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Tuesday 14 August 2018

Today can be the day for St Patrick's Day to score

Patience of a saint: St Patrick's Day can bounce back
Patience of a saint: St Patrick's Day can bounce back

Racing at the Curragh today won't all be about Aidan O'Brien reaching another milestone as the undercard should attract plenty of interest.

The track is putting up over €1m in prize money this weekend and obviously the Darley Irish Oaks is responsible for the bulk of that. Even though Aidan O'Brien has the top two in that field, William Haggas, among others, will try and keep him honest.

Despite having failed to notch up a Classic winner in Ireland from three attempts so far this season, O'Brien has had no problem finding the winning groove at HQ this season and that should be a similar enough story again this weekend.

The biggest conundrum for punters with O'Brien horses is the improvement the Ballydoyle maestro can find and he'll have to find a bit for St Patrick's Day (4.55) if he is to make a winning mark in Ireland. The Group Two Minstrel Stakes looks a good opportunity for him to show his class, however.

The opening maiden might go the way of Mount Tabora (2.35), who has been progressing from run to run, while in the finale Joseph O'Brien can get in on the act with Winner Takes Itall (6.40) to give Donnacha O'Brien another vital winner in what is proving to be a massive season for him.

Ger Lyons continues to build up a training establishment that is capable of being best of the rest behind Ballydoyle and Lyons looks to have two nice chances on the card today with Ardhoomey (3.45) in the lucrative Scurry Stakes and the promising Viadera (4.20) in the Group Three Anglesey Stakes.

Ardhoomey has top weight to defy in the Scurry and is probably going to be a 20/1 shot, but Perfect Pasture won this race with plenty of weight a couple of years ago and the drop back in class might just help the six-year-old run a big race after he failed to land a blow in pattern company recently.

Lyons beamed with pride on Derby weekend when Viadera provided him with a first winner in the famous colours of Prince Khalid Abdullah and it could be something similar again today if she can give him a first stakes winner for the renowned owner/breeder.

On the basis of that first Curragh effort, there's every reason to think she is good enough to do that.

Ted Walsh runs Minnie Dahill (6.05) in the Ladies Derby and despite the hike the four-year-old got for winning at Bellewstown she might just be good enough to win again to give Jody Townend the biggest winner of her fledging career.

Niall's tips: Curragh

2.35 Mount Tabora

3.10 Kailee

3.45 Ardhoomey

4.20 Viadera

4.55 St Patrick's Day

5.30 Forever Together

6.05 Minnie Dahill

6.35 Winner Takes Itall

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