An unappealing betting race with anyone’s guess as to what will happen regarding the Ballydoyle pair.
They are hard to split, whatever about the remainder, which includes two Joseph O’Brien-trained debutants wearing tongue straps. Perhaps DAYLIGHT COME can provide the answer.
Aidan O’Brien somehow failed to win this after Dylan Thomas’ 2007 victory until Capri (2018) and Magical last year got him back on track. A tricky if high-class renewal, laden with such quality as to render the quantity of runners an aside.
It is hard to know what to make of SIR DRAGONET at this stage, but he can probably be swerved as a punting ally going forward if he is not up to winning this. Which should be fairly straightforward at the weights. A tactical teaser awaits, Joseph O’Brien holding the NAP hand.
The majority of these have a reasonable chance, including ELUSIVE KING, who seems fine on nearly any ground and ran a nice race here last time. Others to consider are Nullifier and, should you want to go long, Hieroglyphic.
A fair few of these have chances. Ancient Spirit sets this season’s standard on the basis of his victory in the Heritage Stakes at Navan. Those with absences to overcome include Flight Risk after his stellar season last year, dual winner Georgeville as well as the Joseph O’Brien pair Raise You and Crotchet.
However, the progressive BOWERMAN showed enough in the authority of his victory in the Lincoln last time to suggest he is ready for the step up in grade.
Listed winner NO NEEDS NEVER has a top prospect aboard and 7lb off his back, rendering him interesting in a tortuously open race. Ice Cold In Alex is the obvious starting point, but the end point may be anywhere, so competitive is this contest.
Chief Little Hawk was disappointing at Ascot but shaped really well when winning at Navan, while Eastern Voice has shown plenty in two runs in good Naas maidens.
However, this looks a reasonable opportunity at the grade for Navan maiden winner FRENETIC (NAP), who was a very convincing winner of a race that has worked out well.
Not a vintage contest in terms of quality but none of the 15 can be completely discounted. Santiago deserves to be favourite after his Queen’s Vase victory. Of the other Ballydoyle runners, Arthur’s Kingdom has a big chance if he gets plenty of rain, Iberia should shape better than he did at Leopardstown, while both Tiger Moth and Dawn Patrol are both improvers.
If Irish 2,000 Guineas fifth Fiscal Rules gets the trip he will be a big danger to all, while the unbeaten Crossfirehurricane has obvious claims. What a contest it would be though for rookie trainer Donnacha O’Brien to win in his first season training.
He could just have the answer here with SHERPA, who might have been second in the Gallinule Stakes with a clear run, and there is little doubt that he will relish the step up to 1m4f.
A well-contested race this. Irish Derby winner Sovereign makes his first start since making all to win the premier Classic a year ago and should not be far away.
Joseph O’Brien has a decent attack here though and Melbourne Cup second-past-the-post MASTER OF REALITY runs well fresh and can take the beating. Stable companion Twilight Payment looks sure to run his race and be thereabouts.
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