PAT KEANE: Bank on Behtarini

JOHN OXX’S Behtarini can land the nap in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Maiden at Gowran Park this afternoon.

The son of Dalakhani looks a horse with a bright future and is fancied to overcome the worst draw possible in one. His debut fourth behind Elusive Award at Leopardstown was nothing special, but Behtarini stepped well up on that performance next time.

Returning to Leopardstown, he ran a cracker to finish a length and a quarter runner-up to Chabal, with some very well-regarded sorts behind.

Chabal went on to chase home high-class Kingsfort in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh, while seventh placed Armour has scored in the meantime.

Jan Vermeer, Leo Gali and White Front make this a hot contest, but there was much to admire in the way the selection stayed on at the end of seven furlongs at Leopardstown and the mile now should greatly favour him.

Aidan O’Brien’s Banyan Tree can make light of top weight in the I.T.B.A (South East Region) Premier Nursery.

He made all to win an ordinary maiden at Killarney, has lots of scope for improvement, and the 7lbs claim of Joseph O’Brien may prove invaluable.

Feature event is the Group 3 Denny Cordell Lavarack and Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes, but there’s no real cause for optimism here.

The tentative nod falls on Roman Empress, who has been running consistently, but is almost certainly flattered by chasing home the likes of Chinese White, Dar Re Mi and Sariska!

At Navan today, there’s every possibility Charlie Swan will continue his good run with in-form Valain in the six-runner Le Grande Chase. He’s been hurdling of late, winning at Ffos Las, before finishing a creditable third at Listowel behind Turf War and Tramp Stamp, conceding both plenty of weight.

Oscar Dan Dan, far from reliable, is still the choice in the Albany Hurdle. He won at the first time of asking last season and has a nice bit in hand of the opposition at the weights.

Thirty are set to face the starter in the Navan Maiden Hurdle, but you can quickly draw a line through most of them. Luzdeluna, beaten by Henry de Bromhead’s smart Loosen My Load at Listowel, could provide the answer.

It’s a case of 30 as well in the Copper and Spice Restaurant Mares Maiden Hurdle and the one to beat here is Tom Taaffe’s Emotional Melody, who was clear and sure to score when unseating Mark Walsh at the final flight, race won by Loughaderra Dame, at Downpatrick.

At the Curragh tomorrow, St Nicholas Abbey has to get a confident vote in the Group 2 Juddmonte Beresford Stakes.

The son of Montjeu made a particularly favourable impression, when cruising to victiory in a maiden at the Curragh, and can handle this major rise in class in style. Aidan O’Brien trains St Nicholas Abbey and his Beethoven, down in grade, following a third to Kingsfort and Chabal in the National Stakes, looks best in the Goffs’ Million Sprint.


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