I find it very hard to get away from the obvious one here in Jungle Cove. This horse finished sixth behind Armory in the Futurity Stakes, a Group 2 at the Curragh, and Jessica Harrington is now trying to get a first beside this son of Mastercraftsman. War Leader represents top connections, but the one to watch and follow if the market gets excited is Garsman. Michael O’Callaghan has a great record with his two-year-old and this fella could be interesting as the dam won as a two-year-old over five furlongs.
Popsicle has been dropping in the ratings and has been running fine over longer trips. She travels okay and could be a player over this shorter trip. She had form over shorter for Richard Hannon and the horse that beat her at Naas, Travelwise, is now 14lbs higher in the ratings. Count of Carabass is another to be considered after a great run at Cork, this lad has form on slow ground and was well supported that day. He gets the nod over Popsicle here.
Lancaster House has impressive form figures, but this is a step up. He is a very strong traveller and the son of Galileo looked to be pulling up when in front last time at Tipperary. The two who must fancy their chances are the pair of Up Helly Aa and Still Standing. They are both strong finishers and must hope this turns into a ding dong battle. I think the pace of Lancaster House will allow him to just edge this though, but if they go hard it may well suit the staying duo.
There’s €50,000 on offer here and it’s great that we have such a strong field. The horse that ran well last time was the three-year-old Politicise. This horse used to be with William Haggas, now he’s with Adrian McGuinness and this lad will go well. Elite Trooper Grey broke a run of places with a win at Sligo last time and this step up in trip could really suit. He looks a little bit of a character and being ridden confident over this trip may bring out the best in him.
Troop Commander enjoyed the drop in grade from maidens to a handicap at Killarney last month. There was no fluke about the win either and he had a couple of these behind him. Emperor Of the Sun is the one who could be a cut above these though. He was a ready winner at Galway and could be well in off a mark of 90.
A 15lb rise in the weights may not enough to stop Mean Fomhair on what we saw at Roscommon, so the soft ground is not a problem either. The question heading into this is, just how much Angels Army can progress from her win at Roscommon? I am sticking with Mean Fomhair to win for father and son combo of Gerry and Colin Keane though.
This is a pretty tough maiden to finish the day, but in Ger Lyons we trust. His Merricourt has had a few goes, but with that recent run under his belt at Leopardstown, he can take this one for us.
14:20: Jungle Cove (4/6)
14:50: Count of Carabass (9/2)
15:25: Lancaster House (11/4)
15:55: Elite Trooper Grey (9/2)
16:25: Troop Commander (7/1)
16:55: Mean Fomhair (2/1)
17:25: Merricourt (5/2)
* All prices correct at time of posting.