Curragh Sunday Preview: Debt to be repaid
There’s a good card at the Curragh on Sunday and Tony McFadden outlines the Timeform view on the feature Gladness Stakes.
The Group 3 Gladness Stakes, run over seven furlongs, is the highlight of Sunday’s card at the Curragh and it can go to the British raider Sovereign Debt. Sovereign Debt was a luckless runner-up at Lingfield on AW Championship Finals Day recently, but he has a crucial fitness advantage over main rivals Due Diligence and Smuggler's Cove – both trained by Aidan O’Brien – and can gain compensation here.
Sovereign Debt finished runner-up to Farhh in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes in 2013, and he showed that plenty of ability remains intact when winning a listed contest at Wolverhampton last month. The form of that success made him the stand-out form choice in the ‘Mile’ on AW Finals day, and he shaped like the best horse in the race, finishing strongly in second having been denied a clear run at a crucial stage. That effort confirms that Sovereign Debt’s in good heart at present, well able to run to a very smart level, and he can be relied upon to launch a bold bid under favourable conditions.
Sovereign Debt is the most likely winner, but he doesn’t quite head Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings: that honour goes to Diamond Jubilee third Due Diligence. US import Due Diligence was beaten in a seven-furlong listed race on his first start for O’Brien last season, but he quickly made up into an exciting sprinter, easily winning a Naas handicap before following up in a listed race at the same venue. Due Diligence’s best effort came in defeat at Royal Ascot, when he ran a blinder against proven, experienced top-level rivals, but, while he may do better still, he may not be seen to best effect first time back under conditions which may place too much emphasis on stamina.
Aidan O’Brien’s other representative, Smuggler's Cove, excited sectional timing enthusiasts when winning a listed race at Dundalk, and is a big player on the ratings. He failed to match expectations in the Dewhurst Stakes on his final start as a juvenile, however, with the soft ground perhaps not playing to his strengths, and he may be seen to better effect when conditions are on the fast side.
With some of Aidan O’Brien’s runners failing to hit the heights on their return, this looks a good opportunity for the race-fit Sovereign Debt to bounce back to winning ways having met with an unlucky defeat last time.
Timeform's weight-adjusted ratings:
|3:55||Thirsk View full result|
|1st||Heaven's Guest (Ire)||1/1 f|
|2nd||Balty Boys (Ire)||9/2|
|3 Ran Non-Runners DIESCENTRIC (USA)|
|3:45||Ayr View full result|
|29 Ran Non-Runners GALLANT OSCAR (IRE) BENVOLIO (IRE)|
|3:35||Bangor-On-Dee View full result|
|1st||Harris (Ire)||7/2 jf|
|2nd||Mission Complete (Ire)||6/1|