Two Flat meetings to keep Irish racing fans busy most of the day, and King Of Stars should get punters off to the perfect start by taking the first race at Bellewstown, the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden.
Joseph O’Brien’s grey colt has been expensive to follow thus far, but this is likely as good a chance as he will get to win a maiden. Last time out, he was beaten favourite in a handicap won by Jungle Jane.
The winner was in a different league that day but did not do the form much harm when just touched off in the Rockingham, on Sunday at the Curragh. A repeat of that fourth-placed finish behind Jungle Jane should be more than enough for King Of Stars to get off the mark.
Inflection Point has loads of ability but looks a tricky customer. He ran well on both starts since joining Kieran Cotter and is respected but, dropping to five furlongs for the first time, he could be run off his feet early.
Perhaps the most interesting runner on the card is Talacre, a half-sister to Irish 2000 Guineas winner Siskin, making her debut in the median sires’ series fillies’ maiden. Bellewstown might seems like an unusual starting point and the market is likely to tell if that is significant.
Around this track, a little experience goes a long way and so preference is for Aidan O’Brien’s Finest, a daughter of The Gurkha with two runs under her belt. Pretty Gorgeous, a €55,000 foal and a 525,000gns yearling, is also worth noting in the betting.
Call Of The Jungle can make the most of a good draw to take the opener in Sligo, the first division of the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden. Willie McCreery’s horse ran better than her placing when tenth on her seasonal debut, and the drop back to five and a half furlongs will see her in better light. She has the pace to make the running and is just preferred to Gulf Of Aidan and Lough Swilly Pearl.
Jan Wellens can defy a penalty in the fifth race, the Strandhill Caravan Park Handicap. A narrow winner at Roscommon on his second start of the season, Ger Lyons’ runner has gone up 6lbs for that success but still looks potentially well handicapped, particularly with the step up in trip to suit. This does not look a strong race and he can carry top weight to victory.