Irish Derby Festival: Fiuntach can collect at The Curragh
David Metcalf | June 23, 2016
Fiuntach appeals in Apprentice Derby
Fiuntach scored in good style last time out and can take advantage of what looks a lenient mark to follow-up in the Donnedal Apprentice Derby on the opening day of the Irish Derby Festival at The Curragh (19:00).
The Jim Bolger trained gelding shaped with plenty of promise in his first two starts this season, finishing third to subsequent Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Jet Setting at Cork before chasing home the useful Discipline at Gowran Park.
Fiuntach then got off the mark when fitted with the blinkers for the first time when landing an eight runner maiden at Wexford, staying on strongly to beat Evening Rush by a neck.
The runner-up and third home Arya Tara have both come out and won since to give the form a rock solid look, and Fiuntach has been allotted an opening handicap mark of just 78 on the back of that success.
That looks exploitable on his runs behind Jet Setting and Discipline, so Fiuntach has a progressive profile and looks the type that should have plenty more to offer.
Udogo feared most
Joseph O’Brien has made a fine start to his training career and his Udogo looks sure to go well.
The five-year-old is a consistent sort who has won twice and made the frame on five occasions in 11 starts of the turf.
In the last of those successes two starts back, Udogo stayed on gamely to beat Call Me PJ in an apprentice contest at Leopardstown.
The son of Lucky Story backed that up with a solid third at Fairyhouse and, although now having a career-high rating of 76 to contend with, Udogo is clearly at the top of his game and goes well for inexperienced riders.
Pincode a lively outsider
Of the the rest, Pincode looks a lively outsider having dropped to a dangerous mark.
The Paddy Prendergast trained four-year-old was last successful at Tramore 10 months ago when scoring by 1 1/2 lengths off an official rating of 75.
Pincode is now able to race off 7lb lower, and although behind Udogo last time out when seventh at Fairyhouse he had previously shaped as if his time was near when a two length fourth of 16 to Ibsen in a competitive affair at Navan.
Judged on that effort, the son of Galileo looks weighted to run a big race.
Coral’s top tip: Fiuntach could well have got in lightly on handicap debut and rates a solid bet to land the spoils. Pincode looks a lively outsider and has plenty of each-way appeal.