The Curragh Cup Betting Tips
It’s Irish Derby weekend at the Curragh but the quality racing is by no means limited to just the one race. One day after Wings Of Eagles’ attempt to double up his surprise win at Epsom Downs, the Curragh Cup takes place with a mouth-watering battle between Wicklow Brave and Frontiersman.
Top Betting Tips:
The early betting is, as anticipated, a two-way battle between Frontiersman and Wicklow Brave for favouritism.
Frontiersman is just edging that battle at a best price of 2/1 with Betfair while Wicklow Brave is 5/2 with the same bookie.
The Godolphin owned Frontiersman is the most straightforward of the two favourites. He was well fancied for the Coronation Cup at Royal Ascot and put up a good fight even if he was ultimately beaten by the top class Highland Reel.
The Curragh Cup would represent a significant step up in trip for the four-year-old but connections believe that will only see him improve further.
Wicklow Brave is a slightly more complicated story. The eight-year-old has run more times over obstacles than on the flat and, indeed, his most impressive performance of recent times came when winning the Punchestown Champion Hurdle.
Wicklow Brave’s trainer, Willie Mullins, recently had his first winner at Royal Ascot and he’ll be confident about his chances of another winner on the flat and we think his eight-year-old will get the job done.
There are no concerns about his ability to get the trip whereas Frontiersman will be making his first attempt over 14 furlongs. It’s set to be a great contest but at 5/2 with Betfair, we’re siding with Wicklow Brave.
Joseph O’Brien has won the Curragh Cup as a jockey and in Rekindling he’s got an outside chance of winning it as a trainer.
The 24-year-old has a great mentor in his father Aidan should he ever need help but he’s steadily making his own way in the world of training.
Rekindling served his trainer well in the lead up to the Epsom Derby but the three-year-old never looked comfortable on the Epsom track. He should be a lot more comfortable at the Curragh and looks good each-way value at 9/2 with Paddy.
Going: Ground remains, Straight course is good. Round course is good,good to firm in places. Forecast,Rain today into tomor heavy at times. pic.twitter.com/k43iYm8SPv— Curragh Racecourse (@curraghrace) June 28, 2017
The Curragh Cup is a Group 2 race run over 1 mile 6 furlongs. The race is one of the features of the three-day Irish Derby Festival and is always run on the closing Sunday.
As a Group 2, the Curragh Cup attracts big named trainers to give some of their best horses a crack at the prize.
Entry is open for horses aged three and older and since its first running in 1987 only three horses have won the race more than once.
Past Five Winners
2016 – Sword Fighter, ridden by Seamie Heffernan, trained by Aidan O’Brien
2015 – Bondi Beach, ridden by Seamie Heffernan, trained by Aidan O’Brien
2014 – Ernest Hemingway, ridden by Joseph O’Brien, trained by Aidan O’Brien
2013 – Ernest Hemingway, ridden by Seamie Heffernan, trained by Aidan O’Brien
2012 – Hartani, ridden by Johnny Murtagh, trained by John Oxx
Key Trends to Consider
The first thing to notice from the recent winners of the Curragh Cup is that Aidan O’Brien has been dominant in the race. That does not make it particularly special in that regard as O’Brien is one of the very best trainers on the flat but even by his standards four wins in a row is remarkable.
However, O’Brien is not the most successful trainer in this race. That honour falls to John Oxx who has trained the winner six times.
In terms of the age, there have been seven and eight-year-old winners of the Curragh Cup but five-year-old Ernest Hemmingway is the oldest winner in the last five years.