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The opening 5-furlong maiden at Naas on Sunday sees the first Ballydoyle juvenile for the new season take to the racetrack. Tenebrism is a daughter of first season sire Caravaggio, out of a dual Group 1 winning mare Immortal Verse, which is without doubt a beautiful pedigree on paper.
The betting market will provide a guide as always, but it might be wise to side with I HAVE A VOICE for Jim Bolger. The Coolcullen trainer landed the first juvenile maiden of the new season last weekend with Missing Matron and has an excellent record of having his young horses forward early doors on turf.
Rory Cleary could again benefit from Kevin Manning’s decision to ride Gaire Os Ard and, like last Sunday at HQ, my selection is also sired by Vocalised. Elsewhere, Johnny Murtagh runs both Lord Gorgeous and Threebagsfull, while Princess Rajj and Might and Mercy would also warrant respect.
HARRY’S HILL has previous experience of getting his head in front following two victories from nine career starts for trainer Martin Hassett. The son of Heeraat broke his maiden in a soft ground Navan nursery last October with Ablah back in second place on that occasion. A further success came at Dundalk in January before finishing third at the same venue later that month.
He’s now rated 7lbs higher than his Navan victory, but Dylan Browne McMonagle takes off a valuable 5lbs here. Adrian McGuinness has decided to drop Ablah back in trip having raced over both 7furlongs and 1m in recent starts at Dundalk this month.
Elsewhere, Ger Lyons and Colin Keane combine with The Last Knight, who could improve for his return at the Curragh last Sunday. Oh So Woke is another who should not be discounted at a bigger price for Willie McCreery following his success with Downforce last Sunday.
POWER UNDER ME was a backward type as a juvenile for Ger Lyons last season and only came good in early September before winning his maiden over course and distance last October. Shane Lyons described the son of Mehmas as very weak and gangly at the start of last season before developing into the autumn and looking an interesting three-year-old for the 2021 campaign. The form of his victory has been enhanced with both Coultard and Never Seen Before two subsequent winners.
An opening handicap rating of 100 might look harsh for a horse with little experience, but race conditions could suit in a contest won by the Glenburnie team twice in the past four-seasons. Elsewhere, Aidan O’Brien runs lightly raced Forest Of Dreams, while Eastern Voice could run well at a bigger price for Jim Bolger. Pretty Boy Floyd looks the biggest danger for Sarah Dawson with Katie McConville claiming 10lbs from the six-year-old who finished fifth to Downforce last weekend.
YUKON LIL returns to hurdles for the first time since finishing fourth to Concertista at the Cheltenham Festival last year. The Willie Mullins-trained mare clearly has the best form and looks more than capable of returning to winning ways in this 2m Mares’ Hurdle at Limerick.
Her sole victory over fences at Cork last November reads extremely well, with Scarlet And Dove landing a hat-trick since for Joseph O’Brien and Mount Ida remarkably winning the Kim Muir at Cheltenham last week.
She was pulled-up by Danny Mullins when something wasn’t right in a graded race won by Colreevy at Thurles in January, before returning to finish third to Elimay at Naas last month. The return to hurdles and a tongue-tie could produce a spark and she’s a solid bet running off level weights against Felicidad and Mt Leinster Gold. The Denise Foster mare can come second having previously ran well at Leopardstown behind Heaven Help Us, who subsequently won the Coral Cup at Cheltenham.
The action at Limerick on Sunday ends with a Listed bumper where BELLE METAL can remain unbeaten for Willie Mullins. Kenny Alexander looks to have found another nice mare following her victory in impressive fashion at Naas on debut back in January.
The daughter of Solider Of Fortune ran away with that bumper under Jody Townend, with the third-placed Eyewitness enhancing the form since with victory at Naas for Gordon Elliott.
The Cullentra House team look to have the biggest danger with Boothen Boy now racing under the care of Denise Foster and giving away 3lbs to Mullins filly. Jamie Codd takes the ride on the son of Getaway, who travelled extremely well before going down fighting against Palace Rock over hurdles at Navan earlier this month. Elsewhere, Silas Marner is another for the shortlist following his good second for Charles O’Brien behind Dark Raven on debut at Leopardstown three weeks ago.
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