SWEET MOLLY MALONE makes the most appeal in what looks an interesting maiden to kick off proceedings. She is certainly bred to be smart, being by American Pharoah and a half-sister to several talented performers, including the Grade 1 winners Athena (Belmont Oaks) and Bracelet (Irish Oaks). She is joined in the line-up by two other newcomers from the Aidan O’Brien yard, but jockey bookings would suggest she is the first choice.
The Ballydoyle team are also represented by three newcomers in the second race on the card, but preference is for IDES OF AUGUST, who represents the Ger Lyons yard that has continued in fine form since Siskin’s success in the Irish 2000 Guineas last weekend. Lyons’ tally since the resumption of racing also includes three individual two-year-old winners, and this brother to the smart Nemoralia can boast as strong a pedigree as any of them, so it will be interesting to see whether the market speaks in his favour.
SIRJACK THOMAS returned to form after three months off when fourth at Gowran last time, staying on well in the final furlong to be beaten less than two lengths. He remains on a career-low mark and should be able to take advantage for his shrewd yard sooner rather than later. Atlas and Silver Service are others who might have a say in proceedings.
LOUGH CUTRA showed improved form after five months off when third at Naas last time, travelling as well as any and ultimately going down by just three quarters of a length at the hands of Wednesday’s Royal Ascot winner Russian Emperor.
That form sets the standard here on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings, and, with further improvement on the cards, this looks a good opportunity for him to get off the mark at the third attempt.
BRINJAL caught the eye when fifth on her reappearance at Leopardstown 12 days ago, ultimately doing well to finish as close as she did (beaten a length and three quarters) after being left with too much to do. That represented a big step in the right direction, and, still unexposed at this trip, she is fancied to get off the mark at the expense of Epona Plays, who sets the standard on the form of her fifth in a listed heat at Navan recently.
The switch to handicaps could provide the key to SWEET AFFECTION. Admittedly, she failed to meet market expectations when well held at Dundalk last time, but this trip is likely to prove much more suitable and the balance of her form suggests an opening mark of 55 won’t be beyond her when everything falls right. Cache Queen and Jack Berry Queen are just two of several dangers.
ONE VOICE improved again when narrowly denied by stablemate Silence Please in a listed heat at Naas last time, looking the likeliest winner for much of the journey before being mugged close home. Entitled to strip fitter with that first outing for 11 months under her belt, this Group 3 is likely to prove hers for the taking judged on all racecourse evidence, top on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings and with the prospect of even better to come.
PATRICK SARSFIELD made the most of a good opportunity on his final three-year-old start at the Curragh, barely needing to come off the bridle to land the spoils by four lengths. He makes the transition to handicaps here from an opening mark of 86, one that could underestimate his capabilities by some margin.
Indeed, he is already useful, and the feeling remains that we’ve barely scratched the surface of his potential, entirely possible that he could be better than a handicapper in time.
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