Expert tips for the final day of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby festival from Fran Berry and Ruby Walsh.
The second race 2:10, the Airlie Stud Stakes are the first to be mentioned on the boy’s agenda and all panel members were very pleased with the quality of this six furlong run, but Ruby kicked things off and feels that It will be hard to look past Aidan O’Brien’s ratings on Favorite Statuette. But called the race “one for horse racing fans”.
Fran Berry was hesitant to recommend anything beyond the favorite, but completed many other runners. But it looks like Stauette is losing in this one.
It’s another six-league journey with Sherry FitzGerald Country Homes Handicap. Ruby is out of contention for this one as her Goodnight Girl pick which she thinks would work well in the soft has been pulled. Fran liked the favorite Heavenly Power ridden by Conor Hoban and he feels that this horse has improved a lot and should bring him victory in this one.
Fran’s first runner to mention was 16-1 shot Laugh a Minute who could run a big run in this one, but the two handicappers at the forefront of his mind in this one were coached extra by Sarah Lynam at 5- 1 and Alligator Alley formerly trained by Joseph O’Brien and now by David O’Meara who sits at 6-1. A big open race when it comes to betting.
Experts have mentioned the English who are generally successful on Irish soil at these handicaps although this has declined in recent years. Ruby, although unaware of it at the time, went for the favorite at the time of writing 9-2 shot Erosandpsyche. Ruby cited the higher horse draw for this one, especially if it’s raining.
3h45, The big race
The big final day race of the Curragh, the Group 1 Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes. The general consensus was that this one is a “cracker” race and displays a good mix of Irish and English horses.
La Petite Coco was the favorite at the start of the week but has since drifted to third in betting at 5-1. The current top two in betting are both coached by England’s William Haggas with My Astra and Purplepay sitting 3-1 and 10-3 respectively.
But it’s My Astra that’s Fran Berry’s choice for this one. Ruby stayed away from all of the aforementioned choices and discussions and opted for Concert Hall. The three-year-old is trained by Aidan O’Brien and ridden by Ryan Moore. Ruby counts the mile and two furlongs will fit the concert hall and the filly currently sits at 11-2.
Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Ragusa” Handicap and not much love from the start for Willie Mullins’ Berkshire Royal who Ruby described as “lots of ability but has his problems” and the 22-1 prize likely reflects that.
Ruby opted for Dancila and it’s a second bad luck for the Kildare man’s choice as Dancila has since been removed.
Fran’s choice fell on Michael Halford’s horse which is drawn in stall two for this one and which is Golden Twilight. Fran cited the horse’s first victory at Dundalk, a track where he won twice. 16-1 shot which could be worth it either way according to our expert.
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