The field for Thursday evening’s opener at Leopardstown (17:30) has a real mix of newcomers and those with experience heading to post, and there’s every chance that Tipple will drink it all in now that she has a run under her belt.
A half-sister to a couple of winners up to nine furlongs, she shaped with plenty of promise on debut when fifth in what is traditionally a strong fillies’ maiden at the Curragh at the end of last month, and she is fancied to put that experience to good use here by getting off the mark at the second time of asking.
The evening’s feature, the Group 3 Icon Meld Stakes, comes at 19.15, and Dermot Weld’s three-year-old is fancied to Haza-pour it on now up against older rivals for the first time.
We haven’t seen Hazapour since he was fifth in the Epsom Derby at the beginning of June, but he looked a serious threat for much of the race that day before finding it too much of a test of stamina in the closing stages, fading into fifth. Dropped back to nine furlongs here, he’s fancied to have too much for Aidan O’Brien’s Deauville, who is generally campaigned at higher levels than this, but usually finds one too good.
The fifth race on the card (19:50) looks a good opportunity for National Glory to get off the mark, and with the World Cup finishing on Sunday, he would be a topical winner for any E̶n̶g̶l̶i̶s̶h French or Croatian fans having a punt on the card.
He’s been consistent rather than progressive in his four starts to date, but he went close to shedding his maiden tag at Fairyhouse 11 days ago, only just being undone by a stronger stayer in the closing stages that day. Joseph O’Brien has already proven he has wisdom beyond his years, and he looks to have found his charge a great opportunity to open his account.
It could prove to be a very good evening for the O’Brien brothers indeed, as they also look to have every chance of taking the lucky last with Subjudice at 20:55.
Just like Richard Keys on Twitter, Bit of Banter has proven to have a pretty poor punchline so far, and it looks likely that Subjudice could prove to be a different proposition now that he’s been switched to handicap company and stepped up in trip, considering his middle distance pedigree (half-brother to smart 12.5f winner Ruscello) and his aforementioned cunning connections.