Johnny Ward's Ireland tips: Lapilli could be serious underestimated at 33-1

By Johnny Ward
Sat 25 Aug 2018

Johnny Ward tipped 8-1 chance Moonball and 100-30 shot Acrux Cass in last Saturday's column and our man in Ireland picks out five bets for the action across the Irish Sea this weekend.

Aidan O’Brien went into the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival one from his previous 30 runners, an incredible state of affairs given the colossus he has become.

When he spoke of the bug that hit the yard as the worst he had experienced, it is unlikely he was exaggerating.

That is the issue punters face now as he sends out some of his most promising steeds at the Curragh this weekend.

A little rain fell towards the end of the working week, rendering the Curragh ground a little on the easy side, while it remains beautiful ground for the jumpers in beautiful Killarney.

Saturday tips:

3.25pm Curragh – Twilight Payment each-way at a generally available 13-2:

Half of the field are Aidan O’Brien-trained Galileo-breds in this and three of the other four are trained by Willie Mullins. The winner, however, could well be representing Jim Bolger in the shape of Twilight Payment.

The ratings brand here is really tight – 100 to 109 – and he is perhaps the most likely runner in the race to run to his mark, which renders him a huge each-way player.

He does little but stay, likely under pressure some way out but grinding all the way to the wire, and the rain that has met the Curragh terrain enhances his chance.

2.55pm Curragh – Sakura at 4-1 with Betfair and Paddy Power:

The enigmatic Coral Beach has another go here, her resolution again likely to prove her undoing at 11-4, and it may be worth taking a chance on Sakura.

The Dabirsim filly produced a polished performance to beat a potentially smart newcomer at Navan in Glamorous Power and I felt a rating of 80 underestimated her at Tipperary, as did bettors who sent her off 13-8 favourite.

She was a bit disappointing on that occasion but steps up a furlong here and looks well worth another chance for her superb trainer/rider combination. The rain should be no issue.

4.20pm Killarney – Steel Wave at 9-1 with Bet365 and Paddy Power:

Steel Wave was probably not in love with the staying trip in the Galway Blazers, while the nicer conditions will suit him here too.

He is generally an excellent jumper and the key to his chance here is how much pace there will likely be up front: he is a strong mover who will benefit from that.

4.35pm Curragh – Lapilli at 33-1 with Betfair and Paddy Power:

Lapilli could be a seriously well-treated horse.

After winning twice in England, he moved to Damian English, who managed to train him to finish fourth in a rock-solid sprint handicap at Dundalk in September off 87.

Remarkably, after just three subsequent runs, he debuts for Denis Hogan a year later running off 69, having finished last on three starts for James McAuley. If Saturday is not the day, the next day he can be followed again so put the horse in your Racing UK tracker.

Sunday tips:

2.35pm Curragh – Hermosa:

If you are worried about the form of the Ballydoyle barn, you are better off backing an apparent second or third string.

Hermosa fits the bill after a powerhouse display at Galway, even if it is a shade surprising that Ryan Moore does not ride, seemingly told instead to steer easy Cork winner Zagitova.

Hermosa could be top-class and more improvement is on the cards.

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