Davids Park set for Ballysax test

John Murphy believes Davids Park has enough raw ability to fight his corner in the PW McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes at Navan on Saturday.

The son of Lucky Story made an encouraging seasonal bow in Leopardstown’s 2,000 Guineas Trial on March 30, when a slightly unlucky fourth behind Go For Goal.

Murphy anticipates further progress in the Ballysax, after which Davids Park will run in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas on May 24.

The Co Cork handler said: “He has improved a lot from his last run and we are looking forward to running him as a prep for the Irish Guineas.

“He ran in snatches at Leopardstown and hopefully the ground should be a lot better in Navan.”

Aidan O’Brien could run Beresford Stakes scorer Geoffrey Chaucer alongside stablemates Belisarius, Carlo Bugatti, Iniesta and Kingfisher while Jim Bolger could go into battle with Answered and Stirabout.

Dermot Weld has made a strong start to the Flat season and may let fly with Fascinating Rock, while the Paul Deegan duo of Aussie Valentine and Wolf In The Desert are also in the hunt.

The John Oxx-trained Ebasani and Andy Oliver’s All Set To Go complete the 13 possible candidates.

Meanwhile, Charles O’Brien is keen to cash in with Pop Art while there is still ease in the ground.

The daughter of Excellent Art stepped up her game at Leopardstown last Wednesday when runner-up to Qewy in the Listed Heritage Stakes, in which Kingsbarns was third.

Pop Art thrives in testing conditions, which would be a necessary if possible objectives in the Gladness Stakes at the Curragh and the Amethyst Stakes back at Leopardstown are to be fulfilled.

County Kildare-based O’Brien said: “There is not a bother on her after the race. She goes very well on that soft ground so we’ll be looking to get her out again pretty soon if there is rain about.

“She’s in races like the Gladness and the Amethyst, so we’ve got plenty of thinking to do.”

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