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A couple of decent races at the Curragh to conclude the week. I'm hoping a consistent O'Brien runner will enjoy the step up in trip and drop in class. It's been a decent week for the selections, fingers crossed this one can end the week in style.
This renewal doesn't appear to be full of horses who could win this, with arguably three or four at a push having a chance based on the bare form. In my opinion, THE MEDITERRANEAN deserves to be the favourite and should take all the beating if he stays this trip and if he isn't fatigued from his efforts in the St Leger just over a fortnight ago.
In recent years this race has been dominated by 3yo's, who have won the last three versions of this race. At this time of year, the weight for age allowance isn't massive, but it is still a big help. The Mediterranean is already the highest rated horse in the race, yet he gets 7lbs from his closest rival, Search For A Song. The latter horse doesn't appear to be at the same level as she once was, and I think she has an uphill task of giving away weight to a horse who could potentially be better at this new trip, as he could be a cup horse for next year.
Aidan O'Brien's horse definitely has the strongest form on offer, with his recent third at Doncaster in the St Leger. He finished 4.75 lengths behind Hurricane Lane, who is an absolute monster of a horse and is definitely in the top 2/3 of the 3yo crop this season, so that performance is no disgrace. The time before the Leger saw The Mediterranean finish 2nd to Yibir in the York Great Voltigeur Stakes. That form has been boosted since, as the winner went on to win the Belmont Park Derby, and doing it in easy fashion. Obviously that's in America, so it's hard to weigh up what he beat, but to put it into perspective, Bolshoi Ballet was back in fourth, 5.5 lengths behind Yibir, and he is a previous Group 1 winner.
Of the older horses, you'd have to say that Lismore is the main threat. He looks like a totally different beast under the trainer Henry De Bromhead, and beat a decent field in a Group 3 at Sandown back in May. He has not been seen since, which would be a concern, but nevertheless he will one of the main rivals.