Johnny Ward's Irish Angle: Court can lay down the law at Tipperary

By Johnny Ward
Fri 19 Jul 2019

The Curragh will have a new racecourse manager next year, as Derek McGrath announced last weekend that he will depart before 2020.

It is a sad conclusion to his tenure, which has been turbulent. Perhaps McGrath, an outsider, needed more time to even begin to understand the nuances of politics and everything else in Irish racing.

It goes without writing that the Curragh holds enormous potential – it would want to, having had so much money spent on it – and those who have abandoned the track need to be cajoled back.

They will be treated to a cracker ff they attend for Saturday's Irish Oaks, and hopefully the future is bright.

Here are my best bets for the action in Ireland this weekend. Best of luck.


5.10 Curragh: Trethias at 20-1 with Bet365 and Sky Bet

Being by Invincible Spirit, there remains a doubt about a mile and a half for this filly, but her price more than compensates.

She hammered the very well-regarded favourite, Search For A Song, who is also interesting at a price here, over Naas' stiff ten furlongs last time, and her finishing kick will be lethal here if she can last it out.

Her price relative to the favourite, Pink Dogwood, is certainly questionable. The latter is nought from three at the Curragh, including a heavy defeat to Trethias in a two-year-old maiden.

A strong pace – probably assured – is key to the chance of the selection.

5.45 Curragh: Bay Hill at 10-1 with Bet365

Aine O'Connor will be in good heart after her recent engagement to Slippers Madden and young trainer Paudie Roche will be keen to join in the celebrations.

Bay Hill was sent off at 20-1 when second over course and distance under O'Connor in August last year and he is merely 5lb higher here, despite having thrived for Roche and won nicely on the level last time.

He can go well, with the in-form O'Connor a big asset in a race like this.


1.40 Tipperary: Make My Heart Fly

Make My Heart Fly has done really well for Gordon Elliott and deserves a change of fortune as she seemed certain to win when falling on her return and was beaten a neck last time out.

She is admirably versatile regarding her trip and the booking of Davy Russell is a pointer to her chance. She also jumps well.

2.00 Curragh: Na Blianta Beo

Na Blianta Beo is a speculative choice here. She has never run, but what's not to like?

She is by Invincible Spirit out of Jim Bolger's brilliant Finsceal Beo, making her a half-sister to Ol' Man River, among others.

Blissful's price is likely to make this an appealing each-way betting race, and the likely favourite could prove vulnerable dropping back to six furlongs.

4.20 Curragh: Anythingyouwantobe

Anythingyouwantobe is by Invincible Spirit's brilliant son, Kingman. She failed to win for Ger Lyons, which is a worry, but both runs for that stable - on the all-weather - were excellent.

She could be very well-treated after a fine run at Sligo where she was not given a hard time, and top apprentice Andy Slattery now takes over.

4.30 Tipperary: Killiney Court

Killiney Court is probably a better chaser, so it was encouraging how well he performed on his return in an admittedly moderate handicap hurdle at Downpatrick where he never really looked in danger.

There is a concern Wishmoor might pester him here, but this course-and-distance winner can follow up under Hugh Morgan.

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