Irish Eyes: In a Spin
Our Irish Eyes columnist has two selections from today's card at the Curragh with features the Irish Cesarewitch.
Willie Mullins can hit the target in the big race at the Curragh
Most normal humans regard death and taxes as the only two certainties in life, but the majority of Irish race fans would also throw Aidan O'Brien into the mix during the summer months and Willie Mullins once the temperature drops below 20 degrees.
O'Brien is within touching distance of Bobby Frankel's world record of Flat Group/Grade One winners of 25 following his Dewhurst 1-2 yesterday whilst Mullins has established an amazing record of 33 wins at the highest level.
Not only that but both trainers have recorded winners at the highest level under both Flat and National Hunt rules in 2016 with O'Brien having taken the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham, in the process denying Mullins a 1-2-3 in the race.
Mullins got his own back however when his Wicklow Brave turned over O'Brien's 1/7 favourite Order Of St George to land the Irish St Leger last month.
Today's feature at race at headquarters is the Irish Cesarewitch and there are numerous reasons to concentrate on the Mullins-trained Laws Of Spin in the €100,000 handicap.
First of all – and this is something that will likely be repeated on numerous occasions over the coming months – Mullins has his string in top form with four of his last six runners having won (the other two finished second and third). Secondly, three-year-old's have a very good record in this event having won three of the last six running's and four of the last eight if you want to go further back.
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Most importantly, Mullins – who is chasing his third Cesarewitch in nine years – supplies a rapidly improving handicapper who has scraped into this by the skin of his teeth. Laws Of Spin had five runs as a 2yo and finished the season with one second place to his name and a rating of 75.
The application of a tongue-tie following a nine-month break saw him record his first win off top weight in Ballinrobe, despite stumbling inside the final furlong. Raised 7lbs for that win, he stepped up in trip by no less than five furlongs to win at Leopardstown. Not only did he seemingly improve for the longer trip but that run suggested the extra furlong today will prove no hindrance whatsoever.
On his form, Pyromaniac has an obvious chance but the official ratings only have him a mere 3lbs higher than Laws Of Spin but due to his 3yo allowance, the latter is in fact in receipt of a full stone from the favourite. Ireland's answer to Franny Norton, Chris 'Chesney' Hayes takes the reins today and with Sky Bet going 8/1 in addition to offering five places, Laws Of Spin gets the vote.
Earlier in the afternoon, Kevin Prendergast's Bebhinn makes each-way appeal in the Listed Waterford Testimonial Stakes.
A talented 2yo last season, she was only just touched off by a colt on her debut before hacking up in a fillies' maiden. On her third start, she won the Listed Blenheim Stakes at Fairyhouse and the third home that day, Miss Katie Mae, was only just touched off in a valuable Listed event at Belmont Park last month.
As with the aforementioned Laws Of Spin, Bebhinn was also off the track for a nine-month period following her juvenile campaign and she returned in a hot Listed event at the Curragh on Derby weekend. Having stumbled upon leaving the stalls, she ran with credit to finish just over four length's off the winner that day Toscanini, seemingly not seeing out the 6f trip.
On her only other star this year, she was slowly away and was settled at the back of the field, presumably to help her see out the 6f trip upped into Group 3 company. She stayed on well from the back that day to finish fifth, doing all her best work at the finish.
Dropped back into a Listed event this afternoon, she should have learnt enough to show herself in a better light today and appeals as a value each-way selection at 12/1.
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