It's a rather quiet weekend understandably on the jumping front following the Cheltenham Festival. We switch to the flat turf but are not heading to Meydan for the Dubai World Cup.
Instead, it is the first day of the Irish flat season and that gives us the lincoln, which is always a cracking competitive race.
Donnacha O’Brien believes that Emporio is a stakes horse and at least listed class. I agree as he ran two cracking races in defeat at the backend of last season. At Leopardstown in the listed Knockaire stakes he finished strongly having met some traffic in running. The winner that day Power Under Me got a dream run up the rail unlike Emporio who had to be switched out to the middle of the course on soft ground. Emporio ran over a mile at Naas on heavy ground beaten less than a length by Cosmic Vega off level weights. In the Lincoln, Emporio has Paddy Harnett claiming 7lbs riding and is 9lbs better off against Cosmic Vega. A high draw of 21 is not ideal but most likely they will come up the middle in the straight.
We need proven heavy ground performers onside at the Curragh today. It has rained heavily all week in Ireland and no doubt this stiff mile will be tougher than usual at the Curragh. Cosmic Vega is proven on heavy but does have a huge weight of 9-10 having won his final race at Naas last autumn. George Boughey sends over Totally Charming and has booked irish champion Colin Keane to ride. He is proven on heavy but not a stiff mile on heavy so it will be interesting to see if he can win. William Haggas runs 4yo Lattam who remains unexposed following only four runs thus far. He is interesting if handling heavy ground as he stays further. Ado McGuinness runs ten so it's anyones guess which is his number one as at least five look to have solid chances.
1 point each way Emporio 10/1 Bet365 6 places else 10/1 Boylesports, 5 places.
Best of Luck, Nicky