1.20 Tally Ho Stud Irish EBF Maiden 6f
Unquestionable ran to an impressive standard on his debut and can get off the mark now going into maiden company. Donnacha O’Brien’s colt finished just in behind His Majesty and Valiant Force, who both take in the Group 3 Marble Hill Stakes on this card, and ahead of Blame Thechampagne, who has since gone on to show the form is at a good level. The son of Wootton Bassett has an experience advantage now and his trainer has been going well with his juveniles this season.
Of the newcomers, City Of Troy looks the most interesting for Aidan O’Brien. A son of Justify out of Together Forever, two of his siblings won first time out while the other two finished second.
Next best: City Of Troy
1.55 GAIN Marble Hill Stakes (Group 3) 6f
Five of the six runners here won first time out but Noche Magica looked easily the most impressive. Paddy Twomey’s colt was much the best in his Cork maiden, coming three and three quarter lengths away from Sturlasson, recording a good time in the process. Out of a half-sister to Dandy Man and Anthem Alexander, he could be very smart indeed.
He was an intended runner in the First Flier before picking up a knock, and that race then went to His Majesty, who wore down Valiant Force. Aidan O’Brien’s colt stands very tall for a juvenile and might just find this rise in class a little taxing at this stage. Buyin Buyin might be better suited to this sort of test. He looked smart in his maiden win at Dundalk, coming three lengths clear of his rivals and has since been acquired by Gaelic Thoroughbreds.
SELECTION: NOCHE MAGICA
Next best: Buyin Buyin
2.30 Weatherbys Ireland Greenlands Stakes (Group 2) 6f
Art Power can make it three out of three over this course and distance. Tim Easterby’s six-year-old was a little bit disappointing last season but he didn’t appear until August and he still managed to win impressively in the Renaissance Stakes in September. He was well held on seasonal debut in the Duke Of York Clipper Stakes last week, but he was sent off a big price, and the run may have been focussed on getting him ready for this race.
Garrus has 4lb in hand and started his season in fine style by staying on strongly to take the Group 3 Abernat Stakes. His third to Highfield Princess in the Prix Maurice de Gheest last term is a standout piece of form and he could be a tough nut to crack. Of the home team, Moss Tucker has been in good form this term, notably getting the better of Tenbrisim at Naas on his penultimate start. He can run well again.
SELECTION: ART POWER
Next best: Garrus
3.05 FBD Hotels & Resorts Orby Stakes (Listed) 1m 4f
Cork handicap winner Mashhoor is an improving type who could find more now coming up to this trip but Sionnach Eile may be able to reverse the form with him, having finished in mid division in that contest. He was conceding 6lb to Johnny Murtagh’s horse on that occasion and probably was inconvenienced by the way the race was run over an inadequate distance. This greater stamina test should suit him better.
Ottilien was all the rage for a listed contest at Cork on her debut for Joseph O’Brien and while she disappointed there, she is surely much better than the bare form of that race. The Bobby Flay-owned filly finished third in the Prix de Royallieu at ParisLongchamp on her final start for David Menuisier, meaning she holds a rating of 107, and she shouldn’t be written off given her trainer’s very good record with older fillies and mares so far this term.
SELECTION: SIONNACH EILE
Next best: Ottilien
4.15 Finlay Volvo Handicap 7f
A bit of a minefield with these lightly raced and well bred three-year-olds open to any amount of improvement but Not Even Close makes most appeal. He won his maiden on debut at Dundalk late last year and made a pleasing start to his three-year-old career when a close fourth to Lord Massusus at Gowran Park. The form of that race looks strong, particularly through the winner’s subsequent exploits, and so a mark of 85 could prove lenient for the daughter of Zoustar.
Aidan O’Brien’s trio Carracci, Farnborough and Canute all look dangerous but down the bottom of the weights, Devore could be a springer. She ran well over this course and distance when helping to force a strong gallop, eventually keeping on well to finish third to Snowcapped. If she can step forward from that, she will have a say here.
SELECTION: NOT EVEN CLOSE
Next best: Devore
4.50 Novibet Guineas Festival Handicap 1m 2f
Vega Magnifico could well improve from his seasonal debut sixth at Limerick to take this competitive handicap. Joseph O’Brien’s son of Lope De Vega looked a smart type when he won at Navan last term and was well backed for the Group 3 International Stakes at this course on Irish Derby weekend, suggesting there was a reasonably strong belief he was better than a rating of 95. That wasn’t the case but he has been gelded since and ran an eyecatching race at Limerick, trailing a big field in last place coming into the straight, before making decent headway down the outside.
Smooth Tom looked a different proposition with first-time headgear on at Leopardstown and he could have more to offer coming back to a course and distance he has won over. Wild Dollar, fifth in that Leopardstown race, remains a potentially well treated horse off a mark of 80 and a strongly run contest could play to his strengths.
SELECTION: VEGA MAGNIFICO
Next best: Smooth Tom
5.25 Bet Builder Novibet Irish EBF Maiden 1m 2f
The presence of Up And Under, runner-up in the Ballysax and Derby Trial, renders this a rather uncompetitive contest. Joseph O’Brien’s colt already has a rating of 106 and should go ahead and convert this opportunity, possibly setting himself up for an Irish Derby bid.
There are lots of nice colts to take him on but they will have to step up significantly. Voice Of Reason catches the eye for Ger Lyons. He was third to Cairo and Gulf Of Mexico at the Curragh last August, the trio coming clear. That rates a fine effort first time out. Dawn Session showed plenty on just his second start, and first of the season, when a half length away from Winston Spencer last Saturday and could jump forward again now.
SELECTION: UP AND UNDER
Next best: Voice Of Reason