The opening day of the Curragh's three-day Irish Derby meeting is an intriguing seven-race card on Friday evening and Racing Post tipster Robbie Wilders has picked out his best bets.
Ice Cold In Alex @ 7/1
Temple Of Artemis @ 9/2
Coventry @ 20/1
The 7f handicap (6.08) is Ice Cold In Alex's bread and butter and he could be poised to roll back the years at a course he has recorded three of his four turf victories at.
The Ken Condon-trained eight-year-old won this in good style last year off the same mark under high-class apprentice Joey Sheridan, who retains the ride.
Ice Cold In Alex's last-time-out seventh at Leopardstown was a significant upgrade on his previous three efforts this season and he was dropped another 1lb for the run, so everything seems to be falling into place.
High-draws held sway in this last season and stall 17 should not inconvenience my selection. Back him each-way with 365 paying five places.
The feature Group 2 Curragh Cup (6.43) is the race of the day at the Curragh on Friday and Wordsworth looks a short-priced favourite to take on.
In four of his last five starts, Wordsworth has been beaten at odds of 7-4, 13-8, 2-1 and 5-4 and this race is tougher than the last two he has contested.
The market is factoring too much into the booking of Ryan Moore and Wordsworth seemed to have a hard race at Royal Ascot six days ago.
The bet has to be the favourite's stablemate and new kid on the block Temple Of Artemis under Seamie Heffernan.
While Temple Of Artemis needs to step forward from his handicap victory off a mark of 88 at Chester last time, he is the most unexposed runner in this field and relished a step up in trip there.
I see no reason why he will fail to stay an extra furlong and a half and as a three-year-old colt he receives 15lb in weight-for-age from the older colts and geldings.
If he runs to his official mark of 96 he will have major claims, with the highest-rated runner in the field rated 108.
I was tempted to side with Master Of Reality after an encouraging comeback at the Curragh on his return. However, we know this seven-year-old's level and he probably isn't quite the force of old, whereas Temple Of Artemis could be much better than we have seen.
The concluding 2m handicap (8.28) is a cracker and Paul Nolan can land the spoils with Coventry, who makes plenty of each-way appeal at a price.
Formerly with Aidan O'Brien, Coventry has been reinvented as a juvenile hurdler for Nolan. However, he proved slightly disappointing in that discipline and I suspect staying handicaps on the Flat is where we will see the best of Coventry.
His ninth of 15 at Roscommon in a warm handicap over a 1m4f trip short of his optimum on his comeback in May would have put him spot on for this, and the handicapper has dropped him 3lb for that.
Coventry remains unexposed in this sphere with just six Flat starts to his name and only two over staying trips.
The first of those was a cracker when he ran second to the well-treated My Sister Sarah and the pair pulled eight and a half lengths clear of the third. I'm convinced this son of Galileo has much more to offer.