Interesting races on both of today’s cards in Ireland, and the nap goes to Keats, who can get off the mark at the third time of asking by taking the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden at Gowran Park.
Aidan O’Brien’s colt made a promising debut in October, finishing fourth behind Ten Year Ticket, and he was turned out quite quickly for his next start, in Newmarket. He never seemed to be going well at any stage of that race and finished a disappointing fourth behind Louganini.
That effort is easily forgiven and, based on his first run, he will take beating in what looks a winnable race.
Lobo Rojo made a promising debut when runner-up to Russian Emperor on the opening day of the season and can go one place better in the first division of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.
Jessica Harrington’s colt was short of room early but moved nicely to lead inside the final furlong only to be caught on the line by the subsequent Group 3 Hampton Court winner. He looked the type to improve and can confirm form with sixth-placed Legal Reform. Dalvey is the other worth considering.
Roca Roma will take beating in the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden. Ger Lyons’ once-raced maiden remained in the field for the Irish 1000 Guineas right up until the day of the race. She is clearly highly regarded and, despite a wide draw, should be up to confirming maiden form with Pyramid Rock.
Elfin Queen, who ran away with a maiden on her return, can cope with the step up in class in the listed Victor McCalmont Memorial.
If the ground does not get too soft in Tipperary, Inner Beauty should take the opening race, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies’ Maiden. She showed plenty on her recent debut, finishing third behind Dickiedooda, and a small step up would make her extremely hard to beat. Mooneista and Aloha Star both showed decent form on debut, but newcomer Mulan Valour is of more interest as a danger to the selection.
If called in from the reserves for the Tipperaryraces.ie Handicap over five furlongs, Mi Esperanza would make plenty of each-way appeal at likely double-figure odds.