Magician to cast a spell in Mooresbridge Stakes at the Curragh

Last year’s Irish 2,000 Guineas and Breeders’ Cup Turf hero faces just four rivals

Presumption can be dangerous but it will be a major shock if Magician can’t cast an emphatic spell over his rivals at the Curragh today.

Last year’s Irish 2,000 Guineas and Breeders’ Cup Turf hero faces just four rivals in the High Chaparral Mooresbridge Stakes, a Group Three contest Aidan O’Brien is aiming to win for a fifth year in a row and an eighth time in all.

One of those winners was Windsor Palace, a shock 66/1 winner in 2012, and O’Brien pitches in another Ballydoyle hope today in Hall Of Mirrors.

Jim Bolger will also be double-handed and Parish Hall should be much happier on a quick surface. However, he has 10lb to find with Magician on official ratings and the favourite has the advantage of a spin already this season when an unlucky sixth in the Sheema Classic in Dubai.


With Pat Smullen suspended, Kevin Manning has a rare spin for Dermot Weld when he teams up with Flying Jib, one of five three-year-olds facing five older horses in the Group Three Athasi Stakes.

Good form
Weld has turned to Chris Hayes, who rode Voleuse Des Coeurs to win last year's Irish Leger, for his other runner Tahanny but Flying Jib's Listed win last year reads like good form and she should relish some quick ground.

The ex-French Group Two winner Peace Burg is the Ballydoyle number one in this and Aidan O’Brien throws four at the Listed Tetrarch Stakes with his son Joesph electing to ride the 108-rated Michaelmas.

The Killavullan runner-up is rated 2lb superior to Great White Eagle who enjoys a much higher profile but that 108 rating also applies to Shining Emerald who put three lengths between himself and Guerre here last season and should have come on for his Guineas Trial run at the start of the season.

Urban Moon showed a lot of grit to edge out the apparently well handicapped John Constable at Navan last month and can progress enough from that to defy an 8lb hike in today's 10-furlong handicap while the in-from Jessica Harrington gives Homeric Hymn a first at the minimum trip today and the Niarchos runner can use her early speed to maximum effect.

Taglietelle's last appearance came at the Curragh when a close third to Thomas Edison but a return to jumping at today's other Bank Holiday fixture in Down Royal should see him contribute to a good days work for trainer Gordon Elliott.

Taglietelle won his maiden hurdle in easy fashion at Downpatrick before going to that Curragh race and with winning form on fast ground in England for former trainer Andrew Balding, today's surface should be no trouble in the conditions hurdle.

The form of Jansboy's chasing debut at Cork got advertised in style by Operating at Punchestown last week and Davy Russell travels north to ride.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column