CLEVELAND will obviously have to take a big leap forward from Galway to win this, but you sense he is capable of doing so and that debut display was certainly not devoid of promise. He still holds an entry in the Vertem Futurity Trophy, as well as next year’s Derby, and you could see a different colt to the one you saw at Galway here. Eternal Presence is respected, and Dublin Journal should go well too.
A competitive race but there are a couple of unexposed three-year-olds who make most appeal. Maker Of Kings might come on for his first run in 90 days at the Curragh last time but preference is for TEED UP (nap) who arrives bidding for a hat-trick and the handicapper may have let him off lightly for his recent Galway success.
It’s hard to oppose ONTARIO who has gone close in Group 2 level on his last couple of starts and sets a clear standard here. Vafortino looks the only danger on form having produced a career best last time out but he’ll probably need another to get the better of the Ballydoyle colt.
There were excuses for CURRENT OPTION when beaten at Naas last time and he had previously looked progressive in back-to-back wins in competitive seven furlong contests. Vatican City and Albigna are obvious dangers on their best form but neither look overly reliable this term. Could Be King is poorly drawn but there’s no doubt he’s going the right way at present and is another to consider.
Most of these have some sort of chance but it might be worth chancing one at likely double figure odds. ZEPHRON was unsuited by the step up in trip and switch to all-weather at Dundalk last time but he’s been cut some slack by the handicapper and he won his maiden over this course and distance back in August. Soaring Monarch went close twice at Galway and may be able to continue his progress after a short break.
STARTING MONDAY looks well-treated and much will depend on the draw and how far out of his ground he finds himself. Sweettasteoflove is also fancied from a high draw.
Cracking Name relishes the test here and can go well again, the more rain the better. The enigmatic SWISS ARMY OFFICER, despite a terrible draw, could finally prevail.
A race that makes little punting appeal, though market confidence for HAZARD would be potentially enough of a positive to back him on his return. His yard and owner James McAuley are both well-represented.
*All odds correct at time of publication*
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