April set to get off mark

ONCE-RACED April can land the nap in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Maiden at Leopardstown tonight.

Dermot Weld’s filly made a promising start on this track four weeks ago and it will be disappointing should she fail to build on that. The daughter of Rock Of Gibraltar was light enough in the market, but gave those who supported even-money favourite, Heart Of Fire, a real fright.

Heart Of Fire attempted to make all the running, but had to dig deep through the final furlong to beat April a short head.

The form received a timely boost when Kevin Prendergast’s Heart Of Fire easily won a Listed event at Cork on Sunday.

Prendergast’s progressive House Rebel has a leading chance in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF (Fillies) Maiden. She seemed to revel in the fast ground when beaten a short head by gambled-on Queen Jock over seven furlongs at Roscommon and this is a contest which won’t take a lot of winning!

Feature race is the Listed Nijinsky Stakes, over nine furlongs, and the vote here falls on Aidan O’Brien’s One Great Cat. Out of his depth in a Group 3 at Longchamp and then in the French 2000 Guineas, back at Longchamp, the selection found his level at Navan five days ago.

Nicely supported in the market, One Great Cat buckled down well in the closing stages to beat Slam Dunk by half a length. This is a far stiffer test, but O’Brien’s colt impressed with his attitude at Navan and stepping up another furlong in trip can only work in his favour.


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