Everyone seemed to enjoy The Curragh last night. The good weather definitely helped and I thought the place looked fantastic, while the track itself was in great condition.

We ran Massif Central in the mile and a half handicap and the slow early pace didn’t help him, but I thought he ran a very creditable race and I have no doubt that he’ll win a big pot for us this season.

We are back at The Curragh today with five runners and we run two more on Derby Day tomorrow and here are my thoughts on them.

3.15  Roman Turbo (Ronan Whelan)

He’s a lovely colt and he went well in a barrier trial at Naas recently. I am looking forward to getting him started and he’s a horse that we like. The trip and ground should be fine for him and while this is traditionally a very hot maiden, I have been very pleased with our horse and he should run a good race.

4.50  Surrounding (Ronan Whelan)

It is a big ask for her, to have to give weight to all 12 of her rivals, but she is in the form of her life at the moment and it’s a lovely pot to aim a nice filly like her at. She has been running well all season and she appreciates good ground and the stiff seven at The Curragh is a good trip for her. She is in terrific form and she’s a classy filly and we are looking forward to running her.

Sonaiyla (Adam Farragher)

We also run Sonaiyla and while she is a bit ‘wrong’ at the weights, it’s such a good prize, that we’ve decided to let her take her chance. We’ll take 7lbs off her with Adam.  She has won over six, but we think that she’ll get seven and the good ground will be fine for her. She is working really well and I’ve been delighted with her.

5.55 Ahlan Bil Zain (Ronan Whelan)

I was thrilled with him when he won a good prize for us at Gowran last week. He has come out of that race in very good form. He appreciates seven furlongs and good ground and despite the quick turnaround, he’ll take his chance. He has thrived all week and he is in great form and I think he’ll run a big race. His wide draw is no help, but he has plenty in his favour today and I am looking forward to running him.

Ahlan Bil Zain and Ronan Whelan


6.25  Sky Seven (Ronan Whelan)

I was delighted with him, when he was second the last day at Leopardstown and he’s a horse that I’ve always liked. I think he’ll appreciate the step up to ten furlongs and he takes on his elders for the first time tonight. He is a big, scopey horse, which is improving and he has a nice draw and I am looking forward to running him.

Curragh Saturday

1.45  Arcanears (Ronan Whelan)

If the ground is suitable, he’ll run. He has been drawn poorly on a number of occasions this year, but he loves The Curragh and six up here will be fine for him. My main concern is the ground and the word firm wouldn’t want to be in the ground description – if it does, he won’t run.

6.00  Tirmizi (Ronan Whelan)

He ran a cracker here the last day on his first try over two miles. He was mugged close home and I was keen to bring him back to The Curragh for this race. He has been in great form and he has pleased me in his work. The forecast good ground should be fine for him and I am looking forward to a big run from him