2.00 Flat Is Back At Leopardstown Maiden 1m
Point Gellibrand sets a good standard off the back of his two runs last season. He began his career with an encouraging second to Atomic Jones, the subsequent Champions Juvenile Stakes winner, in a Curragh maiden, before going on to finish fifth to Point Lonsdale in the Futurity. That latter effort wasn’t bad at all when you consider it was just his second ever run and there should be plenty more to come from this Camelot colt.
Janoobi is most interesting as well. He was bought by Gaelic Bloodstock out of the Shadwell dispersal last year and races for Ger Lyons for the first time today. He ran just once for his previous trainer Mark Johnston, finishing second in a Nottingham maiden, and could go well now for his new connections.
SELECTION: POINT GELLIBRAND
Next best: Janoobi
2.35 Ballylinch Stud “Red Rocks” 2,000 Guineas Trial Stakes (Listed) 7f
Glounthaune has a remarkably similar profile to last year’s winner Poetic Flare, having won very early in the season, missed most of the year, run down the field on his comeback in the Dewhurst and then won the Killavullan Stakes the following weekend. The only difference with Aidan O’Brien’s colt is that he went out to Breeders’ Cup for his final run, and although he struggled there, he can’t be judged too harshly on that. He gets the vote to continue his stable’s strong early start to the season.
Dr Zempf was the best of these comfortably last year and Ger Lyons has also started his season in good form. Just touched off in the Phoenix Stakes, the son of Dark Angel was a little bit disappointing when only eighth in the Middle Park Stakes, but could easily get back on track today. New Energy is an outside worth noting. There was lots to like about the manner of his Curragh maiden win and although he was then eighth to Glounthaune here in the Killavullan, he shaped well for most of that contest.
Next best: Dr Zempf
3.10 Ballylinch Stud “Priory Belle” 1,000 Guineas Trial Stakes (Group 3) 7f
This is often a hot contest but it looks as strong as ever this year with the Moyglare form well represented alongside a number of proven group-class fillies and unexposed types. Agartha was just touched off by Discoveries in the Moyglare, possibly the best form on offer here, but she has a 3lb penalty for her Group 2 win, and history shows its difficult for fillies to give that weight away in this race.
Ger Lyons has a strong hand with Sacred Bridge and Panama Red, and while Colin Keane rides the former, the second string shouldn’t be underrated off the back of her course-and-distance win here on Irish Champions Weekend. The form of that listed contest has worked out well through the runner-up Limiti De Greccio, and she showed a really good attitude to see off that filly, who came home strongly. The draw hasn’t been kind, but Panama Red looks the type to keep on improving, and it won’t be a surprise to see her involved at a decent price.
Sacred Bridge was four from four going into the Cheveley Park Stakes, for which she started 13/8 favourite last September, but she disappointed there. Nonetheless, she remains a Group 1 prospect and possesses a significant threat.
SELECTION: PANAMA RED
Next best: Sacred Bridge
3.45 P.W. McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes (Group 3) 1m2f
Another good contest which could go the way of Buckaroo. Joseph O’Brien’s colt was probably the one to take out of the Champions Juvenile Stakes at this course in September, when a slow start plus a troubled passage late on cost him plenty. Another slow start did for him in the Criterium de Saint-Cloud on his next start, where he finished fourth in a messy and slowly run race. It’s reasonable to expect he could start better today, or at least he’ll have more time to organise himself over this longer distance. He showed he’s a real smart type in his maiden win at Galway, where he beat Stone Age, form which was advertised this week.
There wasn’t much between Duke De Sessa and Piz Badile on their meeting here in the Eyrefield Stakes last October, the former sweeping home to pick up the latter inside the final furlong. Piz Badile, Donnacha O’Brien’s colt, got a nice run through on the rail that day but was badly hampered by horses closing into him on his outside, and his effort can be marked up, not least considering it was only his second ever start. Swan Bay, Joseph O’Brien’s other runner, also appeals as a colt who could shape better this year. He was last seen finishing fourth to Luxembourg in the Beresford Stakes but he may be seen to better effect over this distance.
Next best: Piz Badile
4.20 Leopardstown Members Handicap 1m2f
Brasil Power could be a lot better than a mark of 86 on his debut for Joseph O’Brien. The Dark Angel colt had options to run in the Ballysax and 2,000 Guineas Trial on this card but comes to this handicap instead. He had four runs for George Boughey last season, winning his final start in a Kempton nursery. It’s also interesting that he is one of two rides on the card for Rossa Ryan.
Cyclamen is an obvious danger. He ran well in two nurseries last season and may well have improved through the winter. His stable’s three-year-olds are going well in the early stages of the season. Enthrallment is another with fancier entries down the line and is interesting off a mark of 86 for his seasonal debut.
SELECTION: BRASIL POWER
Next best: Cyclamen
4.55 Treo Eile Retraining Ireland’s Racehorses Handicap 1m
It might be worth taking a chance on Just For Yuse in this trappy handicap. This four-year-old gelding was picked up by Tom McCourt in October to go hurdling and although failing to land a significant blow, he wasn’t disgraced by any means on his three starts during the winter. He has useful maiden form on the flat and he may well find things coming easier today. He won once and finished third three times in six starts for Archie Watson, and he has the scope to improve again now.
Haziya has a somewhat similar profile, having displayed good maiden form last season, finishing third three times, once at this course, and he is of obvious interest now on his first start for Joseph O’Brien.
SELECTION: JUST FOR YUSE
Next best: Haziya
5.25 Bulmers Live At Leopardstown Handicap 1m
A tentative vote goes to Massaman who just rates the most solid option, with form questions hanging over most of his rivals. Jack Davison’s gelding arrives here on a hat-trick, having scored on his final start last year and in a 21-runner handicap at the Curragh last weekend, where he showed a good attitude to fend off all rivals. He has a 6lb rise but is probably in a weaker race.
Jaafel was fourth to him at the Curragh, and he rates a significant danger, given he has a 6lb pull at the weights for a two-length difference. He is lightly raced and open to further improvement also.
Next best: Jaafel