Leopardstown takes centre stage on Sunday with the feature Blue Wind Stakes at 5:15pm and the RTE and Racing TV cameras will be there.
It is extremely hard to side against LOUGH CUTRA despite being a short price for the Irish Guineas trio of Ger Lyons, Colin Keane and Prince Khalid Abdullah. The son of Oasis Dream has excellent form in the book from two career starts and this looks an ideal opportunity for his three-year-old to break his maiden before progressing further later this season.
He made his racecourse debut when second at the Curragh last October behind Ten Year Ticket, who recently returned to land a listed event here at Leopardstown for Jim Bolger. Lough Cutra made his seasonal return at Naas in March and finished third to Aidan O’Brien’s Russian Emperor, who landed the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot earlier this week.
Those two starts were on underfoot conditions and any further rainfall around Foxrock would not be an inconvenience for the Lyons trained runner. The opposition will need to improve to defeat our selection, with Aidan O’Brien running both Paradiso and Numen. The more interesting danger could be Ciel Dafrique for Dermot Weld on debut with the Moyglare home-bred by Sea The Stars out of a Linamix mare.
The feature Blue Wind Stakes has been transferred to Leopardstown from Naas this year and dominated by Jim Bolger and Dermot Weld over the past decade. Bolger has no runner this year, but the master of Rosewell runs AMMA GRACE for the Moyglare team and warrants serious respect. She went off favourite on debut and finished third behind winner Passion, with the fifth horse home, Lemista boosting the form with success in the Group 3 Park Express Stakes earlier this season.
She is bred in the purple by Galileo out of Polished Gem (a Danehill mare) and related to many classy Moyglare horses, including Free Eagle, Search For A Song, Falcon Eight and Sapphire. She held on to win her maiden over one mile here last October and the step up in trip should suit on Sunday, with talented young jockey Oisin Orr in the saddle again.
Snow and One Voice are the main opposition for in-form trainers, Aidan O’Brien, and Jessica Harrington. One Voice was beaten a nose by stable-mate Silence Please in the Salsabil Stakes and the horse to beat, while Snow showed battling qualities from the front when landing her maiden at the Curragh last week.
Patrick Sarsfield will be popular and have every chance for trainer Joseph O’Brien and jockey Declan McDonagh, but I’m siding with Moyglare, Weld and Orr yet again with LIGHTNING AMBER. She had recent winner and today’s rival Ideal Pal behind her when finishing second at Galway last October and ran second to Broome earlier in 2019.
The daughter of Dutch Art broke her maiden here at Leopardstown last October, with the second horse home, Heliac a recent winner of the Noblesse Stakes here in Foxrock for Ger Lyons. Her current rating of 81 looks good enough to challenge in what looks an open contest, where a handful of runners have solid chances.
Patrick Sarsfield did not manage to race at the Curragh last week and should go off favourite for the middle of the O’Brien family with a trainer’s licence. Having previously been trained by Eddie Lynam and Michael O’Callaghan he landed his maiden at the Curragh last October for Joseph and makes a seasonal debut following a gelding operation in January.
*Prices on our snazzy new bet widget are bang up to date.