Rockingham Handicap 2023 | Tips, Odds & Predictions

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TournamentIrish Derby
TimetableSunday, 2nd July
PredictionRun Ran Run to Win!
OddsRun Ran Run to Win @ TBA
Run Ran Run to Win!
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On Sunday, 2nd July, the racetrack at Curragh will be dominated by Irish Derby betting and speculation. However, this iconic race will be immediately preceded by the Rockingham Handicap, which is a premier handicap outing that will feature up to 32 runners in 2023. Now that the field has been confirmed, Rockingham Handicap betting can start in earnest, but who are most likely winners?

🏆 Rockingham Handicap Prediction

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The ante post Rockingham Handicap betting odds hint at a tight and keenly contested race, with a large and diverse field (in terms of age) and no obvious favourite. However, the three-year-old colt Run Ran Run has emerged as the ante post frontrunner, with the J.A. Stack-trained runner proven over the distance and in good form having placed in the top two in three of his last four outings.

This sequence features two wins at Curragh, including an excellent showing in the Sky Bet Extra Places Every Day Premier Handicap last time out. So, although he will be challenged strongly by both Master Matt and the indefatigable Laugh a Minute, my Rockingham Handicap prediction is that Run Ran Run will narrowly prevail.

My Prediction – Run Ran Run to Win

🏇 Rockingham Handicap Betting Preview

Let’s now take a closer look at these three Rockingham Handicap 2023 runners, their recent form and what equips them to do well at Curragh!

Run Ran Run

Interestingly, Run Ran Run made his debut at Curragh in the tote Guarantee On All Irish And UK Races Irish EBF Maiden on October 23rd, 2023, finishing second only by a neck behind Tooprofitable. However, he has since raced four times this year and placed in the top two three times, with his two wins at Curragh also including a well-timed run in the Holden Plant Rentals Irish EBF Maiden in April.

During his most recent success in the Sky Bet Extra Places Every Day Premier Handicap on June 7th, he prevailed over five furlongs and beat Rockingham Handicap rivals Apache Outlaw and Silmaniya in the process. He has a demonstrable advantage over his competitors and will likely do well by the sportsbooks featured in Betinireland’s bookmaker reviews. His obvious love for the Curragh track must also be taken into consideration.

Master Matt

Michael Halford’s seven-year-old gelding Master Matt has enjoyed a prolific rules racing career, contesting 54 races while winning eight of these and placing in the top three on 20 occasions in total. The runner has also returned to some kind of form of late, even claiming his first win in nearly two years at the Race & Stay At Fairyhouse Handicap last time out.

In his previous outing a week earlier at Fairyhouse, he also placed a credible second in the SP Or Better Guaranteed With Tote At Fairyhouse Handicap. So, he’ll definitely arrive at Curragh in good form, and I’d argue that he offers value at least as a free bet option or each-way wager.

3️⃣ Laugh A Minute

Adrian McGuinness’s eight-year-old gelding Laugh A Minute has contested a staggering 57 rules races during his career, and like Master Matt, the 2023 Rockingham Handicap will see him make an 18th competitive appearance at Curragh. He’s already raced three times at the track this year, winning in the DMG Media Handicap on March 25th.

Overall, he has placed in the top three in each of his last three outings, so Laugh A Minute definitely offers decent value as an each-way wager. However, while he finished strongly when placing second in the competitive Irish Stallion Farms EBF Handicap at Curragh last time out, it should be noted that he closed out last years’ Rockingham Handicap trailing in 11th place. So, he’s unlikely to be the 2023 favourite among the best betting sites in Ireland.

⭐ Rockingham Handicap Betting Tips

As part of this Rockingham Handicap preview, I’m also going to explore how best to spend your hard-earned bankroll. So, here are some insightful Rockingham Handicap sports betting tips to keep in mind:

✅ Favour Younger Runners

The Curragh Rockingham Handicap is open to both male and female runners, who are aged three years and older. This creates a diverse field that’s reflected by the runners previewed above, but recent results suggest that race tends to favour younger horses. More specifically, each of the last five winners was aged between three and six, while three were four or under. So, you may want to favour younger runners like Run Ran Run and Richard Fahey’s four-year-old Vintage Clarets when building your betslip.

✅ Check Out the Trainers Performance at Curragh

While trainer Tim Easterby has seen three of his four runners’ triumph at the Curragh track since 2018, he’s not represented in the 2023 Rockingham Handicap. In his absence, the standout trainer at Curragh is Aidan O’Brien, who has recorded 152 triumphs in 826 runs (at a win rate of 18%) and earned a further 363 placed finishes. He’s also fielding the competitive three-year-old colt Hispanic in this year’s Rockingham Handicap, and this type of historic performance may well help to influence your horse race betting decisions here.

✅ Don’t Blindly Back the Favourite

In the last five renewals of the Rockingham Handicap, the favourite has won on two occasions, namely El Astronaute (8.00) and Strong Johnson (3.50) in 2019 and 2020 respectively. However, the 2021 winner Urban Beat wasn’t widely backed and had a starting price of 10.00, while last year’s victor Any Syra began the race as a 5.50 underdog. This trend reflects the highly competitive nature of this race and its packed fields, so don’t be swayed solely by the ante post odds and consider several datasets (including each runner’s handicap weight) before making your own Rockingham Handicap predictions.

📊 Rockingham Handicap Winners

YearHorseJockeyCountryTrainer
2018Battle of JerichoRyan MooreUSAAidan O’Brien
2019El AstronauteJason HartIREJohn Quinn
2020Strong JohnsonC.T. KeaneIREKieran Patrick Cotter
2021Urban BeatBen Martin CoenIREJohn Murtagh
2022Ano SyraJ.A. PowellIREJ.J. Feane

❓ Frequently Asked Questions About the Rockingham Handicap 2023

What horse is Favourite for the Paddy Power Rockingham Handicap?

The ante post odds for the 2023 Rockingham Handicap are only just being released, but Run Ran Run and Master Matt are likely to be among the shortest-priced runners.


What is the best way to bet on the Paddy Power Rockingham Handicap?

Betting online and placing ante post wagers on the Rockingham Handicap enables you to access and compare the best value prices. Just be sure to identify the best Rockingham Handicap betting sites, while keeping your eyes peeled for relevant welcome offers and guaranteed odds promotions.


What is the handicap in horse racing?

Any reputable Rockingham Handicap betting guide will refer to handicapping, which sees each runner allocated a specific weight according to its ability. This is done to equalise the field and create a more competitive race, while it must be factored into your betting selections.


Where can I bet on the Paddy Power Rockingham Handicap?

You can safely wager on the Paddy Power Rockingham Handicap at any of Betinireland’s recommended sportsbooks, which are inherently secure, trustworthy and home to the best value odds!

Run Ran Run to Win!

Lewis Humphries iGaming and Sports Betting Expert

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Lewis Humphries is an experienced sportswriter and tipster from the UK. He writes regularly about the sports betting and key events from across the UK and Ireland, including the Irish Grand National, the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship. He’s also providing extensive coverage and predictions ahead of major GAA sporting events in 2023!

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