Donnacha O’Brien saddled his first winner on turf when Great House won at Limerick earlier this week and he can double up with Hazel, who can take the opening race on today’s card in Navan.
The two-year-old was well supported to make a winning debut just a couple of weeks ago at Naas and ran a superb race to finish a close second to Sussex Garden. She was keen and green through the early stages but came there with a winning chance only to be beaten by a smart-looking filly. With the experience under her belt, she will be hard to beat here.
Nimbostratus showed plenty of pace from a good draw when third behind More Beautiful on debut and can follow the selection home.
Thames River was disappointing on his return to action, in what looked a decent race at Gowran Park, but he should be given another chance when he lines up for the Royal County Handicap.
It was a mile the last day and he was never able to get competitive but, at the same time, was not given a hard time when it became obvious he was not going to take a hand in the finish.
He should really appreciate the step up to ten furlongs and can continue the fine run of Joseph O’Brien and Declan McDonogh.
O’Brien’s other runner, Sacramento, is also respected, though the hat-trick seeking Protagonist may prove a bigger danger.
O’Brien and McDonogh can also take the Irish Stallion Farms EBF Nasrullah Handicap with Patrick Sarsfield. He was raised 15lbs following his runaway success at Leopardstown 12 days ago, but he is lightly raced, remains open to further improvement, and can take this on his way into stakes company.
Tauran Shaman is a live danger. He was gambled on into short-priced favouritism for the Irish Lincoln but, after travelling well, was unable to pick up. The lightly raced four-year-old, who won two of his three outings last season, can be forgiven that defeat and it will certainly be interesting to note if the market sees him in as positive a light today.