Apollo Thirteen is quite a striking name for Aidan O’Brien’s newcomer and he is of obvious interest here, along with his stablemates Metaphorical and The Piano Player. However, on the back of a Group 3 third, GIULIANA has the standout form. Her mark might flatter her a bit, but she is battle hardened at this stage, which is an important weapon on the ground. Elanora should also be bang there.
Aidan O’Brien has won this for the last two years, and he is strongly represented again, with the Gowran Park fourth King Of The Castle probably the pick of his trio. However, Jessica Harrington is also on the scoresheet in recent years in this race and she introduces a potentially smart operator in the shape of the Guineas/Derby-entered TAIPAN. The son of Frankel has a lot to bring to the table. Dublin Journal can complete the placings.
Gerard Keane’s LAUGHIFUWANT (NAP) has been in the form of his life of late and he was probably caught out by the drop to 7 furlongs in a Listed race at Leopardstown last time out. One Last Look and Harpocrates are unknown quantities to some extent making their seasonal debuts here, and any money for either of those could be significant. Expect Saltonstall to be doing his best work in the finish again.
So Wonderful is clearly capable at this level and has achieved more than any of these rivals, but she’s not straightforward and needs to be delivered on the line. The British raider WITH THANKS is less exposed than most of these and she’s the preferred option after a career best at Goodwood last time in behind Onassis, who was beaten less than 3 lengths in the Champions Sprint subsequently.
This is competitive, but we know HUDDLE UP appreciates plenty of cut in the ground and he returned to form with a solid effort over course and distance last time out. True Artist looks a potential improver now tackling handicaps and the same can be said for Alex D.
The Names Jock had several of these in behind last time and while he has a 9lb rise to cope with, he won with a fair bit in hand. However, slight preference is for NEWGIRLINTOWN, who has also been given 9lb for her latest win by the handicapper. The form of that race looks relatively strong for the grade and she’s been in good form all year, making progress with each start.
This is likely to be a tough finale to find the winner of. Zero Ten is a very intriguing runner who was last seen winning a Grade 3 over fences at Thurles. Conditions may help bring his stamina into play, but there are nagging doubts whether he will have the speed for this trip.
Dermot Weld’s runners both look interesting and AZILA appears to be the first string. She might have needed the run last time out, but could be hard to beat if she comes on for that run and can recapture her two-year-old form. Smile At Me is the most interesting of the newcomers in the field.
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