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The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections for 30th June 2024

The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections from The Curragh & Saint-Cloud

The Curragh

GAIN Railway Stakes (Group 2) 1.40
Arizona Blaze
Adrian Murray can take the first of the Black Type races on Sunday’s Irish Derby card with Arizona Blaze. This Sergei Prokofiev colt won the Marble Hill over course and distance, ahead of the useful pair of Midnight Strike and Camille Pissarro, and a repeat of that form puts him firmly in the picture. Last time out, Arizona Blaze was just over a length behind the smart Shareholder in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, and with ground to suit can serve it up to the Ballydoyle runners Henri Matisse and Tunbridge Wells. Arizona Blaze to continue a fine Juvenile season with Group 2 success

Jebel Ali Racecourse & Stables Dash Stakes (Listed) 2.15
Commanche Falls
Michael Dods likeable sprinter Commanche Falls won this race last year, and can go in again now back to his ideal trip. Last time out at Haydock Park over a sharp 5 furlongs in the Achilles Stakes, he was the only one to get close to Believing, form which was franked when that rival finished fourth in both the Group 1 Sprints at Royal Ascot. More than capable of winning this Listed contest, with an ideal draw in Stall 4

Dubai Duty Free Rockingham Handicap (Premier Handicap) 2.50
Kendall Roy
A chance is taken on the progressive Kendall Roy, who scored here over course and distance earlier this month. There’s sure to be plenty of support for Kieran Cotter’s Sturlasson, especially with Oisin Murphy up top, but Stall 14 is a bit of a negative, whereas Kendall Roy has it much easier out of Stall 3. Kate McGivern has got Kendall Roy finely tuned this summer, and he’s fancied to go in again

Colm McLoughlin Celebration Stakes (Listed) 3.25
This Listed contest can go to Dermot Weld’s Azada, who finds herself swimming in far calmer waters than in the 1,000 Guineas that kicked off her campaign. it’s notable that she was sent out in that Classic on just her second start, and this ease in grade should be just the ticket for this Siyouni filly. There’s a whole host of dangers, not least Fozzy Stack’s You Send Me and Natalia Lupini’s Dunum, but Azada gets weight all round and should be right on the money. Big chance

Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby (Group 1) 4.05
Ambiente Friendly (nap)
British raider Ambiente Friendly looks the one to follow for the feature. James Fanshawe’s Gleneagles colt was so impressive in the Derby Trial at Lingfield Park that he only conceded favouritism for the Epsom Downs Classic to last season’s top Juvenile, City Of Troy. Big race jockey Rob Havlin returns to the saddle after seeing Ambiente Friendly in to the runners-up spot in the Derby, and will be hoping to go one better in the Irish Classic. Aidan O’Brien has his best chance with Los Angeles, and the Camelot colt is expected to go close with just half a length to make up on Ambiente Friendly, while at bigger odds, Sunway was a Group 1 winner at two, and makes the each-way angle. Ambiente Friendly to confirm superiority over Los Angeles and take Classic glory


Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Group 1) 2.55
This Group 1 feature looks perfectly set up for Francis-Henri Graffard’s fast finishing Zarir. This four year old Frankel gelding has a full diary of dates at the very top level, and finding the 10 furlongs at ParisLongchamp a bit sharp, should appreciate this step up in trip to score here. Aidan O’Brien’s Irish raider, Point Lonsdale, has an even fuller diary, so rates the main danger, while Jean-Paul Gauvin’s Iresine has topped the ante-post market. He carries the highest rating here, and has won fourteen of his twenty-one starts, but is more exposed than either Point Lonsdale or Zarir. A cracking renewal with the younger legs of Zarir to scoop the pot

Prix Eugene Adam (Group 2) 4.23
Bright Picture (nb)
Andre Fabre holds the key to this Group 2 with Bright Picture, who was less than 2 lengths behind Calandagan last time out. That now rates a serious piece of form with Calandagan scoring by 6 lengths in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot just over a week ago. Stablemate Hamavi is likely to give the selection most to think about, while British raider Grey Charger was most impressive in a lower grade at Lingfield Park for William Haggas, and makes the trip over with Tom Marquand for this valuable prize. For all that, this should be going to the progressive Bright Picture, so he gets the nudge

The Mandarin

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