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Johnny Ward's Irish Angle: Rely on Wembley to score at the Curragh

By Johnny Ward
Fri 17 Jul 2020

With four meetings in Ireland this weekend, there is plenty to analyse. I am on probably the worst run I’ve ever had on the tipping front, but at least I got some consolation this week when punting friends told me similar tales.

That probably doesn’t fill you with confidence, but what happened last week is irrelevant in terms of this week, and there are some nice choices this weekend. Be lucky.

Listen to the On The Wire podcast where Shane Foley discusses Irish Oaks contender Cayenne Pepper plus Barry Geraghty reflects on his career in the saddle

2.05 Tramore: Moll Dote

This is not the strongest contest and only two seem to count - the selection and Escort'namix. On the basis of the prices, and that the new distance will probably suit the selection more than Gordon Elliott’s runner, Moll Dote looks solid each-way value.

2.40 Tramore: Premium Package

It was striking how well-backed this Henry de Bromhead-trained runner was at Roscommon when he faced a really tough task to beat Sneaky Getaway on his hurdling debut. Goodbye Someday looks a flattering bridle horse and Ran Rite was behind the selection at Roscommon, while Desert Island probably achieved little at Tipperary.

3.50 Tramore: China Princess

This bumper winner looked a potential market springer and winner at Bellewstown, when one of those happened and the other did not. She was disappointing there but travelled nicely for much of the race and is clearly considered a lot better than that. She steps forward in distance on Saturday too.

4.15 Curragh: Wembley

Galileo breds out of Holy Roman Emperor mares is, unsurprisingly, bearing dividends.

This one's brother, Johannes Vermeer, was second in the Melbourne Cup three years ago, when three Irish trainers fought out the finish, a staggering achievement that probably did not get the kudos it deserved here.

There's a slight concern about seven furlongs for Wembley as such and he looks a middle-distance horse in the making but, for a Galileo-bred two-year-old trained by Aidan O'Brien, he ran an absolute blinder here first time out.

The newcomers will surely not be good enough to beat him and Colour Sergeant failed to win at Fairyhouse, and the form has been badly let down since. He looks a good thing.

4.25 Tramore: Pretty Fantasy

Cornerkova could double up here for Henry de Bromhead but preference at the prices is for Pretty Fantasy. She was 33-1 on her return, clearly not fancied, but she will be involved on the pick of her form and this looks like a race, limited to mares, that Gavin Cromwell would have targeted.

5.15 Curragh: Sondheim

Sondheim is trained by a really canny operator in Bill Farrell and it was no surprise he progressed for a new distance at Leopardstown, when the winner was absolutely thrown in.

There should be more to come, and Chris Hayes stays loyal. His dam, Senda, was an easy winner here off a higher mark.

5.25 Tramore: Tiantu

Paul Power trains near Tramore and it’s likely he laid this horse out for this race. His only win came in a chase here and he would competitive on that form. Power takes over from a conditional who rode the horse to finish fifth on his Killarney return when he probably wanted a spin.

5.45 Curragh: Surrounding

There are two doubtful stayers here in Buffer Zone and Gustavus Weston, while seven furlongs remains pretty tight for Lancaster House, who produced a superb performance in overcoming that on his reappearance. Surrounding has pretty much everything in her favour and, whilst she should not be good enough, there are enough doubts about the remainder, including Romanised, who has a poor record fresh.

6.45 Curragh: Lucky Vega

Shane Foley was an excellent guest on the On The Wire podcast this week, with his regard for Lucky Vega quite striking. The form of his Naas win over Lipizzaner has worked out well and, given how green he is, and how big he is, there can only be more to come.

7.15 Curragh: Laburnum

I got my fingers burnt when she was touched off at Naas by Even So. Even so, that was a cracking run, and Ger Lyons sees fit to send the more-exposed winner to the Oaks here.

If Laburnum can continue to progress, she is capable of getting involved. She has a cracking attitude and the trip can only suit.

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