Irish Derby Betting Tips Gp1 1m4f Curragh Saturday – Last week’s selection, Magical Memory, gave us a good run for our money when finishing fourth, 1/2L behind the winner in the Golden Jubilee Stakes. He lost ground at the start and despite making eye catching progress in the middle of the contest couldn’t quite get there. Dettori reported him unsuited by the softish ground, so given faster conditions at Headquarters next month he’s definitely one to bear in mind for The July Cup. Oddsguru’s E.W. Selection, Gold-Fun, also put in a fine display, finishing second at 7/1 as he also was unsuited by conditions.
Conditions in Ireland for the 160th renewal of the Irish Derby should be on the easy side as there has been plenty of rain about, putting a strong emphasis on stamina. Aidan O’Brien, who amazingly has won eleven of the last twenty runnings, is likely to be four handed. As well as the Epsom Derby runner up, US Army Ranger, and third, Idaho, he also fields the two Epsom “also rans” Port Douglas and Shogun.
The eagerly awaited rematch between US Army Ranger and his Epsom conquerer Harzand may be in some doubt, as the latter’s handler, Dermot Weld, fears that his Epsom hero may not be sufficiently recovered from the hard race he had. Also having sustained that injury to his hoof on Derby Day he had to have recourse to antibiotics to prevent the spread of infection, further adding to Dermots concerns. On a more positive note he feels that the horses condition has improved in recent days, with any weight loss regained, and is now working well, so hopefully he will turn up at the weekend.
He will certainly have to be at his best to confirm the Epsom form over US Army Ranger who despite three previous runs did show real signs of inexperience on the Surrey helter skelter. Slowly away he raced in the final trio and was actually last of the sixteen runners turning into the straight. He couldn’t get a run at the 3f marker and had to be switched right with 2f to go where he made impressive ground to get to Harzand but started to hang left down that infamous sloping finish and was beaten 1 1/2L. With the experience gained at Epsom and racing on the Curragh’s expansive level galloping track the O’Brien Colt is going to be a tough nut to crack.
This is no two horse race however as the O’Brien “second string” Idaho has plenty to recommend him. He ran a fine race on his seasonal debut at Leopardstown in April, where despite getting very upset in the stalls, he got to within 1 1/4L of Harzand who had the benefit of a previous outing. The third horse that day, Beacon Rock was a further 7 1/2L back, and as he went on to win the Gallinule stakes and finish second in the King Edward V11 stakes at Royal Ascot last week the form looks pretty impressive. Idaho ran another good race next time in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown, where, given plenty to do he ran on well to finish third over an inadequate 1m2f. He doesn’t have a great deal to find with the two principles and it would come as no great surprise to see the son of Galileo involved at the business end at the weekend.
The beautifully bred Moonlight Magic was a huge disappointment at Epsom, trailing in last of the sixteen runners, but I do recall stable jockey Kevin Manning suggesting prior to Epsom that the Colt would be better suited by the Curragh. He had won his previous race, “The Derrinstown” in real battling style from Shogun and Idaho which elicited the comment from Jim Bolger that he was “comparable to his previous winner of the Derrinstown, and 1992 Irish Derby hero, St Jovite at this stage of his career” so we can only believe that the Epsom run was too bad to be true. His excellent trainer has won the Irish Derby twice, so the son of Cape Cross, whose dam Melikah is a daughter of the 1995 Derby winner Lammtara and is herself out of the brood mare celebrity, Urban Sea, (dam of Galileo and Sea The Stars) is hard to ignore.
Selection : US Army Ranger