EASTERN VOICE has been unlucky to come across several nice horses after three career starts this season and without any disrespect to the opposition here, the Jim Bolger-trained juvenile should break his maiden this Sunday afternoon.
The son of Vocalised finished fourth on debut at Naas in early June, with Battleground just behind in fifth coming out quickly and winning the Chesham Stakes afterwards at Royal Ascot for Aidan O’Brien.
He found another Ballydoyle horse, Military Style too good at Naas in mid-June, before finishing third to the impressive Ger Lyons-trained Frenetic in the Listed Flier Stakes at the Curragh.
The step back up to 6 furlongs looks ideal with Kevin Manning again expected to be forward with race tactics, but just looking for some cover and a lead into the business end of this maiden. Dense Star looks a danger for Joseph O’Brien after two starts, while Colin Keane teams-up with Noel Meade on Helvic Princess who finished third on debut at Roscommon.
Elsewhere, I’m always keen to watch the Darren Bunyan stable for juveniles and any market support for Skipjack under Chris Hayes needs serious attention, while Alexandrea College in the Peter Savill silks for the much inform Jessica Harrington is another danger on debut.
Paddy Twomey is a trainer to watch over the past few seasons and he recently trained Sonaiyla to Listed success here in the Sweet Mimosa Stakes last weekend and saddled Bolivar to an easy maiden success at Roscommon earlier this week.
He’s had those two winners from 12 runners in the past two weeks with only four of those 12 finishing outside the first three places – he’s a trainer in form and his only runner this weekend is our selection, SILK FOREST in the Group 3 Brownstown Stakes.
This lightly raced filly has not finished outside the places in her five starts and is joint top-rated (106) alongside So Wonderful and should progress from her seasonal debut to see off her younger rival.
She broke her maiden at Leopardstown over this 7-furlong trip last August before following up in impressive fashion in the listed Garnet Stakes at Naas last October. The daughter of Kodiac returned last month in the Lanwades Stud Stakes at the Curragh and found Magic Wand to good and finished a creditable third with Sunday’s rival Lady Wannabe back in fourth.
Ronan Whelan takes over from Billy Lee and that seasonal return should see her go close to beat So Wonderful from Aidan O’Brien’s stable.
The Coolmore-owned filly gets 8lbs from Silk Forest and has good form in the book having finished third in the Irish 1000 Guineas and fourth in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot.
This 7-furlong maiden looks a good opportunity for the Dermot Weld-trained DARK PINE to break his maiden in what looks a poor looking contest on paper, with jockey Oisin Orr in the saddle for the first time.
The Moyglare-owned gelding finished behind Sinawann, Persia and Ten Year Ticket in juvenile maidens last season before being gelded and returning to finish second in a handicap at Leopardstown last month. He was only beaten a neck by Andy Oliver’s Confidence High, who returned afterwards to boost the form when second to Sinawann in the Group 3 Amethst Stakes.
That form is rock solid and good enough to see the son of Dandy Man drop back into maiden company and get his head in front for the Rosewell team who look set to fire in the winners this month. Bestrella looks a danger for Johnny Murtagh following recent runs at Gowran Park and Tipperary, while Florence Thompson could improve for Eddie Lynam.
However, all these rivals are chasing for minor prize money as Dark Pine might be short in the betting but looks too classy not to win this race.
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