Modern Love was a hit song for David Bowie in 1983, and Modern Love, trained by Michael O’Callaghan, could well be a hit for punters in the opening Fillies Maiden Stakes at 3.25pm race of Leopardstown’s bumper Saturday card.
She shaped well in a six-furlong maiden here on debut, pulling clear of the remainder with another potentially useful sort, and with improvement forthcoming, looks set to go close with this extra furlong in her favour.
Delano Roosevelt was sent off the least fancied of three Ballydoyle runners on debut here in July, but he showed near-useful form to make a winning start, and looks open to significant improvement now. Given Aidan O’Brien has farmed this race in recent years, Delano Roosevelt will likely be a warm order in the 4pm Champion Juvenile Stakes, but he is fancied to continue his stable’s excellent record in the race.
There’s probably more chance of an Oasis reunion than there is solving the 4.35pm in a few lines but, in short, Song of Namibia has the right sort of profile, remains with few miles on the clock and is still at the right end of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF “Petingo” Handicap. The drop back in trip isn’t too much of a concern and the lightly-raced six-year-old should give us a run for our money.
Dermot Weld has won the last three renewals of the 5.05pm KPMG Enterprise Stakes and holds sound claims of landing the four-timer with Eziyra. Her win in a Group 3 at Cork last time was a career best and with no real standout in opposition – US Army Ranger’s career is starting to resemble Jamie O’Hara’s, after all – she can continue Weld’s resurgence after an uncharacteristic season.
Winter has won her last four starts, all at Group 1 level, but there is still the feeling that we haven’t even seen the best of her yet. Her Nassau win came on atrocious ground, and will have likely taken more out of her than looked the case, but she has been given plenty of time to recover and, kept to racing against her own sex, there is no real reason to oppose her in the Matron Stakes at 5.35pm, with the drop back to one mile no bother.
Sir John Lavery finally came good dropped to one mile at Cork last time, but the up-and-coming Alexios Komnenos – who shares his name with a Greek emperor – is taken to rule supreme in the 6.10pm Boomerang Stakes. He is starting to make up for lost time, making the breakthrough in pattern company over this C&D last time, and with the potential for better still, he is expected to put this lot to the sword on his way to even better things.
On Timeform ratings, the Irish Champion Stakes at 6.45pm has more of an open look to it than the betting suggests, with just 5 lb separating the top six runners. Churchill indeed does come out top rated, but at his current price of around even money, there is scope to eke out some each-way value, and at the current prices, Zhukova appeals most at around 11/1. She looked better than ever when winning a Grade 1 in America two starts back, and is forgiven her latest run at the Curragh, her exploits in America perhaps taking the edge off her.
The 7.20pm is a mind-boggling handicap to finish with, though the impression Silverkode made at the Curragh last time remains fresh in the memory, and a subsequent 11lb rise may well underestimate him. The manner in which he quickened in the final furlong was seriously impressive, and he looks the proverbial group horse in a handicap.