Curragh Tips: Three to follow on Irish 2000 Guineas day

 | Friday 24th May 2024, 19:59pm

Friday 24th May 2024, 19:59pm

The Curragh Racecourse

The seven-race card at The Curragh on Saturday features the Irish 2000 Guineas, which sees Rosallion and Haatem - second and third in the British version - take on a trio for the maestro Aidan O'Brien.

One of my Curragh tips goes in the big one - while I've got another couple of fancies elsewhere on the card, which runs from 13:20-17:25.

Curragh Tips

  • 13:55 - Midnight Strike @ 5/2
  • 15:40 - Mountain Bear e/w @ 18/1
  • 16:50 - Follow Me @ 9/2

13:55 - Midnight Strike @ 5/2

Aidan O'Brien's Camille Pissarro is likely to attract substantial support ahead of the G3 Marble Hill Stakes. He was a comfortable winner on his debut at Navan last month and is, at time of publication, antepost favourite for the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot.

However, his form isn't working out too well. The runner-up New Theory, who was only a length-and-a-half behind, and the third-placed Dr Ali, beaten just under three lengths, were subsequently beaten in ordinary contests.

While there's no doubt lots of improvement to come from Aidan's runner, I'd rather chance MIDNIGHT STRIKE for his son Joseph.

The Starspangledbanner colt was a rather impressive debutant over the minimum trip here at The Curragh just over a month ago, beating O'Brien senior's well-supported Treasure Isle, who franked the form at Naas last weekend.

After his debut victory, Joseph called him an "Ascot type horse" who "looks very smart" and I agree. I'm hopeful he can put it up to the favourite, with the step up to six furlongs looking sure to suit.

15:40 - Mountain Bear e/w @ 18/1

Rosallion, who was runner-up in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket earlier this month, is the one to beat in the Irish edition.

Richard Hannon's Blue Point colt was comfortably ahead of stablemate Haatem at HQ, so I fully expect that form to be confirmed - and Aidan O'Brien has warned that Unquestionable, who was beaten by Rosallion as a juvenile, is "going to need the run badly".

River Tiber is, on jockey bookings at least, the pick of the O'Brien trio, but he has to prove he stays as he's yet to race over further than six furlongs.

I therefore can't put anyone off backing Rosallion, who has an outstanding chance. However, I think O'Brien's MOUNTAIN BEAR is overpriced and rates a strong each-way bet.

The son of No Nay Never was a consistent juvenile but ultimately he only won two of his eight appearances and consistently fell short in group company.

However, his final run of the season, when second to stablemate Unquestionable in the G1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf on his first try over a mile, was a huge run that suggested a fruitful three-year-old campaign lies ahead.

He was arguably unlucky not to win in the States too. After breaking slowly, he raced widest of all round the bend and from there he simply didn't have enough time to catch the eventual winner.

Given that and what's been said about the fitness levels of Unquestionable, I can't understand why the selection is more than twice the price.

He's worth chancing to at least make the frame - but hopefully he can provide trainer Aidan O'Brien a record-extending 13th success in the race.

16:50 - Follow Me @ 9/2

Finally, I'm suggesting FOLLOW ME in the card's penultimate contest - a competitive three-year-old handicap over seven furlongs.

Following a decent juvenile campaign in France, he was sold for €170,000 and sent to County Kildare handler Ross O'Sullivan for whom he made a great start, winning a 14-runner maiden here at The Curragh last month.

That form is strong. The runner-up Eclipse Emerald and third-placed Krotez Boy were first and second respectively, off marks of 89 and 85, in a handicap at Naas the other week - while Betsen, who finished fourth, was second by just a head in Listed company next time to earn a new rating of 102.

Perhaps generously, the selection's rating (93) hasn't been touched ahead of his first venture into handicap company.

Off an unchanged mark, with that run under his belt and with the talented Billy Lee in the plate, I expect him to be very competitive.

Find more Horse Racing Tips here at Betfred Insights

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