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Horse Racing Tips of the Day – Sunday May 24

Bocca Baciata made a winning return at Navan

Found faces 17 rivals in Sunday's Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh, but she needs to bounce back from a surprise reappearance defeat and Bocca Baciata is preferred.

Aidan O’Brien is chasing a seventh Irish 1000 Guineas at the Curragh this afternoon and he has three chances, with Found the shortest-priced of his trio at around 2/1.

She is arguably the form choice on her Group 1 victory at the Arc meeting, but needs to bounce back back from a surprise two-length defeat over 7f here on her reappearance. That was justification for the decision not to run her in the 1000 Guineas at Newmarket, run the previous day, and O’Brien seemed satisfied enough with the run afterwards, with the knowledge that many of the stable runners had been needing their first run back.

However, having failed to beat a rival rated 23lb inferior, I’m struggling to warm to her here at such skinny odds. That’s not to say she can’t win, but I think there is more value to be had in backing BOCCA BACIATA at nearly three times the odds of the favourite. She is one of two fillies in the race trained by Jessica Harrington, who is looking for her first Classic success, but her wait may be over thanks to this daughter of Big Bad Bob, who is potentially out of the top drawer based on the evidence of her smooth reappearance success in a 1m2f Listed contest at Navan last month.

She had some good fillies behind that day and the form couldn’t have worked out better with the second and third, Pleasach and Diamondsandrubies, winning good races since. Indeed, the latter is as short as 5/1 for the Oaks after an impressive display in the Chester Vase and the 1m4f Epsom Classic could also be the next stop for Bocca Baciata, with bookmakers offering a general 14/1.

She may well stay that far, but she’s not short of speed either and I don’t think the drop back to a mile will inconvenience her one bit, given the ease with which she moved to the front one furlong out and settled the race in a few strides. I can’t be the only one who thinks that as she’s been well-backed during the week and, while she may have now settled on her right price, I’m not going to be put off.

Of the rest, I’ve a healthy respect for Kissed By Angels, the Ballydoyle second-string and mount of Joseph O’Brien, as she was very impressive when winning the 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown. She’s gorgeously bred being a daughter of Galileo out of the stable’s Group 1 winning miler Lillie Langtry.

Mick Channon is represented by Newmarket Guineas fourth Malabar and she could do even better over this stiffer mile as her future lies over middle distances, though her action suggests she wants firmer ground to show her best. Jack Naylor, the other Harrington filly, could go well under Richard Hughes and she’ll be staying on better than most. She’s tempting each-way at 12/1 with bet365, who offer enhanced place terms of one quarter the odds down to four places.

This afternoon’s other Group 1 contest is the Tattersalls Gold Cup over an extended 1m2f. The Grey Gatsby, who took the scalp of Australia in the Irish Champion Stakes on his closing run of last season and then finished second to Solow in the Dubai Turf when last seen in March, has been put in as a worthy 6/4 favourite. However, with the ground drying out all the time, I’m going to take a chance on POSTPONED. Luca Cumani’s colt was unsuited by the over-watered ground when runner-up in the Group 3 Gordon Richards Stakes on his reappearance, and has been impressing in his home work since.


Curragh 3.20, Postponed @ 10/3 bet365
Curragh 3.55, Bocca Baciata @ 11/2 William Hill

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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