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What's on this week: excitement builds towards Saturday's Irish Derby

Mac Swiney: could be in line for another big Classic win at the Curragh
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Afternoon Flat racing comes from Chepstow while Southwell hosts a jumps card, with Wicked West (2.40) bidding to follow up his 14-length romp at Ffos Las last month for trainer Richard Newland.

At Newton Abbot, trainer Sam Holdsworth and jockey Thomasina Eyston will be looking to land their respective first winners under rules with new recruit Portentoso (3.50).

Evening action comes from Ballinrobe and Wolverhampton.


There is Listed action at Ayr in the 5f Land O'Burns Fillies' Stakes (3.45), in which the Kevin Ryan-trained Stars In The Night will attempt to complete a four-timer.

Kevin Ryan striving for four wins from four with Stars In The Night at Ayr

There is action at Beverley and Brighton plus evening action at Newbury, while Jack Tudor will seek a hat-trick with Shanandoa in the only jumps card of the day at Newton Abbot (5.45).


The historic Stablemate By Agma Carlisle Bell Handicap (3.30) takes centre stage at Carlisle. Roger Fell won the prize last year with Rousayan and could have two contenders this time.

Course specialist Helm Rock could seek his third win on the bounce for Daniel and Claire Kubler in the Bell, while William Haggas sends out the unbeaten Cloudy Dawn in the 7f Listed Eternal Stakes (4.40).

Naas hosts the Listed Oaks Trial (6.00) on Wednesday evening. More than half the horses in the contest are trained by the O'Brien family, most notably the Donnacha O'Brien-trained Nicest, who could be back in action after finishing third in the Ribblesdale last week. 

Jump racing comes from Worcester, where the promising Tiger Orchid attempts to replicate his impressive 11-length success there last month (3.10). 


Fans of Flat racing will are well catered for with five seven-race meetings on offer. Ametist (4.10) has won three of four starts but is stepping up in class in a competitive handicap at Newmarket.

Ametist holds form after beating subsequent Royal Ascot winner Lola Showgirl at Chepstow

Isle Of Lismore holds two entries on Thursday at Newmarket (5.20) and on the all-weather at Newcastle (4.55). The Robert Cowell-trained three-year-old won at Newmarket last time out on Saturday, while evening racing comes from Leicester and Hamilton. 


In the Group 3 Hoppings Stakes at Newcastle (7.20) Roger Varian may run Zeyaadah after a disappointing run in the Oaks. The ground was said to be the culprit for the performance, so the all-weather surface could rejuvenate the filly. 

Free Wind broke her maiden with an eyecatching performance at Goodwood for John and Thady Gosden and could step out for the first time since in novice company at Doncaster (4.00).

Further Flat racing can be found at Chester, Yarmouth, and Newmarket, which hosts a competitive handicap at 8.55


All eyes are drawn to the Curragh for the Irish Derby (3.45).

Hot favourite High Definition could take on the Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Mac Swiney, with Prix du Jockey Club winner St Mark's Basilica, Derby Trial winner Bolshoi Ballet and Epsom third Hurricane Lane also entered.

Castle Star was saved for the Railway Stakes (3.05) rather than tackle Royal Ascot and the Group 3 International Stakes (4.20) is also on the bill.

Newcastle's Flat highlight, the William Hill Northumberland Plate (3.30) brings together some of the top staying handicappers and Trueshan could bid to defy a big weight for Alan King after being rerouted from Royal Ascot.

The Group 3 Chipchase Stakes (2.20) is also on the card, while there is more Pattern action at Newmarket with the Listed Maureen Brittain Memorial Empress Fillies' Stakes (2.05) and Listed Close Brothers Fred Archer Stakes (2.40).

Racing also comes from Chester, Doncaster, and Windsor, which stages the Gentingbet Listed Midsummer Stakes (3.35). 


It's back to the Curragh on Sunday for another top-quality card, starting with the Group 2 Airlie Stud Stakes (2.00) before the feature Group 1 Alwasmiyah Pretty Polly Stakes (3.40).

Aidan O'Brien won the race last year with Magical, who went on to Tattersalls Gold Cup and Irish Champion Stakes glory. 

O'Brien appears to have the pick of the bunch again this year with both Love and Snowfall possibles for the contest. Also holding an entry is Alpine Star, the 2020 Coronation Stakes winner who was a three-time Group 1 runner-up in France last year. 

Snowfall: could return to the track for the first time since a 16-length romp in the Oaks

The Group 2 Comer Group International Curragh Cup (4.10) is another highlight, with Twilight Payment potentially going for a third consecutive win in the race.

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All eyes are drawn to the Curragh for the Irish Derby on Saturday
E.W. Terms