Naas and Leopardstown tips: Master Matt can show winning credentials

Naas and Leopardstown tips: Master Matt can show winning credentials
Make A Challenge beats Master Matt and Aurora Eclipse at the Curragh last year. Photo: Healy Racing.

The six-furlong handicap on today’s card in Naas looks particularly competitive, but the nature of the race should suit Master Matt. Trained by shrewd handler Matt Smith, the now four-year-old didn’t enjoy much luck in running last season, but performed very well on a number of occasions, most notably when runner-up to Make A Challenge on soft ground at the Curragh.

He will not be inconvenienced if a little more rain falls and Billy Lee looks a significant booking as he has six wins and a place in 10 rides for Smith. Master Matt has the right credentials to enhance that record.

Inflection Point made a promising start for his new stable when fourth at this track 12 days ago and he should reach the frame.

Unforgetable can take the listed Plusvital Irish EBF Polonia Stakes for Joseph O’Brien and jockey Shane Crosse. She made her return to action in a Group 3 at Leopardstown and raced prominently from the outset before finishing a close fourth behind Love Locket. That was over seven furlongs but today’s drop back to five and a half furlongs could be just what she needs. She has plenty of speed, can race up with the pace early and prove too strong for her rivals.

Sweet Justice looks the one to be with in the seven-furlong Sobac Soil Handicap. On her seasonal debut, just nine days ago, she raced freely in the early stages but that did not stop her putting in a determined effort in the finish. Ultimately, she came up short, but it was a clear indicator that she will be winning soon. Her trainer, Tom McCourt, could hardly have his runners in better form, and this filly can strike whilst the iron is hot.

Willie McCreery’s horses have found their form in recent days and his Epona Plays can get off the mark in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies’ Maiden on tomorrow’s card in Leopardstown. After two fine placed efforts last season, she was highly tried on her return, in a listed race, and ran well considering she completely missed the break. The drop back to maiden company will help, as will the slower ground, and she can score at the expense of Brinjal.

Patrick Sarsfield missed out on getting into the Irish Lincoln but can gain a modicum of compensation by taking the TRI Equestrian Handicap. He joined Joseph O’Brien last season and was particularly impressive winning his maiden at the second time of asking. He looks the type to take significant steps forward this season and, off his mark of 86, can prove too good for tomorrow’s rivals.

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