Joseph O’Brien Curragh Runners Preview

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Hoping for some promise to build on

13:50 – Dark Vader and No Days Off

Dark Vader and No Days Off are two nice colts that are just ready to start off. They have shown enough pace to suggest that six furlongs will be a good starting point for them. Hopefully they both show promise and offer something to build on going forward. £100 Cash

Clarinet the pick of our trio if draw isn't a problem

14:20 – Little Clarinet, Syrena and Marylebone

Little Clarinet has made a solid start for us and was probably a bit unlucky to end up in the wrong group when the field divided on her latest start. She ended up the best of those on her side, but that was only good enough for fourth overall. She is drawn over that side again here, but hopefully the race is a bit more evenly run and she goes close.

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Syrena won a maiden a couple of starts back at Dundalk and we were keen to try her at six furlongs last time. She didn't get much luck in running there, so we'll give her another go at it here, but her draw doesn't appear to be that good. Hopefully it doesn't hold her back too much and she runs well.

Marylebone was picked up for small money last year and we've given him time since his last run. This trip might be a bit of a sharp side for him, but it's a good starting point for the season and hopefully he'll show promise with a view to the future.

Fillie mile winner can go close if back to her best

16:25 – Iridessa

Iridessa came out of her run in the 1000 Guineas in very good shape. She surprised us by getting a little bit unbalanced in the dip there, as she had handled it well when winning the Fillies Mile. I don't think we've seen the best of her this season yet and I think the Curragh will suit her. Wayne Lordan takes over the ride from Donnacha and he knows her well having won the Fillies Mile on her. Back at her very best, she would have a fair chance of being seriously involved, so hopefully she'll get back to that level and run a big one.

Draw and ground gives her a good chance

17:00 – Crotchet

Crotchet is a lovely filly that has run very well in her two starts since joining us. While she has gone up 4lb without winning, I think there is more improvement in her. We have declared a tongue tie on her which is something we do a lot of. The view we tend to take with tongue ties is that they are highly unlikely to be detrimental to them, but it could well be a help to them, so we aren't shy about trying them. This firmer ground should be a big help to her and she has a good draw, so I'd give her a good chance even in what is a very competitive race.

No stand-outs among our three but we're hopeful

17:30 – Chess Grand Master, Rockabill and Shakespear'sgalley

Chess Grand Master did well to win twice at Dundalk earlier this year, but his last couple of runs suggest the handicapper might have a bit of a hold of him. This course and distance should suit him and hopefully I'm wrong about his mark, but we'll be sending him out in more hope than confidence.


Rockabill won two handicaps for us last year. We started him back over a mile at the Curragh and he only ran OK. He steps right up in trip to two miles here and wouldn't be certain to stay this far, but we'll give it a go and see how he gets on.

Shakespear'sgalley made it fifth-time lucky when winning a handicap at Killarney last time. That was a big improvement from him and he clearly stays very well. He has gone up 6lb and this is a much better race, but hopefully he can improve enough to be competitive.

Big horses in one for the future

18:00 – Clarendon

Clarendon is a huge horse that has taken time to come to himself. He shapes like a staying type of horse and we'll just be looking for him to show some promise with a view to the future.

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