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The Mandarin’s Saturday Selections for 25th May 2024

The Mandarin’s Saturday Selections from The Curragh, York & Haydock Park

The Curragh

GAIN Marble Hill Stakes (In Memory Of Theresa Marnane) (Group 3) 1.55
Midnight Strike
There was no stopping Joseph O’Brien’s Midnight Strike on his racecourse debut here last month, getting into top gear in the final furlong to beat Treasure Isle by 2 lengths. That form has since been franked with Treasure Isle going in at Naas last week, so Midnight Strike will be much shorter in the markets for this Group 3. That said, Aidan O’Brien’s Camille Pissarro was a very impressive winner at Navan on his first outing and Adrian Murray’s Arizona Blaze also has plenty of potential. Midnight Strike to be even better over 6 furlongs, and put Pattern form into the book

Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes (Group 2) 2.30
Art Power
It’s always a homecoming for Tim Easterby’s Art Power, as he was bred just up the road from The Curragh, and he definitely saves his best for headquarters. Only beaten once in five starts here, he ran a cracker in the Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot last October, stealing a lead with a trademark flying start, and fighting back when Kinross got upsides of him in the final furlong to take Group 1 honours. Art Power won this last year when we gave him the nudge, and although he’s on quicker ground this time, it’s horse for courses and he’s the one to beat

Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Orby Stakes (Listed) 3.05
Raise You
The chance is taken on Raise You with the drying ground likely to help Joseph O’Brien’s Lope De Vega gelding. Not seen to his best effect on heavy going here last month, he was still within 6 lengths of the smart White Birch on an inadequate 10 furlong trip. Back to a mile and a half here, and in receipt of 3lbs from main rival Candleford, Raise You looks the one to follow

Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas (Group 1) 3.40
Rosallion (nb)
We gave Richard Hannon’s Blue Point colt for the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket, where only Charlie Appleby’s Notable Speech beat him, but Rosallion can make amends here. A winner over 7 furlongs at Ascot as a Juvenile, he showed that he likely had this trip in him, despite his sire Blue Point being an out and out sprinter. The Newmarket race gave notice that he’s trained on well, and Rosallion is sure to head the markets for this first Irish Classic. Faster ground here should be just the ticket, so Rosallion to take a 2,000 Guineas at the second time of asking


William Hill Bronte Cup Fillies’ Stakes (Group 3) 3.20
River Of Stars
It may pay to side with Ralph Beckett’s River Of Stars for York’s feature. She won this last year on her seasonal reappearance, just getting the better of favourite Mimikyu in a cracking race, showing plenty for pressure when Rossa Ryan pressed the button. There’s plenty of support for Jack Channon’s Gather Ye Rosebuds after her win in a Listed contest at Goodwood three weeks back, but she has to prove she can see out this extended trip. River Of Stars goes well fresh and is taken to keep her crown in this Group 3

Haydock Park

Betfred Temple Stakes (Group 2) 1.50
Vadream (nap)
Charlie Fellowes can take this with his smart mare Vadream, who should strip fitter for her latest run in the Palace House Stakes. She was only beaten a head in that Group 3 by the re-opposing Seven Questions, with Karl Burke’s Beautiful Diamond back in third, so this should be a top-class renewal. With plenty of cut still in the ground on Merseyside after this week’s rain, Vadream will be most at home, so gets the vote

Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Sandy Lane Stakes (Group 2) 2.25
The eagerly anticipated return of Vandeek to racing action will be the highlight of Haydock Park’s Saturday card. One of the best three European Juveniles last year, along with France’s Beauvatier and Ireland’s Bucanero Fuerte, Vandeek was unbeaten in four starts in a campaign that included the Group 1 Prix Morny at Deauville and the Group 1 Middle Park at Newmarket. With wins on ground from good through to heavy, and the two top European Juvenile sprint races under his belt, he’s highly respected on his return. Exciting

The Mandarin

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