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Fozzy Stack and Chris Hayes can land this opening 5-furlongs maiden with BLUE CABOCHON having been successful with American Lady in this race last year. The 82-rated daughter of Holy Roman Emperer has been unlucky not to break her maiden having raced against some nice opposition as a juvenile in 2020.
She finished behind triple Listed winner Frenetic twice in both the First Flier Stakes and Curragh Stakes at the Curragh in June and August. She looked a little tapped for toe and raced wide before staying on for fifth-place on her latest start over course and distance before Christmas.
The likely strong pace set by Approbare, Zen Silence and Brother In Law should suit and she’ll settle in behind before storming home late for victory. Chole Byrne is having her second career ride on Approbare for Ted Walsh and will appreciate the drop-in trip, while Colin Keane should get Zen Silence to settle a little better for Kieran Cotter.
SCOTT LANG is certainly not the size of an ant and is a big scopey galloping type who stayed on nicely to finish a surprising second over course and distance last month. It was a good performance by Adrian Murray’s runner, and he can uphold the form against Melliferous and Listening Mode in this middle-distance maiden.
Melliferous has raced again since and steps back-up in trip for Joseph O’Brien after her recent second-place effort behind Tooreen Angel. She was only beaten a head under Shane Crosse and now uses cheekpieces for the first time with the extra distance another positive.
Listening Mode is interesting for Brendan Duke and should improve for his fifth-place finish and can reach the frame under Kevin Manning. The penny was only dropping with the son of Vocalised late on and this looks his minimum trip, while S’All Good Man could challenge following a fifth-place finish behind Mosala last month.
SLADE RUNNER looked a shade unlucky not to secure back-to-back wins earlier this month and despite a poor draw gets the verdict to score in this 7-furlong handicap. The four-year-old travelled well from off the pace, but jockey Declan McDonagh was stuck for room when challenging behind rivals in the closing furlong.
He needed to switch quickly and make a move on his inside left which cost him a few lengths and a narrow defeat behind Sunset Nova. Kieran Cotter’s runner should appreciate the extra furlong and has gone up 1lb in the ratings to 55, but jockey Sam Ewing takes off a valuable 2lbs to help.
Ewing will have to be patient due to his poor draw in stall 16, but hopefully he’ll show a good turn of foot and challenge without any issues. Masalai has gone up 3lbs for his latest win with Amazing One dropping down in the ratings, while Jm Barrie could be the best contender from those who raced behind Gatsby Cap here 11 days ago.
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RANGER BOB put in an eye-catching closing furlong when coming from way off the pace to finish second behind Masalai on his latest start and can hopefully win for trainer Ger Keane. The son of Camacho was not beaten far on his previous two starts when finishing third and fifth here last month. He looks a nice each-way selection now racing off 52 once again with jockey Sam Ewing taking off his valuable 2lb claim.
Hands Down and Dark Design were just in behind Ranger Bob and remain on the shortlist, while Caesar’s Comet, Sister Lola, Sideshow Bog and Porterinthejungle are other leading contenders. James McAuley’s runner previously dead-heated with Sunset Nova and has been dropped 3lbs for this latest run, with jockey Paddy Harnett taking off 4lbs. Sister Lola is drawn wide for Eddie Lynam, while Sideshow Bob and Porteringthejungle have very similar lines of form in this open handicap.
Joseph O’Brien can secure his third straight victory in this 7-furlong contest with DEVIL’S OUTLAW finally getting off the mark in the finale. The son of War Front returns quickly having been outbattled by Rocky Sky here last week, but drops back a furlong under regular jockey Declan McDonagh. He stayed on nicely when second over course and distance last month and comprehensively beat Benavente on that occasion.
It will be interesting to see if Richard O’Brien’s runner can reverse the form having outran his odds when racing on debut at Naas last June. The son of Twilight Son finishing behind some talented horses, including winner Lucky Vega, Lipizzaner, Alex D, Eastern Voice and Paddy Power’s current 2000 Guineas ante-post favourite, Battleground. Eloso also runs for Richard O’Brien and could challenge for a place alongside Michael Halford’s newcomer Rosa Dartle.
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