Horse Racing Tips: James Shortt’s 6 slick picks at Naas on Sunday

Racing expert James Shortt delves into the formbook to mark your card at Naas on Sunday.

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13:45 – The Antarctic

A competitive Sunday card at Naas gets underway with a small field going to post for a juvenile affair over the five-furlong trip. THE ANTARCTIC will be a short price but the brother of Battaash looks poised to remain unbeaten for Aidan O’Brien and book his place to Royal Ascot next month. Despite getting a little upset in the stalls at Tipperary, he ran out a nice winner on that occasion and looks likely to get the better of Wodao for a second time.

The Ballydoyle team have a 67% strike-rate here with two-year-old runners at Naas this season and previously won this contest with Pistoletto in 2019. There was a lot to like about The Antarctic’s attitude and turn of foot in the closing furlong at Tipperary with the better ground likely to see him to even better effect in this Sunday opener. Donnacha O’Brien’s Wodao should finish second with Little Keilee and Mehmar making up the field for Eamonn O’Connell and Michael O’Callaghan.

14:15 – Geocentric

The drop back to five-furlongs will suit Logo Hunter who should go close to securing back-to-back victories in the Sole Power Sprint Stakes for trainer Michael Browne. The son of Brazen Beau showed plenty of improvement last season, breaking his maiden at Dundalk last March before stepping up gradually and claiming victory in this Listed event. He got tired late on over six-furlongs on his seasonal return in the Cork Stakes and should improve for that effort now back in trip.

However, the mount of Seamie Heffernan would prefer some cut in the ground and must give a stone to the lightly raced and progressive GEOCENTRIC for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane. The daughter of Kodiac showed her spirting qualities as a juvenile last season with excellent runs at the Curragh and Ayr before victory in the Listed Legacy Stakes at Dundalk in October. Her second to Romantic Proposal was an excellent effort on her seasonal return and she could make all to claim victory.

14:45 – Meditate

Aidan O’Brien mentioned this race for MEDITATE straight after her debut victory at the Curragh last month and she can remain unbeaten before heading to Royal Ascot next month. The daughter of No Nay Never travelled beautifully at HQ before shown good speed and winning impressively under Ryan Moore. The form has subsequently taken a few knocks, but she looks classy and currently heads the ante-post markets for both the Queen Mary and Albany Stakes at the Royal Festival.

Matilda Picotte showed plenty of speed and was impressive when scoring on debut for Kieran Cotter at the Curragh earlier this month, with Comhra renewing rivalries and returning quickly following maiden success at Roscommon on Monday. Elsewhere, It’s Showtime Baby rallied gamely to score at Dundalk with Treasure Trove running well behind Blackbeard earlier this month. In summary, Mediate should get a nice lead from the Cotter and Bolger fillies and strike late to score again.

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15:15 – Princess Olly

PRINCESS OLLY was only beaten just over five-lengths by History in the Cornelscourt Stakes at Leopardstown last weekend and can gain quick compensation here in the Owenstown Stakes for Adrian Murray. She was right in connection against some decent fillies at the furlong pole last week and the drop back to seven-furlongs can see her challenge under Gary Halpin. She has a bit to find on ratings with more experienced rivals, but three-year-olds have previously done well in this race. 

Lust has the benefit of two runs already this season for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane but this son of Fastnet Rock has better form with some cut in the ground. Bopedro is the highest rated runner for Jessica Harrington but returns for the first time since finishing down the field in the Navigation Stakes last October. Elsewhere, German import Diadora will be interesting on debut for Paddy Twomey while Dante’s Pass would warrant a market-watch on return for Joseph O’Brien.

15:45 – New York City (NB)

Due Diligence, Caravaggio, Sioux Nation and A Case Of You are just a few previous winners of the Lacken Stakes which once again looks an interesting affair this year. Straight Answer is bound to improve for his seasonal return and the extra half-furlong following his second to NEW YORK CITY in the Committed Stakes last month. However, Aidan O’Brien’s runner was always holding his Ger Lyons rival at Navan and can improve further having shown more maturity as a three-year-old.

Wayne Lordan knows the horse well having ridden him on five of his seven starts and a similar forward ride to that at Navan looks likely this Sunday afternoon. He needs to reverse the form with Twilight Jet from the Middle Park last September with Michael O’Callaghan’s runner likely to need his seasonal reappearance. Beauty Inspire is a horse to watch and should gain more wins later this season but New York City is the one here before heading to the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

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16:15 – Kerkiyra (NAP)

Despite making her seasonal return against some fitter opposition here, KERKIYRA has the best form in the book to finally break her maiden for Johnny Murtagh and Ben Coen. The daughter of Siyouni has raced against some quality fillies last season, finishing fourth on debut to Discoveries and Tuesday before racing against Concert Hall, Limiti Di Greccio and Villanova Queen. The form is red hot, and she looks more than capable of winning on return before stepping into Pattern company.

For example, Discoveries went on to win the Moyglare Stakes with Tuesday now a leading contender for the Oaks at Epsom. Concert Hall went on to win both the Weld Park Stakes and more recently the Salsabil Stakes at Navan. Limiti Di Greccio won the Staffordstown Stud Stakes last October for Paddy Twomey while Kerkiyra’s second when last seen at Leopardstown also reads well having both Above The Curve and Thoughts Of June behind her on that occasion.

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