Leopardstown stage an interesting card on Sunday and the Amethyst Stakes at 14:15 is where our Lucky 15 starts. It looks an up-to-scratch renewal of this Group 3 and last year’s winner Zihba again looks the one to beat.
He lost his way towards the end of last season – not as badly as Barcelona and Ajax, mind – but made an encouraging return when finishing runner-up to a subsequent winner over Sunday’s C&D last month. If he can build on that now, he looks the one to beat on the pick of his form.
Hazapour won the Derrinstown Trial on this card 12 months ago and could prove the biggest danger back at a mile, if returning to his best.
The Irish 1000 Guineas Trial takes place 35 minutes later at 14.50. Aidan O’Brien is the winning most trainer in the race with 10 wins, but with Fire Fly seemingly his main hope, there’s probably more chance of seeing a smiling Man United fan than him getting a record 11th win in the race. Instead, it could pay to side with Dermot Weld’ filly Titanium Sky, who made a winning return over seven furlongs at this course last month and didn’t at all run badly up in grade when a close sixth at the Curragh last time. That experience is likely to stand her in good stead and she won’t have to improve much more to play a leading role here in what doesn’t look the strongest renewal.
Broome is a ‘coastal, pearling and tourist town in the Kimberley region of Western Australia’ and by the looks of Broome’s reappearance win, it must have been a brilliant winter – or summer – as he looked better than ever when winning the Ballysax Stakes over C&D last month.
That performance put him right in the Epsom Derby picture, and this looks the obvious next step for him, miles clear of his closest rival Guarenteed on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings. It will be disappointing if he isn’t able to follow up here in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial (15.25) and give Aidan O’Brien a remarkable 12th win in the race. The unexposed Rakan from Dermot Weld’s yard only won a maiden over a mile here last time, but did so with a fair bit in hand. He and arrives with plenty of potential with his pedigree strongly suggesting he should improve further over this longer trip.
The 1m 4f maiden that concludes the card at 17:10 looks ripe for Il Paradiso. He has much the best form on offer of those with experience, having found just one rival too good on his final two starts last season at Newmarket and Gowran, respectively. With stamina in his pedigree, there should be much more to come from him this season now tackling middle distances and it will be disappointing if he isn’t able to make a winning return now. Heavenly Snow, who has proven stamina, looks the main danger on form, and still has the potential for better still, while the same can be said for Burning Bridges.
*Prices correct at time of publishing but are fluid