HomeLifestyleChappers previews a big weekend of racing and tips High Definition to win the Irish Derby at the Curragh
Chappers previews a big weekend of racing and tips High Definition to win the Irish Derby at the Curragh
THE beauty of sport on ITV is that it’s in glorious high definition.
That’s particularly good news today, because it means we can all watch crystal clear shots of the exciting equine beast – you got it, High Definition – as he powers home in the Irish Derby. That’s my theory at least.
And while the Irish Derby has failed to enthral in recent years, this is a fine renewal bringing back memories of great winners like Nijinsky, The Minstrel, Shergar, El Gran Senor, Shahrastani, Old Vic, Salsabil, Generous, Montjeu, Sinndar and Galileo.
On the downside it also means you see all of me as well. You can’t have everything!
High Definition struts his Curragh stuff at 3.45pm. The Group 1 event is one of eight races from Ireland, Newcastle and Newmarket on terrestrial television.
We were all denied the chance to see Aidan O’Brien’s colt in the Derby at Epsom, but he remains a hugely intriguing prospect for the handler trying to win this race for an incredible 15th time.
High Definition is something of an enigma.
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There is no doubt he's always been held in the highest regard by O'Brien.
That said, High Definition now has to go and show us what his connections see at home.
It was back in August of last year that we first saw High Definition powering home from off the pace in a Curragh maiden and eventually denying the talented and reopposing Wordsworth by nearly a length.
High Definition was immediately quoted for the Derby after the eye catching success, and he went on to follow up the success in the Group 2 Beresford at the same track.
However, he returned this term with just a plodding third in the Dante at York behind Hurricane Lane, and was denied a chance at Epsom when Coolmore decided to only tackle the ultimate Classic with Bolshoi Ballet.
Oddly, the big danger to High Definition today in a deep field of 11 might be a horse who has never won before.
That's Mojo Star, who has been supplemented at a cost of £64,000 by his owner Kia Joorabchian.
The Richard Hannon-trained son of Sea The Stars arguably brings the best form into the race, having chased home Adayar at a distance of nearly five lengths in the Epsom showpiece on June 5.
I'm just not sure whether to take that effort at face value. Prior to the Derby, for which he was 50-1, Mojo Star was defeated twice at Newbury.
Charlie Appleby is set to rely on Hurricane Lane, who having defeated High Definition was a fair third to Adayar and he has to have each-way claims at the very least. The Curragh track will suit him.
Frankie Dettori is a big booking for the Martyn Meade runner Lone Eagle, who has won four of his six starts and beat Yibir more easily at Goodwood last time than Adayar (second) did at Sandown earlier in the season.
Matt’s ITV racing tips
1.45 Newcastle – Woven each-way
2.05 Newmarket – Desert Dreamer each-way
2.20 Newcastle – Tabdeed each-way
2.40 Newmarket – Logician
2.55 Newcastle – Zeeband each-way
3.15 Newmarket – Motakhayyel each-way
3.30 Newcastle – Australis each-way
3.45 Curragh – High Definition NAP
Mac Swiney provides Classic-winning form as the Irish 2000 Guineas winner, and his trainer Jim Bolger is flying high with St James’s Palace Stakes hero Poetic Flare.
Throw in Group 1-winning youngster Van Gogh and you have an absolute cracker. Enjoy.
Over at Newcastle the big race is the William Hill Northumberland Plate, affectionately known as the Pitmen’s Derby.
It’s not quite got the razzmatazz it once had when on turf, but it’s still a big staying handicap betting heat and most eyes are on the top-weight Trueshan who missed the Ascot Gold Cup at the Royal meeting when rain failed to come in time.
Apprentice Rhys Clutterbuck gets the chance on the top stayer, and he was surprised as anyone at the opportunity he has been given.
"I couldn't believe it when the boss [Gary Moore] told me, I thought he must be lying or something," Clutterbuck said. "Mr Moore called me into the office on Tuesday and said we're trying to get you the ride on Trueshan in the Northumberland Plate. I'm not sure how it happened, it just appeared.
"The pressure is always going to be there, he's favourite, it's on ITV and everyone at home is wanting him to win. The limelight will be on me, especially given I'm a 5lb claimer.”
Trueshan is a big boy and won’t have any issue carrying the weight, but he still has to give plenty to the rest of the field.
On this occasion I’m thinking Australis – second in the 2020 renewal – might be the one for an each-way wager. Hopefully Australis will stand out on TV. United in clarity with High Definition.
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