The Cork Rocks Music & BBQ Night (Friday 14 June) is one of Cork Racecourse’s newest initiatives. It combines a brilliant evening of flat racing, with live music, and a great atmosphere.
The event is the first in the Cork Rocks Friday Night Music Series, and the horse racing highlights are the Midsummer Sprint Stakes, the Munster Oaks, and the Cork Derby. When the racing is over, the crowd will be treated to a concert by the Irish rock group the Hothouse Flowers.
Check out our analysis and free tips for the Cork Rocks Music & BBQ Night 2019.
Midsummer Sprint Stakes (5.50)
The racing kicks-off with a difficult looking maiden at 5.20, but the Midsummer Sprint Stakes is the first big highlight on the card. This Listed Race takes place over five furlongs and it was first run in 2011.
English raiders have a good record in the race, having won four of the eight editions so far, and El Astronaute tries to improve that record this time. He’s the joint top-rated horse in the field but must concede 3lb to two equally rated horses. He also hasn’t been in the best form in England, be it in group company or when trying to concede weight in handicaps.
Ardhoomey looks sure to go close in this company but, having twice been beaten in this race before, he could again find one too good in the shape of Primo Uomo. He was only fourth behind Ardhoomey when they met at the Curragh last year, but he dwelt in the stalls that day and is 3lb better off here.
Munster Oaks (6.55)
The Group 3 Munster Oaks is the headline race on the Cork Rocks Music & BBQ Night card and it takes place over 1 mile and 4 furlongs. It has been run at Cork since 2005, since when Aidan O’Brien has trained five of the 14 winners and Dermot Weld three. However, it is O’Brien who has dominated recently with four wins in the last five years.
O’Brien has two runners this year in Chablis and Peach Tree. Chablis is rated just 93 and she has so far failed to make much of an impression in three runs this season, despite winning her only start as a two-year-old. She may be a pacemaker for Peach Tree who looked sure to relish stepping up to 12 furlongs when staying on in a decent race over 10-furlongs on her seasonal debut. She disappointed in the Epsom Oaks last time but looks sure to play a significant role back down in grade. She is taken to outstay Who’s Steph, who finished a length in front of her last time they met.
Cork Derby (7.25)
The Cork Derby isn’t quite as impressive as it sounds, as it’s a far cry from the English Derby run at Epson or even the Irish Derby which takes place at the Curragh. Indeed, it’s actually a handicap run over the Derby distance of 1 mile and 4 furlongs, which is open to horses aged four and older, rather than the classic generation.
The last two editions have been won by a two eight-year-olds, but only David’s Charm represents that age-group here. He did run well on his last run over hurdles, but he finished twelfth of twelve on his last run on the flat over 10-furlongs here at Cork.
Most of the other runners look equally as exposed, with the exception of Hasanabad. This Dermot Weld-trained four-year-old has raced just three times and got off the mark last time in a winnable maiden. However, this beautifully bred son of Nathaniel should keep on improving and his trainer is a master at laying one out for a big target.