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Horse Racing Tips: Paul Jacobs’ value plays across the tracks on Sunday

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Paul Jacobs’ Sunday Racing Tips

15:10 Curragh – Lumiere Rock (each-way)
15:25 Kelso – Caraci Castle
15:45 Curragh – Bluedrum (each-way)
17:25 Curragh – Harsh

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

Following his horror show in the Sheema Classic at Meydan it would come as no surprise to see the Jekyll and Hyde horse otherwise known as Auguste Rodin bounce back here, as has been the past pattern of his career, However, I am prepared to let him win at around even-money and play the each-way game against him in the form of the Joseph O’Brien trained LUMIERE ROCK.

Two from three at The Curragh, this daughter of Saxon Warrior was still progressing at the end of her second season culminating in a win over the course and distance in the Group Two Blandford Stakes and then a career-best close-up sixth behind Inspiral in the Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita last back end. She has reportedly taken time to come to herself into the spring, but blossomed in the past couple of weeks and I fancy there could be more to come from her. I think an end-to-end gallop over this trip is her optimum set-up and there looks to be plenty of pace on here for Dylan Browne McMonagle to aim her at.

Well Educated deserves a shot at this nice prize after winning a class three event at Hexham last time. But my one reservation with him is not the rise in class or even the shove up the weights, but more so the drop in trip to the minimum over a much more forgiving track.

He should still run well, but there are ‘faster’ hurdlers entered here none more so than Sandy Thomson’s CARACI CASTLE who has been plying his trade against some fair novices this past year over fences on ground which has been hugely against him. Two from two over the course and distance as a hurdler (in a maiden and novice), he was sent off at just 9/1 for the Grade Two Premier Novices Hurdle won by Nemean Lion.

However, after running strongly past halfway, he then for some unexplained reason bottomed out very quickly turning into the home stretch. Nothing wrong was found with him physically and then he was given a break and embarked on a chasing campaign. Of course, we are taking a chance that he retains most of his old ability, but this will be only his seventh career start and a mark of 119 looks very fair in the circumstances.

The word I am hearing is that Opera Singer may need this more than most. That is not to say she cannot win this second Irish classic of the season, but she would need to be vastly superior to her rivals to do so first time out. Of the Ballydoyle raiders, I prefer Buttons. I thought she was given a poor ride by Wayne Lordan in the Group Three Mutamakina Stakes at Leopardstown when Colin Keane set some desperately slow fractions up front on Wendla and none of the jockeys reacted to him bossing the race. This lovely scopey filly is way better than that run and I expect her to hit the frame at the very least.

But I will go way left of centre here (not my political leaning) and pencil in a small each-way play on Jessie Harrington’s BLUEDRUM. This well-put-together daughter of Blue Point eased home on her juvenile debut at Naas from which the 2nd, 3rd and 4th have all won since, the runner-up has won a handicap off a mark of 90, but then she got stuck in the mud in the Group Three Athasi Stakes on her three-year-old debut. Of course, a bundle of rain may compromise her chance here, but granted decent ground she could easily bounce back and her esteemed trainer would not be running her here for fun.

A lovely 19-runner handicap to get our value teeth into with some familiar old names set to embark on the staying handicap scene in the next five months, several of whom have improved markedly over timber this past winter. I have always thought Mt Leinster would win a nice prize of this nature, but the fact that Willie Mullins has finally let him go means I will not carry on jumping off a cliff with him.

Glan is interesting in returning to the flat for only his second start after gaining a rating as high as 135 over hurdles which makes 82 here tempting and I may have a saver on the mare if the market speaks in her favour. However, HARSH looks more like a play to my eyes at a higher price. The Gigginstown runner made good progress once getting nicer ground over hurdles last season ending in a fair fourth in the Boodles at the Cheltenham Festival, followed by a convincing two and three-quarter-length success in a handicap hurdle at Punchestown off 119. All of his five runs on the flat turf have come over an insufficient stretch of ground and this first run over a mile and six could see him make a big leap forward in this code.

Paul Jacobs’ Sunday Racing Tips

15:10 Curragh – Lumiere Rock (each-way)
15:25 Kelso – Caraci Castle
15:45 Curragh – Bluedrum (each-way)
17:25 Curragh – Harsh

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.

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