Aidan O’Brien has enjoyed a period of unparalleled dominance on Irish Derby day, winning the 1m4f showpiece a whopping eight times in its past nine runnings, but the Ballydoyle handler’s run could be halted by John Gosden’s Jack Hobbs, who finished second in Epsom’s equivalent.
Gosden’s English raider looks the business for the main event at 18.30, but we’ve pulled together a few beauties from the undercard in search of profits at the Curragh.
The presence of O’Brien and Jim Bolger hotpots ensured Tommy Stack inmates Accepted and Torn slipped under the radar in the last two runnings of this race, before winning at 13/2 and 7/1 respectively.
Hopefully we’ll get a three-peat this Saturday, with Bolger sending out unraced filly Adelena, O’Brien represented by Antelope Canyon, who disappointed when dead last in his first run, and Stack duo Aspar and See You In Malta looking to extend the veteran’s fine recent record.
Wayne Lordan takes the ride of Aspar, having ridden the winner of this two years in a row and aboard Walk On Bye for Stack in 2009.
He won’t be a fancy price, but it’s tough to look beyond the mount of Ryan Moore after War Envoy’s stout Britannia Stakes triumph at Royal Ascot.
The three-year-old finished 14th of 14 in his previous race, the Prix Du Jockey Club at Chantilly, but with Moore back in the saddle War Envoy edged a blanket finish in Berkshire at 10/1 odds.
O’Brien horses have won four of the past five runnings of the Curragh’s Celebration Stakes, and 2015’s renewal doesn’t look particularly vintage.
The fact that no trainer (nor any jockey) has managed multiple wins of this handicap over the past 11 seasons gives a clear indication of its pin-sticker nature, and crack combo Dermot Weld and Pat Smullen weren’t among the victors in the last decade or so.
They look to have a sound chance this time round with Katimavik, who could be anything after only running twice, winning a maiden at 2/5 last time out having finished 2½l from first in fourth on debut.
He’s in at a handy weight (fifth-bottom of 15), with two of the past five victors winning off this 8-11 mark or just under it.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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