It is no secret Aidan O’Brien’s 2yo’s make giant strides from their first run to their second, and his representative here DIVINELY probably won’t need to have progressed a whole lot, if any, to bag this one.
A respectable fifth of seven runners on her debut, the second home went on to win the Marble Hill Stakes at Cork on Sunday, and whilst she has a long way to go to scale the dizzy heights of her sister Found, this looks a good stepping stone in any case.
Last-time-out winners Kosman, Talking Tough and STAR OF CASHEL make this a competitive affair but preference is for the last-named who won comfortably at Naas three days ago. Mogwli is 7lb better off with the first-named and can get closer to him, while Eglish and Duncannon Power are interesting also.
With nothing of the class of Bigbadandbeautiful to contend with this time, NOBLE MUSIC, placed in four of her five starts for Ralph Beckett, can be compensated for her valiant effort in second spot on her recent course visit, and again prove to be a shade too strong for the re-opposing Roving Mission 3rd & Midnight Sunshine 4th. Dedillon is also worth checking out.
Plenty have squeaks here. Having run so well on debut at Gowran, CASTEL GANDOLFO can make the necessary improvement to go one better today. There are lots of dangers though, with Avarice, Ashtarak, Bolivar, Call Me Rocky and Ballinlough Gale capable of shaking the selection up.
The drop in trip may help ISOTOPE to go two better than at the Curragh last time when he got worried out of things late on over 12f. The in-form Ideal Pal has to be respected, while On The Balcony and Share The Honour look like big runs are imminent. Centroid can’t be dismissed, while last-time-out winners Rock On Seamie and Ally Cay have difficult tasks following up off higher marks.
Coming out as the best horse at the weights on official ratings, PONDUS (nap) looks a solid choice. He should improve from his seasonal debut, is ground versatile and is a straight-forward ride. Simsir was behind the selection last time but should get closer to him today. Fresnel and Heliac are closely matched but the latter won’t be suited by further rain. Helvic Dream loves this course and will go well if significant rain arrives.
Young claimer Sam Ewing looks to have a big shout onboard the recent strong staying Leopardstown second MARCHONS ENSEMBLE, with his claim more than offsetting the gelding’s 7lb rise in the books. If he gets the run of the race, he will be difficult to contain. Dazzling Darren has gone close here the last twice and deserves a change in fortunes, but Yulong Pearlisland is put forward as the biggest threat.
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