1st July 2012
Curragh Betting: Izzi Top can repeat the feat of Dar Re Mi for John Gosden in Ireland
Curragh 4.20pm – Pretty Polly Stakes – 1m2f – Group 1 – Fillies/Mares
Just the 7 runners head to post but 4 of them are very closely grouped at the head of the betting and we have the Oaks winner in the race along with 2 other runners from the O’Brien stable and then some excellent looking older horses in Izzi Top and Sapphire and they share favouritism at the moment at 13-8 with Coral.
Izzi Top is a very consistent type that has never been outside the first 3 in 8 career starts and has won both its races this season at York and Newmarket in Group 2 and Group 3 races. Gosden and Buick have been blowing away the opposition and had a wonderful Royal Ascot and looks sure to go close again today. It won over 10f last time out and goes on all types of ground but hasn’t won on heavy.
Sapphire has been winning well but at a level lower than this. It has won its last two races but they were at Group 3 and Listed level. It has won both races with ease and both had the same winning margin of 4 ¾ lengths. It has raced once at Group 2 level and was beaten 3 ¼ lengths but seems to be improving now at 4 years old. It lacks the form at this level but has the potential to run well but that potential is priced at 13-8 which looks too short on what it has achieved.
Maybe was unbeaten as a 2 year old and on jockey bookings and expectations is the best of the 3 O’Brien horses with Joseph O’Brien taking the ride today. It won races last season at Listed, Group 3, Group 2 and Group 1 level. It was 3rd in the 1000 Guineas this season when Homecoming Queen shocked punters at 25-1 and then ran 5th in the Oaks behind Was. It didn’t have the best of passages and you can always forgive a horse a poor run at Epsom and it wouldn’t surprise me to see this bounce back to form on a more conventional track today at around 7-2.
Was has only raced 3 times, winning a maiden last season and then winning the Oaks this season on its second start as a 3 year old. Shirocco Star and The Fugue have both run well since the Oaks to frank that form. It was beaten over 10f on its seasonal debut this year and drops back to 10f today. Seamie Heffernan keeps the ride and it is 4-1 in the betting.
Up is the last of the 3 O’Brien runners and is the 10-1 outsider of the 3. It is also sired by Galileo but has only raced over 11f once, the rest of its races being at a mile or less. It was 7th last time out in a Group 1 in France and only has a maiden win from 7 starts. It has finished 2nd in a Group 1 but that was over a mile and it could yet be good enough to place if it gets the trip.
I’m A Dreamer is the oldest horse in the race at 5 years old and I don’t see it improving that much now. It was 3rd to Izzi Top at York when slightly hampered and then ran 4th to Carlton House at Sandown over 10f on good to firm ground. It has a Group 3 win over 9f but has been outclassed when tried at Group 1 level and I’d expect the same today.
Bible Belt has won a Listed race and a Group 3, both over 9f and both last season. It ended the season with a fine 2nd in a Group 2 race to Dancing Rain at Ascot and then finished 4th this season on its first start. That 4th was here and it was beaten 15 ½ lengths by So You Think but now races against just fillies and mares. It is rated 2lb behind the Oaks winner but is a 16-1 chance here.
Aidan O’Brien won the race last year with Misty For Me, Dermot Weld won it in 2010 with Chinese White and John Gosden won it in 2009 with Dar Re Mi. All 3 have runners today and I feel we haven’t seen the real Maybe this season. The concern would be that all its 2 year old wins were only up to 7f, it hasn’t proven itself over 10f yet whereas a horse like Izzi Top has done so. Maybe and Was are now showing as SP only on odds comparison sites so I don’t know if they are possible non runners. Keep an eye on the betting over the next hour or two to try and avoid any rule 4's.
1pt WIN – Izzi Top 13-8 Coral
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Author: Formbook Frank