Betfred’s Owen McMahon picks out his best bet from all eight meetings in the UK & Ireland on Saturday 22 July 2023. 

NAP of the Day

  • 2.00 Curragh – Pearls And Rubies @ 11/10

I’m hoping what could be a big day for Aidan O’Brien, who bids for a record-breaking 7th Irish Oaks success, at The Curragh on Saturday begins with a bang courtesy of PEARLS AND RUBIES in the G3 Anglesey Stakes at 2.00.

After winning what’s proved to be an above-average maiden over the minimum trip at Navan in June, the two-year-old daughter of No Nay Never was thrown into Listed company at Royal Ascot for the Chesham Stakes. Having been well-supported before the off, she went very close, going down narrowly by only a head to Gavin Cromwell’s Snellen.

My initial response to that race was a negative one, but I have to say the early signs are much more promising.

Odyssey, who dead-heated for third, has since run well behind the very exciting City Of Troy in the G2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last weekend – while fifth-placed Hot Fuss won a Salisbury novice by a widening 5½L.

I think this slight drop back in trip to an extended 6f will really suit Pearls And Rubies, who clearly has plenty of speed. She’s also clearly very well-regarded, for that was some plunge before the off in the Chesham.

One question mark is how she’ll cope with the rain-softened ground – although, as is often the case in these juvenile races, that also applies to the majority of the rest of the field. File that under ‘we won’t know till we know’.

It’s hard to know what to make of her seven rivals for this Group 3 contest, but based on the all the usual criteria like breeding, connections and of course what we’ve seen on the track so far, I’d be disappointed if Ryan Moore’s mount can’t win – and win well.

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