Irish Eyes: Trust in-form Weld
Our profitable Irish Eyes column picks out two bets for today's classy meeting from the Curragh.
Dermot Weld has his team in good form
Nap: Eziyra, 2.40 Curragh
Next Best: Adool, 3.50 Curragh
Dermot Weld has his string in quite phenomenal form at the moment with five winners, a second, a third and two fourth places from his last ten runners, hence his runners are the obvious starting point for today's classy meeting at the Curragh.
The first of his three runners, Eziyra, was deeply impressive when slamming Hydrangea at Galway, despite a poor draw on that occasion.
She did, rather ominously, swish her tail once she hit the front but as it was only her second run, we can give her the benefit of the doubt for the moment and put it down to greenness, particularly in light of how the form has worked out.
Hydrangea was a well backed winner of the Loder EBF Fillies race at the Curragh since and followed that up with a fast finishing head second in last weekend's Group 2 Debutante Stakes here as well. Simply put, that is exceptional form to take into this Group 3 Flame Of Tara EBF Stakes. The John Oxx-trained Sea Of Grace beat Eziyra at Tipperary, and had another two of today's rivals behind that day too, in Butterflies and Bound, and therefore she has already beaten half of today's six-runner field.
One glance at a replay of that race will reveal it was plain that Sea Of Grace was out to win that day while Eziyra was simply out for a quiet debut with the Galway maiden in mind. During the subsequent, inevitable stewards enquiry, the jockey revealed he was instructed not to use his whip, something the trainer's representative also confirmed, and that was the end of the matter! When you throw in the fact that Sea Of Grace would probably prefer softer ground and that the drying out ground will suit Eziyra better (as a daughter of Teofilo), Weld's filly gets the vote to reverse the form with the John Oxx-trained juvenile this afternoon.
In the next Group 3 race on the card, the Snow Fairy Fillies' Stakes, Weld runs Adool, coincidentally another daughter of Teofilo. Following her maiden debut win, she ran a corker against the colts when finishing third in the Group 3 Meld Stakes at Leopardstown before winning the Listed Hurry Harriet Stakes at Gowran on only her third start over half-a-furlong farther than today's trip. That is significant given two of her main rivals are dropping back to 9f from the 12f Oaks trip.
Somehow is a strange one as she looked under pressure and slightly one-paced when winning the Cheshire Oaks at just short of 12f before acting as a pacemaker for Minding in the Epsom Oaks where she finished fourth (beaten 24 lengths). Wearing a first-time visor, she led just under 2f out in the Give Thanks Stakes before being run out of it by her stablemate in the closing stages and going down by under a length. She sports a visor again today and the stiff nature of the Curragh will probably play more to her strengths rather than Cork.
Skiffle went into the Epsom Oaks as short as 5/1 off the back of a one-length victory in a Listed race at Goodwood and despite being held up to get the trip, she was still beaten by the pace-making Somehow that day and it's difficult to see how she will reverse the form for all that Skiffle has Somehow's measure on a strict line of form thorough Play Gal.
All things considered, Somehow looks the best filly in the field but the lightly-raced Adool has the potential to be better and at the prices, it's worth taking a chance with the Weld filly.