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The experience gained by CELTIC TIMES in his two runs may give the first-time blinkered colt a vital edge over Ballydoyle-trained newcomer Howth, noteworthy as a close relation to Jessica Harrington’s Group 2-winning filly Cayenne Pepper.
It’s hard to oppose NOTRE BELLE BETE (nap) who has performed with credit in Listed class on his first two starts and should be hard to beat dropping down into a maiden here. Prairie Dancer showed plenty of promise as a juvenile and should come on for his reappearance and Ebeneezer Perry looks a nice prospect for this season.
This is wide-open. Last time out winner Akhlaaq might still be ahead of the handicapper and the mare Cracking Name shaped like she would come on from her reappearance. However, it might be worth taking a chance on ONEIROI who seems to always run well at this venue and he should appreciate a step back up in trip having looked unsuited by a return to 7f last time out.
The progressive Coill Na Sionainne is likely to be popular despite being 7lb higher than when just denied at Gowran. Slight preference is for JOVEN who has a realistic chance of reversing last month’s form with Fugacious. In a very open contest Albedo, Harbanaker and reserve Pride Of Pimlico are also worth considering.
There was plenty to like about Solene Lilyette’s maiden success last month and she has a fair mark for handicap debut. However, slight preference is for TOOREEN ANGEL who has had excuses on her last couple of runs and might still be progressing. Princesse Mathilde could be involved if she improves from her yard debut last time, and the well handicapped Maricruz is another to consider in a wide-open event.
Winner of this race in 2019 when trained by Jim Bolger, the Melbourne Cup hero TWILIGHT PAYMENT has a run under his belt and may exploit that advantage to reverse last season’s Irish St Leger form with Search For A Song. Last year’s Derby third Amhran Na Bhfiann enters calculations following a confidence-boosting Dundalk maiden win.
If second reserve Rock Chica gets in, she would appear to have a major chance on the basis of Tuesday’s Gowran maiden run. Otherwise, it looks very open and BORN TO RULE is put forward as a speculative each-way choice. Shore and Kingslayer might not be far away if getting the run of the race from a high draw. Top-weight Dammit and the reappearing Universal Focus are credible candidates too.
A competitive finale to the card. DANCING APPROACH posted a career best when making her debut for Joseph O’Brien last month. With the likelihood she’ll come on for that run and the chance of further improvement over this longer trip, she ticks plenty of boxes. Swift Verdict has been running well on all-weather of late and can go well again. Pempie is another in good form.
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