Irish Derby Weekend Best Bets – The Top Three

Newbury Lockinge Day

It’s Irish Derby Weekend and our The Top Three column had a good time of things in the English equivalent a few weeks ago.

Although Waipiro didn’t handle the test of the Derby at Epsom, victory for Prosperous Voyage in the Princess Elizabeth Stakes and a placed effort for Silver Sword in the Lester Piggott Handicap made it a profitable day.

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After a tough Royal Ascot, the P&L is still positive at +2.85 points and with a good weekend of racing ahead, here are my three best fancies.

 

12:20 Newcastle – BATAL DUBAI @ 13/2 with BoyleSports – 1pt EW

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Racing starts early at 12:20 this week on ITV Racing and it’s Harry and Roger Charlton’s BATAL DUBAI that caught my attention in the opener.

The Profitable three-year-old colt has only raced five times so far, winning three of them, and has former champion jockey Oisin Murphy in the saddle for the first time.

Although disappointing on his last two runs, one took place on heavy ground at Newbury and the over saw him miss the break at Windsor.

Furthermore, the £30,000 handicap contest gives three-year-olds a six-pound allowance and both he and Animate will benefit from it.

With race fitness on his side and, in my books, still relatively unexposed at six furlongs on quick ground, the 13/2 with BoyleSports is attractive for Batal Dubai.

 

12:55 Newcastle – MOUNT ATHOS @ 5/1 with BetVictor – 2pt Win

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At an ante-post stage, El Caballo at 4/1 was my main interest in the Chipchase Stakes, as discussed on the Only Fools Love Horses Podcast.

However, as mentioned in my Ante-post Analysis article on Wednesday, the best value in the race was MOUNT ETHOS at 8/1.

Fast-forward two days and that has turned into a truthful statement as James Tate’s four-year-old is a best-priced 9/2 with William Hill for this weekend.

My explanation behind his chance this weekend is included in the Ante-post Analysis article, which you can read to see why I like him as a 50/1 shot for the July Cup.

Now that declarations are in for the Chipchase Stakes, I see that he could be the likely pace angle in the contest.

Of the dead-eight runners, the Dark Angel colt won both of his starts at Kempton when racing from the front and only Brad The Brief and Prince Of Pillo look like horses who could lead, but most of their success has come from sitting in-behind leaders.

Therefore, if Mount Athos gets an easy lead from the front, he could be hard to peg back on his return to six furlongs under Neil Callan.

 

3:25 Curragh – ABOVE THE CURVE @ 5/2 with BetVictor – 3pt Win

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My final fancy comes in the first Group 1 of the weekend as I’ve turned to ABOVE THE CURVE in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

Although she is the current favourite at 5/2, if she had opened up at 7/4, I wouldn’t have looked twice as she is the proven best horse in the race

Although she is the only Group 1 winner in the race, won a Group 2 with ease last time out, and will be partnered by the best jockey in the world, Ryan Moore, she seems underestimated in the market.

Admittedly, Via Sistina was very impressive at Newmarket last time out, however, I would like to see her do it again before trusting the performance especially due to the fact she will be racing on a much quicker surface.

She does have good ground form, but it hasn’t been at this level and by Fastnet Rock, I’d have a concern on that side of things.

Then at 5/1 is Never Ending Story, a horse Moore would have had the option to ride, but he is jumping on Joseph O’Brien’s contender rather than siding with the younger Dubawi filly for Joseph’s dad, Aidan.

And although Above The Curve has performed best on soft ground, her pedigree of American Pharoah out of a Galileo mare suggests the better surface shouldn’t be an issue and at 5/2, she could be the class act of the race.

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