Tuesday 25 October 2016

Mick Kinane: Wayne gets his turn to shine on Curvy in the oaks

Curvy with Wayne Lordan up winning the Curragh in May
Curvy with Wayne Lordan up winning the Curragh in May

Saturday's Irish Oaks looks a good and open competitive renewal but I think Curvy is the standard setter on this occasion and is going to be very hard to beat for her trainer David Wachman.

Curvy has just gone from strength to strength and is unbeaten this year, showing remarkable improvement and the win at Royal Ascot was a high class performance and she is now chasing a first Group One win and progressing in all the right ways. It is very hard to look past her and she is the one you would want to ride.

The jockey that has that opportunity is Wayne Lordan who has won on her three-times this season and knows her well and in what has probably been something of a frustrating year for him, he could have a very good weekend in store.


With Ryan Moore's partnership with Coolmore this season you would imagine there was a strong possibility he would have been riding Curvy tomorrow and it just goes to show what a tough game this can be.

He has gone from being the man in demand that everyone wanted, to being sidelined for an unknown length of time due to the neck injury he sustained last week and hopefully he makes a speedy recovery.

However, through no fault of his own Wayne has been subject to the wrong side of new riding arrangements this season and is a very accomplished rider whom I admire and tomorrow I think he is going to get his chance in a season that probably hasn't swung his way.

Ordinarily, you'd probably think he may have ridden a 1,000 Guineas and Royal Ascot winner this season but for the new riding arrangements to it would be nice to see him claim an Irish Classic at the Curragh this weekend.

When it comes to jockey bookings I personally wouldn't be reading an awful lot into the fact that Joseph O'Brien doesn't ride Qualify, who is of course an Epsom Oaks winner, in favour of Words.

I think it would be very difficult to jock Colm off Qualify after he has already won a Classic on her and for each-way punters I think she is the obvious choice.

She was ridden with quite a lot of restraint in the Irish Derby at the Curragh and I think she can perform better than that because her run at the Curragh didn't match her Epsom run by quite a way and if she bounces back to her best she is still the highest rated filly in the race.

Joseph rides Words who is unexposed and is undoubtedly a smart filly but it is hard to know what to make of her and there are so many unanswered questions about her going into a Classic. That is not the case with Curvy.

Jack Naylor has sort of just disappointed a little bit and the supplemented filly Covert Love is on a roll but I think Curvy will take all the beating.

Wayne could have a good weekend because he'll also be riding Gordon Lord Byron on Sunday so the headlines could be his at the end of the weekend.

I'm looking forward to watching the two-year-olds meet in the Anglesey Stakes tomorrow.

Aidan's Air Force Blue ran a cracker in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and is going to be very hard to beat on that run. The Coventry form probably got a slight knock with the third horse getting beaten last week at Newmarket but it is probably still the bar setting form.

It's hard to know what Final Frontier beat when he won his maiden at the Curragh but he won by four and a half lengths and that is a long way to win a maiden and he's undoubtedly a talented colt and then you have Jim Bolger's filly Queen Of Sicily who was impressive at Naas and won her maiden by two and a half lengths so that looks a real hot contest.

Air Force Blue has the Ascot form and if he backs that up he'll have to be hard to beat.

Looking at Sunday's Kilboy Estate Stakes and if Michael Halford's Raydara can find her two-year-old form she should be able to see off a couple of strong British runners.


Raydara beat Lucida last season as a juvenile and only raced once this season, that being in the Irish 1,000 Guineas when the race didn't really pan out in her favour and she had to come from a long way back.

She was also found to be in season after the race so you could certainly forgive her for that run and it would be nice to see her come back to her best.

John Oxx will give a debut to a nice Sea The Stars filly this weekend as Star Of Kings is due to run in the maiden. She is a nice filly who has shown some nice spark in some of her work and we are hoping she can perform nicely and run a nice race.

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