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Saturday horse racing tips: Two best bets for the Curragh

By Johnny Ward
Sat 17 Jul 2021

Our Irish racing expert Johnny Ward looks ahead to brilliant Oaks winner Snowfall bidding for a Classic double in Saturday's Juddmonte Irish Oaks and shares two fancies on an excellent card at the Curragh, live on Racing TV and Racing TV Extra.

Where does one find Snowfall in a heatwave? Why, at the Curragh this Saturday, of course.

As I enjoyed Japan's gritty win at Leopardstown on Thursday, a thought came to mind: how strong might the Irish Champion Stakes be in September even if only Aidan O'Brien were allowed to have runners? Japan and Broome would probably go off huge prices, considering they would have to deal with Love, Snowfall, St Mark's Basilica and Bolshoi Ballet. Santa Barbara might as well run too. Hell, why not add Hong Kong Vase hero Mogul in to make it an each-way heat?

Snowfall's Juddmonte Irish Oaks is a relatively uninteresting renewal saved for the quest to find out whether Epsom might have been a bit too good to believe. Her progression since a forgettable two-year-old campaign has been utterly incredible.

Here are two that would not quite have her ability, but a winner is a winner.

WATCH: Tune into the On The Wire video podcast for more top tips for the Curragh this weekend

1.45 Curragh: Admiral D

Michael O'Callaghan does not tend to run horses in races in which they have no chance, so it's interesting that he brought Admiral D to Royal Ascot a month ago for a shot at the Windsor Castle.

He was not disgraced on that occasion, but the key to this race might be his comfortable Listowel win over Threebagsfull when conceding 4lb. Threebagsfull might have improved past him, but having to give Admiral D 3lb means he looks odds-against in the rematch. His sire Ardad is having a fine rookie campaign and Admiral D remains a nice prospect in an ordinary nursery for the track.

4.35 Curragh: Zofannien

We can see that these smart hurdlers reverting to the Flat can not work out - note the tame effort midweek of Jeff Kidder. But this is not over a staying trip and Zoffanien has all the gears to get the job done. One assumes he is bound for the Galway Hurdle and, while that implies he won't be 100 per cent here, he won't be far off. This is not a strong race and he just needs to produce a decent performance to win it off 83.

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