Betfred’s Owen McMahon picks out his best bet from all nine meetings across the UK & Ireland on Saturday 19 August 2023.

NAP of the Day

  • 4.00 Curragh – Pearls And Rubies @ 5/2

Before I explain the reasoning behind my fancy for the ‘Debutante Stakes’, can we recognise what a terribly-named event that is? Not a single one in the field. Anyway…

This is mainly about the top two in the betting. In the Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot it was Gavin Cromwell’s Snellen who just got the better of the strongly-fancied PEARLS AND RUBIES for Aidan O’Brien – but at The Curragh on Saturday, I’m hopeful the latter can reverse the form.

I thought the two-year-old daughter of No Nay Never threw the race away at Ascot. Not to take anything away from the winner, but she drifted right across the track under Ryan Moore before being headed late on.

She then went to The Curragh to take in the G3 Anglesey Stakes exactly four weeks ago and was a little disappointing. I NAP’d her that day, but in hindsight the combination of a drop in trip and softer ground probably didn’t suit.

A return to 7f on better ground is therefore a positive, and I think there’s every chance she may have improved her Royal Ascot conqueror with that little bit more experience under her belt.

I said it was mainly about the top two in the market, because I wouldn’t rule out Willie McCreery’s Vespertilio, who was a very credible second to Aidan’s supremely-exciting Ylang Ylang at Leopardstown a few weeks ago. That’s strong form and any significant money for her should be taken seriously.

As for the other five, I’d frankly be disappointed if they were to beat the selection, who could have Group 1 aspirations later in the season if she can take this.

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