy to take on. Hasn’t been seen for roughly a year and despite fair form in two starts last season, it is nothing out of the ordinary.

Without a shadow of a doubt the most appeal makes the Aiden OBrien one-time raced Eisenhower. He is lovely bred, and while he is sure to get much further in time than this minimum 5f trip here, he should have no problems dropping down from his 7f debut run.

That day at Gowran Park he travelled much the best, loomed up large on the inside to take up the lead around two furlongs out, but then seemed not quite sure he was supposed to do next. He faded badly and showed signs of greenness big time. There is much more to come from him and the drying ground suits him perfectly. He looks a rather big price in my eyes.

5.15 Cork: Maiden Stakes, 5f
Eisenhower @ 11/4 Betfred – 10pts win

Preview – Cork Stakes

Cork Racecourse

Despite some lovely sunshine over the Easter weekend, the ground at Cork remains soft. Interestingly, most runners in the 6 furlongs Cork Stakes are actually advantaged by these conditions. That should ensure that we have quite an intriguing contest on our hands.

The mare Aetna deserves utmost respect and is awell  deserved favourite. She won a Listed contest on bottomless ground at Doncaster when seen the last time five month ago. She has done well as a fresh horse in the past and sets a very fair standard here for all the right reasons. That says she is short enough in the betting, though,  and there’re some interesting alternatives.

Gathering Power has won only twice in seventeen starts throughout her career so far, but she loves the mud and ran with credit in some hot races last season. She can go close. Last years Cork Stakes winner An Saighdiur isn’t getting any younger and hasn’t shown too much since this last win, but he gets his conditions and has a recent run to his name, so must clearly enter calculations.

Jim Bolger’s lightly raced Flight Risk looks up against it dropping down to six furlongs, while Big Time was once a smart juvenile but has to overcome a long absence and was disappointing in his two starts last season. Reverted to sprinting may help, though. Veteran Bold Thady Quill won this very same race two years ago but hasn’t been in any sort of form in most of his last starts. He loves the mud but this is a strong renewal and he may find it beyond him at this stage of his career.

Without a shadow of a doubt the most intriguing runner is the lightly raced Great Minds. Already a five year old, he has seen very little racing, but was highly progressive in his two starts last year. He won two big Curragh Handicaps over six furlongs and showed a preference for cut in the ground. On his seasonal reappearance last week in a hot sprint Handicap, he didn’t get the clearest of runs but finished with promise. Up in class again, he could still improve and most importantly improve past his rivals in this race. With conditions sure to suit, he should go well and looks a very big price.

3.30 Cork: Cork Stakes (listed)
Great Minds @ 8/1 Paddy Power – 5pts win