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Monday 5 December 2016

Idaho can turn the tables on Harzand and gain revenge

Aidan O’Brien’s main Irish Derby hope Idaho. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Aidan O’Brien’s main Irish Derby hope Idaho. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is the key event of the day at the Curragh tomorrow and Idaho can avenge his Epsom defeat at the hands of Harzand.

Second behind that horse on his seasonal return in the Ballysax, Idaho went on to finish third behind the reopposing Moonlight Magic in the Derrinstown before heading to Epsom.

He went for home earlier than either Harzand or second-placed US Ranger Army at Epsom and perhaps just paid the price for that decisive move in the finish.

Dermot Weld has been noticeably cautious in his bulletins this week and Idaho can take advantage if Harzand is not on his A game.

Steve Rogers can prove the punters' hero by landing the John Smith's Northumberland Plate at Newcastle.

Roger Varian's charge has plenty of amends to make to his supporters after letting them down badly in the Chester Cup back in May, but he can put that disappointing effort well behind by landing the first all-weather renewal of the Pitmen's Derby.

The five-year-old was sent off favourite on the Roodee after winning at Chester last September and warming up for the main event with a victory at Kempton in April.

However, despite having a favourable low draw and seemingly being perfectly-placed to challenge with a couple of furlongs to run, Steve Rogers folded tamely and was eventually beaten 11 lengths by the reopposing No Heretic.

Clearly the Montjeu gelding did not fire on the day at all, but he still has some factors in his favour, not least his Kempton win on an all-weather surface.

He thoroughly impressed over two miles that day and it may well be the longer trip of the Chester Cup was just not for him, so dropping back in trip here is another plus.

Steve Rogers again has a decent draw and, fresh from a break, he could just be ready to set the record straight.

Dannyday was among the favourites for the Plate and having missed the cut for the main event he should probably be backed in the consolation Betfred Northumberland Vase Handicap.

The four-year-old appears to have improved a bit over the winter, putting a disappointing effort on his final run of 2015 well behind when winning at Chelmsford in April.

Sir Michael Stoute appears to have waited for this opportunity, protecting Dannyday's mark of 91 in the process, so it is a shame he did not make it into the final Plate field.

This £75,000 contest is not to be sneezed at though and Stoute's patience can pay dividends of sorts.

Buratino can get his season back on track with victory in the Betfred Chipchase Stakes. He looked a top-class colt when beating Air Force Blue at Royal Ascot last year before going on to place twice in Group One company as a juvenile.

Buratino has been beaten on two occasions already this term, but this Group Three affair looks more suitable and can get him back on the right road.

CHESTER: 1.50 Rosabelle, 2.20 Dark Intention, 2.55 Penwortham, 3.30 Distant High, 4.00 Majestic Hero, 4.35 King Crimson, 5.10 Argent Knight.

CURRAGH: 3.00 Taj Mahal, 3.35 Eddystone Rock, 4.05 Foxtrot Charlie, 4.40 Peace Envoy, 5.20 Idaho, 6.00 Weather Watch, 6.30 G Force, 7.00 Hazmiyra.

DONCASTER: 5.50 Lucky Esteem, 6.20 Hard Toffee, 6.50 Legal Art, 7.25 Tommy G, 7.55 Laughton, 8.25 Beardwood, 8.55 Avenue Of Stars.

LINGFIELD: 5.40 Second Nature, 6.10 Packing, 6.40 Izmir, 7.10 Red Flute, 7.40 Cry Fury, 8.10 Gimlet, 8.40 Pastoral Music.

NEWCASTLE: 1.55 Seebring, 2.30 Buratino, 3.05 Mythmaker, 3.40 Dannyday, 4.15 STEVE ROGERS (NAP), 4.50 Top Of The Glas, 5.25 Dark Ruler.

NEWMARKET: 2.10 Hartswell, 2.45 Mr Singh, 3.20 Shamsaya, 3.55 Muwaary, 4.25 Bellajeu, 5.00 Gold Prince, 5.35 Singyoursong.

WINDSOR: 2.05 Logi, 2.40 Blue Silk, 3.15 Baadi, 3.50 Ice Lord, 4.20 Clotilde, 4.55 Summer Collection, 5.30 Gilmer.

DOUBLE: Steve Rogers and Muwaary.

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