The second day of the Irish Champions Festival takes place at the Curragh on Sunday and Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway returns to mark your card.
The Moyglare ‘Jewels'’ Blandford Stakes (2.25) is one of the better betting races on a tricky card at the Curragh and it’s worth taking a chance on the three-year-old Never Ending Story.
The daughter of Dubawi has shown most of her best form on soft ground and won on heavy at Leopardstown in April before twice running well in the French Classics.
She was fifth in the Pouliches at Longchamp and second to Blue Rose Cen in the Prix de Diane at Chantilly.
That is among the best form on offer in this Group 2 and there is good reason to believe the switch to quick conditions will suit Never Ending Story.
Dubawi’s progeny usually act on fast going and her dam, Athena, landed a Grade 1 at Belmont Park on firm ground five years ago.
Never Ending Story has been well held on her last three starts, but all of those poor runs came in Group 1s and this is a significant drop in class. She looks capable of taking full advantage.
I was confident that Art Power would win the Al Basti Equiworld, Dubai Flying Five Stakes (2.55) until I saw the dry weather forecast and, if the ground comes up quick, he will surely have trouble keeping tabs on Highfield Princess. She is set to bounce back to winning ways.
Highfield Princess would probably prefer slower ground herself, but she has better form on fast going than Art Power and is also the natural five-furlong horse, so should be too quick.
She won this race last year, so we know she handles the track, and her latest second behind Live In The Dream on quick ground at York confirms she hasn’t lost any pace.
She had Bradsell three-quarters of a length behind that day and should be up to confirming the form.
Bradsell did race in the centre of the track, away from Highfield Princess and Live In The Dream, but even taking that into account it’s fair to argue the selection is value for the result.
Highfield Princess had previously shown her best when running away with the King George at Goodwood and, if she can get anywhere near that sort of form, she should win this again.
Kyprios is a warm order for the Comer Group International Irish St. Leger (4.35) and will be hard to beat if he is at his best, but his physical problems have been well documented and he may not be fully wound up after 344 days off.
The ground might also be quicker than he prefers.
Eldar Eldarov is the obvious alternative as he does like fast ground, but he has been disappointing this season and maybe Emily Dickinson will be the one to beat Kyprios.
She would also prefer slower ground, but did finish three places ahead of Eldar Eldarov when they met in the Gold Cup at Ascot and that was on good to firm.
The result also went Emily Dickinson’s way when the pair finished second and fourth at Goodwood on their latest runs.
Her pedigree also points to quick conditions proving no problem as her classy dam, Chicquita, was successful in the Irish Oaks at this course on good to firm 10 years ago.
Emily Dickinson is 2-3 at this venue, including one win over course and distance, and her last two victories here have been achieved by a combined margin of eight and a half lengths.
She clearly loves the track and is a better horse than Eldar Eldarov judging on this season’s form.