1.30 John Ormonde Wexford Sand Irish EBF Maiden 7f
Joseph O’Brien won this with Thunder Moon two years ago he can win again with Al Riffa, who really caught the eye on his debut over this course and distance. The favourite that day Hans Andersen looked set to win comprehensively only for Al Riffa to come from the pack with notably fast late sectionals to close him down to under two lengths. The penny dropped late on for the Wootton Bassett colt and he should have learned from the experience.
The same applies, but to a lesser extent, to Fleetfoot, a former Shadwell horse bought for €135,000, who put up a promising debut performance when finding only Tower Of London too good in a Leopardstown maiden. Of the newcomers, Salt Lake City makes most appeal. He is a Galileo colt out of the Queen Mary winner Heartache, so he could be sharp and smart enough to win at the first time of asking for Aidan O’Brien.
SELECTION: AL RIFFA
Next best: Salt Lake City
2.05 Loder Irish EBF (Fillies) Race 7f
Shelton gets the vote to build upon a decent debut when he finished seventh to Vernet over this course and distance. Paddy Twomey’s filly travelled well but was tenderly ridden late on and will likely feel the benefits of that experience going forward. Needless to say, her trainer is enjoying an excellent season.
Both Madly Truly and Basil Martini only found one too good on their debuts and deserve respect coming from top yards but one outsider to note is Expressova, who caught the eye when midfield in a maiden won by Never Ending Story over this course and distance on debut. She came home nicely that day, and has a better draw now.
Next best: Expressova
2.40 John Ormonde Construction Irish EBF Maiden 6f
Beauty Crescent could make it third time lucky. He showed good form on his first two starts, finishing second to subsequent Norfolk third Crispy Cat on debut at Cork and then third to Harry Time at Navan. He has been gelded since those runs and given time to progress at home - 84 days off the track - and if he shows the benefit of that, he could be tough to beat.
Yuzu is another to note as a newcomer from the Jessica Harrington yard. She is a daughter of the Japanese sire Daiwa Major and German bred mare Diaphora, who ran to a good level in her native country.
SELECTION: BEAUTY CRESCENT
Next best: Wave Machine
3.15 Rathasker Stud Phoenix Sprint Stakes (Group 3) 6f
British sprinters are always worth following when they come over here and three will take their chance in this contest - Go Bears Go, Dubawi Legend and Wings Of War. Of the trio, Go Bears Go will be popular, especially considering he is a already a course and distance winner and finished ahead of Dubawi Legend in the Hackwood Stakes at Newbury last time, but there wasn’t much in it, and the vote goes to the latter to turn the tables now.
A highly-touted juvenile, he found only Native Trail too good in the Dewhurst and since then he has failed to really settle in his races, twice at Group 1 level at a mile, before doing better when mid division in the Jersey Stakes back over seven furlongs.
His latest run was a first start at six furlongs and he produced near a career best, travelling powerfully again and finishing out his race much better despite having no cover for much of his journey. He has the scope to improve now, on just his second try at this distance and may well come in here under the radar.
Of the home team, you have to take note of course-and-distance specialists Gustavus Weston and Teresa Mendoza, especially the former who has won this race twice before. However Power Under Me remains a sprinter of high potential and he probably raced a little closer than ideal to a hot pace in the listed contest won by Teresa Mendoza here in June. He beat that filly easily on his last start last season and can turn the tables if placed to better advantage today.
SELECTION: DUBAWI LEGEND
Next best: Power Under Me
3.45 Sheehy Motors Volkswagen Handicap 1m
Ice Cold In Alex is a victim of his own consistency as has been given little or no leeway from the handicapper this season but he could secure another win today. He is the most exposed runner in the field but he usually saves his best efforts for the Curragh, and has done so again this season, notably when finishing third to Mutasarref in a good handicap here in June. He needs things to fall right on the day, but in a trappy race, he could be worth chancing, given there are plenty of question marks elsewhere.
Janoobi is the obvious one, a thrice-raced colt who won his maiden in good style when last seen but that was 80 days ago, and he was pulled out on account of quick ground since, so that may be against him today.
Plunkett is probably the best other option. He’s been really progressive this season and though only seventh at Galway off a 7lb higher mark on his latest run, he should be better suited to this more conventional track.
SELECTION: ICE COLD IN ALEX
Next best: Plunkett
4.55 Donohue Marquees Handicap 6f
Superior Force gets the vote in what may not be the strongest heat. Adrian Murray’s three-year-old gelding has run well on both of his two starts since joining the yard from George Boughey’s, finishing fifth to Sablonne at Naas and then fourth to Gordon Bennett at the same track on his most recent start. He gets a good pull at the weights with that rival now and has the scope to improve further.
She’s In The Game was really progressive last season when she finished second three times in a row and then won twice, improving from a mark of 50 at the beginning of the term to 73 when she finished off. She was midfield on her seasonal debut here in May, but may well have needed that run, and though she has been off for an extended period since, she could be a different proposition now.
SELECTION: SUPERIOR FORCE
Next best: She’s In The Game
5.25 AK Bets Higher Limits Better Prices Handicap 5f
Big Gossey is the right horse to start with given he has put together three seconds in a row. The most recent two have come in big handicaps at this course. He is the one to beat but he is vulnerable to a less exposed runner and that could be Harmony Rose. Ken Condon’s three-year-old filly comes into this off a career best run, having found only Erosandpysche too good in a premier handicap at Cork. She has previously run well at the Curragh and has the scope to improve.
Neo Soul is the next to note. He disappointed in the Scurry Stakes on his previous run but the six and a half furlongs may have been too long for him there and the move back to five furlongs is a positive. He had been progressing well prior that effort.
SELECTION: HARMONY ROSE
Next best: Neo Soul