NAP of the Day: British raider can take Irish Derby

 | Saturday 29th June 2024, 15:22pm

Saturday 29th June 2024, 15:22pm

Owen McMahon's NAP of the Day

The highlight of Today's Horse Races is undoubtedly the Irish Derby at The Curragh, which is due off at 16:05.

Sunday's feature sees the Betfred Derby second and third renew rivalries - and it's the former who rates my NAP of the Day.

NAP of the Day

  • 16:05 Curragh - Ambiente Friendly @ 5/4

Eight colts go to post for the Irish Classic and according to the 16:05 Curragh Odds it revolves heavily around two of them.

Ambiente Friendly, who was runner-up at Epsom, is our 5/4 favourite at time of publication with Los Angeles, who was third on the Downs, not far behind at 7/4.

The latter - a son of Camelot trained by the maestro Aidan O'Brien who boasts an outstanding 15 Irish Derby victories - was actually one of my two selections for the Betfred Derby, but despite giving a good account of himself he ultimately came up short with few excuses.

He was beaten over three lengths by the reopposing AMBIENTE FRIENDLY and I see no reason why that form should be reversed.

James Fanshawe's Gleneagles colt went into the English Derby having somewhat surprisingly won the Lingfield trial in emphatic fashion. It looked a top-class performance and the clock backed it up.

Despite that, I still wasn't completely sold due to the strength of that Listed race. He made a believer out of me on the big day, though.

He was the only horse still on the bridle approaching the two-furlong pole, looking like the probable winner until City Of Troy, who as they say could be absolutely anything, came rattling home under Ryan Moore.

Still, that was an excellent effort and barring any significant improvement from the aforementioned Los Angeles, who was comfortably inferior, all the selection has to do as far as I'm concerned is reproduce that run.

That's due to the relative weakness of his other six rivals. Roger Varian's Matsuri won a Leicester novice by a widening eight lengths last time out and also fits under the 'could be anything' bracket, but that form is incomparable to this and the handicapper has him needing to improve at least 16lbs.

O'Brien's second-string Grosvenor Square also leaves a lot to be desired, which can also be said about the other two Ballydoyle runners.

Sunway is closest to the market leaders going on official ratings, but he'll need the rain to keep falling. If it does indeed arrive in substantial quantities, he's overpriced and worth an each-way saver.

Rank outsider Keeper's Heart is, as his position in the betting suggests, hard to advise.

We know that racing is rarely as straightforward as it can often look on paper, but Ambiente Friendly is comfortably the top-rated horse in the field and he's already beaten his main danger with a degree of ease. He should be tough to beat.

Ambiente Friendly to win the 16.05 Curragh at 5-4

Tune into Betfred Insights regularly to find our NAP of the Day

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