There’s a lot of expensive types in this 5f maiden, with powerful owners and equally powerful stables. I like to call these contests: ‘Please tell me I’ll never run them in a race like this again’ races. Richard Hannon’s Kemble cost £100,000, but on her debut looked like she’d sooner be doing dressage, rather than sprinting around a racecourse.
Saeed Bin Suroor’s Making History looked like doing nothing of the sort, despite being backed off the boards on his debut at Nottingham, while Karl Burke’s Constitutional cost £52,000 and couldn’t get out of the stalls cleanly on debut. Goodness.
If you want to be shrewder with your money than some of these owners, the pin must fall on Illusionist for Archie Watson. He comes from a good family and had less problems than the rest of these on debut. There’s a real sense that his length defeat to Strong Power at Lingfield could be very good form in time.
It’s usually wise to side with trainer Tony Carroll when the money comes for one, so check the market for any move on Second Collection. He’s not been beaten more than three-parts-of-a-length since being campaigned over 6f. While this trip seems perfect for him, a further 3lbs on his back could have his measure here.
Clive Cox’s Heritage will be popular and she returns to 6f for the first time since finishing third on her debut at Newbury last August. She was third in the second colours of the winning owners last time and there could be room for improvement given this is just her second run in a handicap.
Bellevarde’s last win was flattering given that the fancied ones were stuck in behind, while Scintilating may possibly prove the best of these in time. She only beat one home last time and is best watched for now.
Top weight Belated Breath makes his seasonal debut after rounding off last season with a 6f win at Nottingham. A 4lb penalty may not be enough to stop her for the potent partnership of Hughie Morrison and Oisin Murphy.
A repeat of that Nottingham effort, with improvement expected, could be enough to win this competitive affair.
Verdict: Belated Breath
Killarney – 19:10
A couple of familiar faces in here who may be left to fight out the finish.
Brian Jordan’s Cotton Jenny will need to improve a lot if she’s to get involved here, while Mrs Lovett needs to step up on Thurles win three runs back is she’s to score for the Gordon Elliott team.
The enigmatic Don’t Touch It last won off a mark of 143 and has looked well-held in every start since, so it could boil down to a face-off between the two highest-rated in the race in Jett and Peregrine Run. The former has had a busy winter, but usually performs better on a sounder surface but did find a career-high mark of 153 too much to negotiate last time at Punchestown, after being hit with a 9lb penalty for winning a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse before that. Top weight here won’t make it any easier.
So almost by default, we’re left with Peregrine Run who is a previous course and distance winner. He was right in the mix when falling in the Topham Chase at Aintree last time and this could be a clever piece of placement by trainer Peter Fahey.
Verdict: Peregrine Run