The Charles O’Brien-trained colt has acquitted himself well in two outings over seven furlongs here. And, likely to be suited by this drop in trip, his solid form and experience of the polytrack should make him difficult to beat.
An unconsidered 20/1 shot for his debut, he finished a promising third to Wychwood Warrior and built on that effort when reappearing two weeks later, again filling third berth, behind the 77-rated Indian Tomahawk.
He was beaten a length and a half, having raced keenly for most of the journey. The form was boosted when the fourth Shannon Soul triumphed on this track on Wednesday.
Dropping back to six furlongs should help Sgt Rock tonight, with a stronger pace virtually guaranteed. And he should prove took strong for the consistent, 78-rated filly Sassy But Classy.
Market support for either of the eye-catching newcomers Behind Bars (trained by Ger Lyons) or Period Piece (Jessica Harrington) would be significant.
Clutchingatstraws sets the standard in the Irish Stallion Farms 2-Y-0 Fillies Maiden and might continue the good form of Michael O’Callaghan’s juvenile team at the moment.
Runner-up in a Curragh maiden on her debut before disappointing in Listowel, this 79-rated Showcasing filly then finished a close third to Orcia in a course and distance maiden. And, last time, she was far from disgraced when finishing sixth (beaten six lengths) behind Captain My Captain in the Birdcatcher Nursery at Naas in October.Visored for the first time. Clutchingatstraws looks the one to beat.