There is a good card in Naas this afternoon and Ger Lyons has found some good opportunities back in maiden company for a couple of highly tried runners.
Edward Hopper will take beating in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden. He was in the frame in two of his three starts last season, and began this term contesting a listed race. The race should have been run to suit and it is fair to say he was a little disappointing, but the bare form still does not look too bad and this is certainly easier. He is likely to be ridden much more prominently this time and can see off today’s rivals.
Lake Sand was an eyecatcher on his recent debut, at Limerick, and can give the selection the most to think about. Well backed that day, he was slow to find stride and had to make ground on the wide outside. Nevertheless, he kept on very well to finish third and could be deemed a little unlucky. This looks a similar contest, and with natural improvement, he will be there in the finish.
Edward Hopper’s stablemate, Soul Search, was beaten just seven lengths in the Irish 1000 Guineas and should make the most of her drop in class for the finale. Kassaba showed real promise on her only start of last season and could give her something to think about.
The third race, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies’ Maiden, is a cracking contest. Pronouncement sets the standard on form, with a mark of 96 earned as a two-year-old, while Na Blianta Seo was a fast-finishing fourth in a recent listed race, earning a mark of 93. They are big figures for a maiden, but one that makes appeal to upset her more experienced rivals is Ola Bonita.
A fortnight ago, on debut, Andy Slattery’s filly finished a place behind Na Blianta Seo in a maiden that has worked out well, and she left the impression she could be a really smart sort.
She was slow to start and was some 10 lengths off the leaders within a furlong. She made the ground quite steadily through the race and when young Andy Slattery gave her a couple of reminders, she picked up really well and was going strong at the line.
She is probably a bit unfortunate to be meeting a couple of runners in the 90s here but there was a huge amount to like about her performance and she could be the value. Add in Allez Allez Allez and a couple of interesting newcomers in Herons Nest and Majestic Sea and this could be the most fascinating race of the day.
The lightly raced Son And Sannie can get off the mark in the Naas Handicap over five furlongs. A fine second to Strong Johnson 11 days ago at the Curragh, he looks capable of coping with life in a higher bracket and can take this en route. Yesterday’s winner, Boughtinthedark, must be respected as she is seeking her hat-trick since the resumption of racing and was value for much more than the winning margin yesterday.
The national hunt action takes place in Roscommon and Telmesomethinggirl can take the opening race, a mares’ maiden hurdle.
There are some promising sorts in the Athleague Maiden Hurdle, but two-time bumper winner Sneaky Getaway is rated 99 on the flat and should prove far too good for his rivals. Emmet Mullins has his team in good form and, with ground to suit, his runner should get off the mark over hurdles at the first time of asking.