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Johnny Ward's Irish Angle: Sheehy and Never the perfect combo at the Curragh

By Johnny Ward
Sat 27 Jun 2020

What a weekend of racing in Ireland and such a shame people are barred from going, including owners, though they can soon return to the track, which is good news.

The ground will probably be almost perfect at the Curragh, with a captivating Irish Derby for all that it is not a high-quality one on paper.

Let's hope this column can make a belated return to form; some strong fancies here. Be lucky.

Listen to our dedicated Irish racing podcast, On The Wire, which includes a full preview of the Irish Derby


4.45 Curragh: Sir Dragonet at a general 11-8

Having gone nought from five since he was catapulted into Derby favouritism a year ago, the Camelot-bred is the type layers will want to take on here at a shade of odds against, but I do not see him as ungenuine and he should win.

Tactically, Seamie Heffernan has to deal with three of the other four runners being trained by Joseph O’Brien, but Sir Dragonet cannot be as inconvenienced as he was at Ascot when having to come from so far back.

6.15 Curragh: No Needs Never at 14-1 with William Hill and Ladbrokes

No Needs Never finished fourth at Limerick last time out

At the 20-1 available, Titanium Sky is tempting, but No Needs Never is an interesting runner.

He travels really strongly but has not had many chances in handicaps like this one and I’m a massive fan of his rider, Mikey Sheehy, who is possibly the best value for a 7lb claim in Ireland.

7.15 Curragh: Fiscal Rules at a general 7-1

This is a weak Irish Derby, but a massive field and a scatter of trainers represented makes it alluring, for different reasons.

Click here to view out Irish Derby runner-by-runner guide.

Anything could win it within reason, but surely Fiscal Rules’ chance is stronger than his prices suggests.

He is a half-brother to Cimeara, who was by a limited sire in Vocalised yet won a Group Three over a mile and six.

Fiscal Rules is by a really promising sire in Make Believe and he really should have no problem getting a mile and a half. Jim Bolger told the On The Wire Podcast that he is better than Trading Leather, who won a seemingly stronger Irish Derby than this.

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