There are top class races galore on the supporting card of Irish Derby day at The Curragh.
In the first of those, the Listed 6f Dash Stakes (14:40), Speak In Colours sets a clear form standard and is fancied now eased in grade despite giving weight all-round.
Trained by Joseph O’Brien, the four-year-old is 4lbs and upwards clear of the field on official ratings.
Speak In Colours is a course and distance winner who plundered a Group 3 contest here last August.
The son of Excelebration was waited with but made progress after halfway and improved to lead inside the final furlong.
He then asserted close home for a 1 1/4 lengths victory over sprinting legend Gordon Lord Byron.
Although the veteran re-opposes off 9lb better terms here, that one is now an 11-year-old.
Gordon Lord Byron has long reached his ceiling and the Speak In Colours beat him off level weights on reappearance in the Group 2 Greenlands Stakes here when chasing home Mr Lupton.
He followed-up on that with his best effort yet at the highest level.
Speak In Colours stayed on into fourth behind dual Royal Ascot sprint hero Blue Point in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes last weekend and was beaten just 3 1/2 lengths.
As he was sent off a massive 50/1, he clearly outran those odds and this is much easier.
Speak In Colours has a profile that is more solid than most on the forecast good ground and this going clearly suits him better than softer surfaces.
Everything points to another big run from him under regular pilot Donnacha O’Brien.
Speak In Colours is thus well worth backing at 2/1 with Unibet to resume winning ways here.
Flight Risk the Celebration choice
Flight Risk is in the form of his life and can complete the hat-trick now up in trip and down in grade for the other Listed race on this eight-race card, the 1m Celebration Stakes (14:55).
Although now an eight-year-old, Jim Bolger’s charge has twice defied a welter burden to win consecutive top class races at Leopardstown.
While he is the oldest on this line-up, Flight Risk ran a stormer on reappearance when trying to give two stone to Jassaar in a Curragh Premier Handicap over 7f.
He was nearest at the finish and beaten just half-a-length, so that’s a massive effort.
Flight Risk has since comfortably landed a Listed affair over a mile by 3 1/2 lengths, before stepping up into Group 3 company and again scoring decisively by 1 1/4 lengths.
As he was giving plenty of weight away on both occasions, carrying 10 stone here should be no problem.
Fellow top rated horse Pinchek is giving race fitness away to Flight Risk after 217 days on the sidelines.
That one may need the outing so, although Jessica Harrington has her stable in better form, siding with Bolger and Flight Risk at 7/4 with BetVictor is recommended here.
Blenheim Palace appeals over Addeybb in International
In the 1m 2f Group 3 International Stakes (15:30), impressive Royal Ascot winner Addeybb encounters very different going to last week and is opposed on that basis.
William Haggas’ British raider faces no easy task on a sounder surface giving 11lb weight-for-age to Blenheim Palace who can be forgiven his run in the French Derby.
Trained by Aidan O’Brien, something was clearly amiss with the three-year-old son of Galileo at Chantilly.
He was eased by Seamie Heffernan when it was clear he couldn’t win and a line is put through that effort.
If turning up in the same shape as when chasing home subsequent Epsom Derby fourth Broome at this level in one of Ireland’s official Classic trials, Blenheim Palace has claims.
He is 3lb well-in on Addeybb, who O’Brien stable jockey Ryan Moore rides.
That rival is a different animal on soft ground and, unless potential showers become significant rain, he just isn’t going to get his optimum conditions here.
The form of the Derrinstown Trial over this trip and in the grade is working out well for Blenheim Palace.
Fourth and sixth horses home Rakan and Guaranteed have since landed Listed contests, while the re-opposing Buckhurst chased home Constantinople over course and distance.
With winner Broome beaten less than three-quarters of a length in the Epsom Derby, Blenheim Palace appeals each-way on the race terms at 15/2 with Ladbrokes to upset Addeybb.
Fort Myers a Railway punt
Leading juvenile hopefuls also get their chance to shine in the 6f Group 2 Railway Stakes (16:40), and Fort Myers just edges the vote in a trappy renewal with just five runners.
One of two trained by Aidan O’Brien in this, the son of War Front won an all-weather maiden at Dundalk before being held just a short-head at Newbury by Temple Of Heaven.
Fort Myers was then far from disgraced when a close up 1 3/4 lengths fourth to stable companion Arizona in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot. He is sure to have learned plenty from racing in that top juvenile contest.
While another O’Brien inmate Monarch Of Egypt comes to this a fresh horse after a maiden victory at Naas, the form is open to question.
The fourth horse home, Sunday Sovereign won his next two starts in minor events but was a disappointing eighth in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes last week.
Although respected as he’s unexposed and the mount of Moore, Monarch Of Egypt lacks experience. The prevailing trend of most recent winners of this is they had more than one run under their belts coming in.
Trainer Ger Lyons enjoyed success three years ago with Medicine Jack and saddles course and distance winner Siskin for owner Prince Khalid Abdullah in this renewal.
This son of First Defence is unbeaten in two career starts, winning both comfortably.
Siskin confirmed Naas form with subsequent Chesham Stakes fifth Harpocrates in the Marble Hill here at The Curragh last month.
Although quickening clear nicely in both his maiden and Listed successes, this demands more.
It’s therefore Fort Myers who looks overpriced at 4/1 with William Hill in a race where a case can be made for most.