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ITV Racing Tips: Hurricane Lane can blow rivals away in Irish Derby

| 18.06.2021

There is no shortage of racing on offer as we move on from another Royal Ascot meeting, in fact there is a plethora of it.

There will be eight races shown live on ITV, including two summer highlights, the Northumberland Plate and the Irish Derby.

A field of 20 line up for the Plate, historically known as the ‘Pitmen’s Derby’ and you may have to dig deep into the field to unearth the winner of the 2m handicap, now run on a Tapeta [all-weather] surface.

The Irish Derby features 11 runners and there is enough competition, including the second, third and fourth from the Derby, to make sure it may not necessarily turn into the Aidan O’Brien benefit the Curragh Classic has become in recent years.

There are two Group 3 races and two Listed prizes as well as a consolation race for the Plate among the schedule which unfolds from 13.25pm on ITV. We have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.

14.40 – Close Brothers Fred Archer Stakes

This mile-and-a-half race is a good opportunity for one of these runners to rediscover the winning touch.

Desert Encounter is an international Group 1 winner who is without a victory since 2019 but finished fourth behind Love in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. Max Vega contested last year’s Derby and finished second in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes and is now gelded.

But the horse who could benefit most is Logician, the 2019 St Leger winner, who is finding his way back from serious illness. He was limited to two starts last year, his only win coming in a match race. He finished third behind Al Aasy on his 2021 debut so still has to prove he has retained his old ability but this could be the perfect chance.

15.30 – Northumberland Plate

A maximum field for this 2m handicap in which Group 2 winner Trueshan, who missed the Gold Cup last week because of quick ground, will try to shoulder top weight of 10st 4lb, a burden eased by Rhys Clutterbuck’s 5lb claim.

It’s still a massive challenge for Alan King’s classy stayer who has 3lb more than Tominator carried to victory when he equalled the Plate weight-carrying record under 9st 10lb in 2013.

Trueshan is the clear favourite but there are other strong candidates including Reshoun, winner of the Ascot Stakes last week who runs under a 5lb penalty.

Favourites have won four of the last ten runnings but there is plenty of each-way value out there. Stargazer has won twice over course and distance off higher marks than he has here and on recent evidence still retains his form. Sir Chauvelin, third and sixth in the race previously, is another interesting candidate on his first start for 385 days.

15.45 Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby

Aidan O’Brien has won his home Classic a record 14 times and, apart from John Gosden’s success with Jack Hobbs in 2015, you have to go back to 1994 to find the last horse trained in Britain to win the race.

That was the brilliant filly Balanchine, trained by Hilal Ibrahim for Godolphin and ridden by Frankie Dettori. She provided Dettori with his only Irish Derby winner. He is back with a ride on Lone Eagle, who was ruled out of the Derby by a late health issue.

O’Brien is set to saddle five and while High Definition, the winter Derby favourite who also missed Epsom, is favourite, Wordsworth and Arturo Toscanini have earned inclusion after encouraging performances at Royal Ascot.

There is no Adayar but the Derby second, third and fourth, Mojo Star, Hurricane Lane and Mac Swiney, run. Hurricane Lane beat High Definition in the Dante and, though losing his unbeaten record at Epsom, ran a highly creditable race as he had trouble handling the camber in the straight, not helped by losing two front shoes. Consolation beckons.

ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday, 26th June

13:45 Newcastle – 6f handicap

14:05 Newmarket – Empress Stakes

14:20 Newcastle – Chipchase Stakes

14:40 Newmarket – Fred Archer Stakes

14:55 Newcastle – Northumberland Vase

15:15 Newmarket – Criterion Stakes

15:30 Newcastle – Northumberland Plate

15:45 Curragh – Irish Derby

View the latest Horse Racing odds.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing



Jonathan Lees