I’ve got a little mix for you this Saturday in my quest to land the spoils.
We kick off with the mares maiden hurdle at Bellewstown, and Silk and Sand gets the nod here ahead of Amor Verdadero.
Joseph O’Brien’s mare showed a good level of form in bumpers last season and, proven on quicker ground, she can get JJ Slevin off the mark since his return from a lay-off.
What a great little handicap hurdle we have here.
John McConnell has two chances in here with Pearl of The West aiming to bounce back from a poor effort over hurdles last time at Killarney. She does have an impressive handicap win at Punchestown to her name, though, and she won at Cheltenham last October.
John’s other chance is Play the Game, who won at Listowel last time. Up 9lbs for that win this lad will still be on the premises at the business end. Giving 1st 9lbs to Song of Namibia will be a tough ask – this lad probably ran too soon when beaten at Wexford and can score here.
The Hilltown Hurdle sees Gordon Elliott saddle two and Count Simon gets the vote not only from me but from Davy Russell, who has ridden Make My Heart Fly before and yet prefers Count Simon.
There is no doubt about this horse and he is not badly off with the conditions of the race.
Naas has flat racing and the opener has a Royal Ascot performer in Joseph O’Brien’s Year of the Tiger.
This lad was not knocked around in the Chesham when he got a bit squeezed. He should be winning here but he has Mythologic to beat who is trained by Aidan O’Brien and owned by Anne Marie O’Brien.
It could be a interesting debrief if the orange colours come and steal the spoils!
The fillies handicap looks the perfect opportunity for Bailly to get back on track.
This daughter of Charm Spirit has been sliding down the ratings and she now looks like the step up in trip could open a few more doors for her. Compare that to Arabeska who is proven at the trip but has jumped up in the ratings after a success last time.
Julia’s Magic is the clear pick on ratings here having run some great races in top company this season. Her price reflects that though.
Every time I look to find one to beat her I keep thinking the same thing: if it is that obvious then stick with it, tempting as it is to take a chance on Aleef, a horse who loves it at Naas. Aleef has run some good races at this track including in a good handicap.
Tricky little contest but I think Julia’s Magic will be too good for these.
Finding Nero is favourite here for Johnny Murtagh but I love the form of Jessie Harrington’s team at the moment and Socks Madden taking 3lbs off Claim the Lady is a plus too.
The fact that Jessie has stuck cheekpieces on only enhances the claims. A little look through this lad’s form and you can see he ran well behind Buckhurst at Leopardstown.
I need a bit of luck and a couple of non runners but with the ground drying it might happen for Lyrical Attraction in the last.
She is second reserve but boasts some really consistent form. If she gets a run she must be followed.