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Sunday’s tips: Moore the man to follow at The Curragh

| 22.05.2016

David Metcalf | May 21, 2016

Beacon ready to Rock in Gallinule Stakes

There is a superb supporting card on Irish 1000 Guineas day at The Curragh, and Beacon Rock looks the answer to the Group 3 Gallinule Stakes (14:30).

The Aidan O’Brien trained colt had some very useful form to his name as a juvenile last season, finishing third to stable companion Port Douglas in the Group 2 Beresford Stakes and a fine 1/2 length runner-up to Gifted Master in a similar grade affair at Newmarket on his final start of the campaign.

Beacon Rock then shaped as if badly in need of the run when when third on return to action at this venue, before putting in a much better effort last time out over course and distance when fourth to Moonlight Magic in the Group 3 Derby Trial Stakes.

Three-year-old Beacon Rock led and held every chance at the furlong marker until weakening close home to be beaten 1 3/4 lengths, and the winner is a highly-regarded sort that is a leading contender for the Investec Derby at Epsom.

Strong form and clear on ratings

Beacon Rock

That form reads well in the context of this contest and Beacon Rock is a stuffy type who should now be spot on to do himself justice with those two runs under his belt.

The son of Remember When is also the highest rated in the line-up, and an official rating of 108 gives him 5lb and upwards in hand on his rivals.

That makes Beacon Rock the one to beat and, with Ryan Moore in the saddle, he can get back to winning ways.

Botany Bay weighted to strike

Moore also holds outstanding claims of landing the two Group 1 contests on the card for O’Brien courtesy of red-hot favourites Minding in the Irish 1000 Guineas (13:55) and Found in the Tattersalls Gold Cup (15:40).

The jockey also has an interesting partner in the shape of Botany Bay in the 2m handicap (16:45).


Trained by the shrewd Charles O’Brien, Botany Bay caught the eye under Moore on his seasonal reappearance when staying on from an impossible position to finish a never nearer 10th over an inadequate 1m 4f at this venue and has since been dropped 1lb.

The four-year-old is now able to race off a rating of 86, and that is just 1lb higher than when he finished a cracking 3/4 length fourth of 16 to Polarisation in the ultra-competitive Melrose Stakes over 1m 6f at York.

It gives Botany Bay major claims at the weights, and the step up to 2m looks sure to suit.

This is also easier than the Melrose, and a repeat of his effort in that contest is going to make Botany Bay tough to beat.


13.20: Istan
13.55: Minding
14.30: Beacon Rock (NAP)
15.05: Aussie Valentine
15.40: Found
16.10: Newsman
16.45: Botany Bay (NB)
17.15: Mutadaffeq


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.