Horse Racing Tips: Our NAP and best bets for Leopardstown on Sunday

It's a Classic trials day at Leopardstown and PPTV's James Shortt picks out some likely candidates.

Leopardstown Flat racing

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

13:50 – Schiele

Family fun day at Leopardstown gets underway with an average looking seven-furlong maiden with SCHIELE one of the main contenders for trainer Joseph O’Brien. The son of Dark Angel has shown more than enough in three starts to finally break his maiden with the Piltown handler in excellent form since the start of the month. State Of Rest, Buckaroo and Twilight Spinner were nice winners for the team last weekend with several others also running well over the past week.

The Peter Brant owned runner has finished third on all three starts to date, including on debut when behind Silver Surfer at Fairyhouse last June, with that horse subsequently doing well in America for new trainer Philip D’Amato. The benefit of his recent run at Limerick should give Schiele the edge over Corporal Violette with Ger Lyons’ runner making her seasonal return following two second place finishes at Naas last year.

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14:25 – Ark

Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore have enjoyed a wonderful week and ARK will hopefully kick-off a fine day at Leopardstown for the Ballydoyle team in this 1-mile 2-furlong fillies maiden. The daughter of Galileo was only beaten a length on return when racing forward and running an excellent third to stable-mate Emily Dickinson at Naas last month. The jockey booking of Moore suggests she’s the one to side with over Cherub, who could chase her home following a good third on debut last month.

Aidan O’Brien has plenty of form lines on the abilities of his three-year-old fillies with Cherub finishing behind stable-mate Lily Pond in that Dundalk maiden. Elsewhere, several of these clash again following efforts behind Lyrical Poetry at Gowran with Zaniyka looking to keep her head in-front of Antilia, Kiss You Later and Caromil. However, Star Angel could be the biggest danger as I’d expect Johnny Murtagh’s filly to improve plenty from her debut behind Above The Curve last month.

15:00 – Waterville (NAP)

It’s hard to look beyond WATERVILLE in this 1-mile 4-furlong maiden with Aidan O’Brien’s runner looking to score on his second career start this season. The son of Camelot was highly talked about before his debut third at the Curragh last month and made eye-catching late headway to suggest he’s a certain winner in waiting. He ticks all the boxes here and is the standout selection thanks to the benefit of that recent run, the excellent form of the stable and the extra two-furlongs.

The Master of Balllydoyle also runs Fleet Commander who should improve from his debut sixth at Cork last month and Gulliver’s Travels, a newcomer related to Magic Wand and Chicquita. Elsewhere, Joseph O’Brien saddles two-runners for Lloyd Williams, Como Park, third on debut at the Curragh last October and newcomer Carlton Gardens. However, it’s brother Donnacha’s runner First Emperor who can improve for his debut run around here last month and chase home Waterville.

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16:05 – Agartha

The Group 3 Cornelscourt Stakes looks a good renewal with AGARTHA holding the best form in the book to gain victory here for Joseph O’Brien and Declan McDonagh. The daughter of Caravaggio made an excellent return to action at this track last month when just failing to make all when beaten late by Homeless Songs in the 1000 Guineas Trial. She’s the top-rated filly here (109) and will no-doubt improve for that run to secure her third career victory and her second at Leopardstown.

Her form last season was rock solid with victory in the Silver Flash before success in the Debutante and a second-place finish in the Moyglare. Her fourth-place effort behind Zellie in Paris last October also took a nice form boost last Sunday with that filly running a creditable fourth to Cachet in the Guineas at Newmarket. She’s the horse to beat and can uphold the form with Panama Red from last month and secure a much-deserved win before running in our 1000 Guineas in two-week’s time.

16:35 – Stone Age (NB)

Aidan O’Brien has made this race his own with a remarkable 14-career victories in this Derby Trial at Leopardstown since 1998. Having won this race with the likes of Galileo, High Chaparral, Yeats and Fame And Glory to name just four, the Ballydoyle team are solely represented this year by STONE AGE with Ryan Moore in the saddle. The son of Galileo is certainly a late bloomer having only won his maiden in late March having had five unsuccessful efforts as a juvenile last season.

However, his runs at two were creditable having finished second to last weekend’s Tetrarch Stakes winner Buckaroo in a Galway maiden before running well here on Champions Day and also in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud last October. He can reverse juvenile form with Manu Et Corde and Atomic Jones on the back of his runaway success at Navan last month. I get the impression this horse has grown up and matured and can provide O’Brien and Moore with another nice trial winner this week.

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17:05 – Real Appeal

REAL APPEAL is the star-quality on ratings in the Amethyst Stakes for Jessica Harrington and Shane Foley and I’m hoping he has enough class to give over a stone to Aidan O’Brien’s improving three-year-old Ivy League. Zhang Yuesheng’s runner has plenty of experience and did well to finish only four-lengths behind Space Blues from an awful draw in the Breeders’ Cup Mile at Del Mar last November.

He’s previously shown his ability to run well fresh having won on debut in France for Matthieu Palussiere and on his seasonal debut here at Leopardstown last season. He’s certainly improved from that handicap victory off 90 and has subsequently secured two further wins here in Foxrock, the Ballycorus Stakes last June and the Group 2 Boomerang Mile on Champions Day. He’s a game horse and will need to be again to see off the improving Ivy League who was impressive at Naas.

James Shortt’s Sunday Leopardstown Tips

13:50 – Schiele
14:25 – Ark
15:00 – Waterville (NAP)
16:05 – Agartha
16:35 – Stone Age (NB)
17:05 – Real Appeal

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change

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