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The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections for 5th November 2023

The Mandarin’s Sunday Selections from The Curragh & Cork

The Curragh

Castle Star Standing At Capital Stud Irish EBF Maiden 12.10
Aidan O’Brien’s colt has hit the bar in his last two runs, so is due to lose the maiden tag soon enough. This could be his chance with ground conditions in his favour, and a decent draw in stall 2. Stablemate Autumn Winter looks the pick of the rest, but has a bit to find with the selection, so Chantilly gets the nudge

Sheehy Motors Volkswagen Race 12.40
Yosemite Valley
Big Gossey is sure to get plenty of support in a race of this grade, but he can be opposed at 7 furlongs. The ready preference is for Donnacha O’Brien’s Yosemite Valley, who lines up here fresh from a win over 6 furlongs here in September. This Shamardal colt had plenty in hand when landing that maiden contest, so is taken to get this extra trip if coping with the heavy going. Despite his far higher rating, Big Gossey might find 7 furlongs on ground this deep too much, so Yosemite Valley can capitalise on that

Comer Group International Loughbrown Stakes (Group 3) 3.00
Falcon Eight
Dermot Weld’s Falcon Eight has to be the one to follow in this Group 3, having run a cracker in the Irish Cesarewitch last time out. He defied his big price to finish a half-length runner-up, and any repeat at that level would put him right in the mix here, with no concerns over this heavy ground. Willie Mullins sends out Echoes In Rain, who is going to land one of these stayers’ trips one of these days, so she rates the main danger, but Falcon Eight should have the class to persevere

Start Your Racing TV Free Trial Now Finale Stakes (Listed) 3.35
Helvic Dream (nb)
While ante-post favourite Hans Andersen has course form in the book from the 2,000 Guineas Trial earlier this year, he’s not been seen trackside since May. That opens up this Listed contest, and Helvic Dream is the one that makes most appeal. Noel Meade’s gelding is a proven mud-lover, and goes to post here on the back of a course and distance win. He’s been better than ever this season, and has Colin Keane for company, so it’s Helvic Dream to serve it up to the jolly


Paddy Power ‘I Still Call It Twitter’ Irish EBF Novice Hurdle (Listed) 2.05
Desert Heather
Course and distance winner Desert Heather can take this Listed contest for Declan Queally. She’s on a hat-trick too, after signing off last season with a win at Kilbeggan, before scoring here last month. Probably better able to cope with this soft going than Solitary Man and What Path, Desert Heather gets plenty of weight from that pair which should be telling in these conditions. Easy to back

Paddy Power Feel Like A Favourite Irish EBF Novice Chase (Grade 3) 2.40
Letsbeclearaboutit (nap)
Gavin Cromwell’s charge was a decent enough hurdler, fourth in the Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival back in March, but promises to be even better over fences. He made no mistake at the first tine of asking when scoring by 5 lengths at Gowran Park in September, and readily moves into Pattern company here. One mistake at the last can be forgiven on the heavy ground in that chasing debut, but he looks to be one going the right way for a decent campaign this season. Should be winning this

Paddy Power Cork Grand National Handicap Chase (Listed) 3.15
Call The Tune
This is going to be an attritional test over the three and a half mile trip, so Barry Connell’s Call The Tune makes plenty of appeal. Still unexposed over fences, and with winning form on heavy ground in the book the only concern is that he sees out the trip. Gordon Elliott is triple-handed, with Royal Thief heading the ante-post market and top-weight Diol Ker also entering calculations, but Call The Tune goes to post on a featherweight mark, and will keep up to his work when many others have thrown in the towel, so gets the nudge

The Mandarin

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