Leopardstown and Limerick tips: Keats set for quick follow-up

Fernando Vichi, a fast-finisher on his debut,  can go one better in maiden
Leopardstown and Limerick tips: Keats set for quick follow-up
Keats winning at Killarney last week. He can go in again at Leopardstown today. Picture: Healy Racing

A gutsy all-the-way winner in Killarney last week, the Aidan O’Brien-trained Keats might progress sufficiently to outpoint his elders in the listed TRI Equestrian Silver Stakes in Leopardstown.

A three-year-old son of Galileo and the speedy Airwave, Keats has won two of his three starts this season, scoring on his seasonal bow at Gowran Park in mid-June before going down battling against stable-companion and favourite Napa Valley in a ten-furlong conditions event at the Curragh on Derby weekend.

Enterprisingly ridden by today’s partner Wayne Lordan when dropped back to an extended mile in Killarney last Wednesday, Keats bossed the race, dictating the pace, having his rivals in trouble with two furlongs to race and, despite idling, holding off Real Force by a length and a quarter.

Now rated 103, Keats faces the stiffest test of his career. But he looks progressive, will be suited by the return to a mile and a quarter and should prove a tough not to crack.

Of the older contenders, Bowerman, winner of the Lincoln before chasing home Ancient Spirit in the Celebration Stakes at the Curragh, and seasonal debutant verbal Dexterity (wearing first-time cheekpieces) might give Keats most to do.

In the two-year-old action, Donnacha O’Brien’s Fernando Vichi, a fast-finisher when beaten a nose by the experienced Los Andes on his debut at Navan, sets the standard in the colts’ maiden and should confirm form with Ballydoyle hope Brazil, which finished fourth in the Navan race.

The Aidan O’Brien-trained Willow will be expected to step forward from her debut fourth to Aunty Bridy at the Curragh and looks the one to beat in the opening fillies’ event.

The Leopardstown card also includes five handicaps.  Charles O’Brien’s Rain Or Shine, up a total of 13lb. for recent wins at Fairyhouse and Dundalk, might be capable of completing a hat-trick in the second division of the TRI Equestrain Superstore & Café Handicap.

We also have jumps action in Limerick, a card which includes four maiden hurdles. The Henry de Bromhead-trained Sat It Ain’t So will be strongly-fancied to build on his debut run over course and distance last month and can land the second division of the Well Done To All Frontline Staff From Limerick Racecourse Maiden Hurdle.

Keen on his debut, the Kayf Tara gelding finishing fourth, beaten less than nine lengths, behind Filon D’oudairies and subsequent winner Bentham.

He should have learned from that experience and, if he settles better for Rachael Blackmore, he might prove too strong for 112-rated Hesamanofhisword and Haggard Lad.


John Ryan

  • 1.00 Willow 
  • 1.30 Fernando Vichi 
  • 2.00 Take My Hand 
  • 2.30 Dark Magic 
  • 3.00 Rain Or Shine 
  • 3.30 Keats (Nap) 
  • 4.00 Liquid Luck 
  • 4.30 Drumquina 

Next Best 

  • 1.00 Talacre 
  • 1.30 Brazil 
  • 2.00 Scholastic 
  • 2.30 Voyageofdiscovery 
  • 3.00 Gatsby Cap 
  • 3.30 Bowerman 
  • 4.00 Place Des Vosges 
  • 4.30 Cartesienne 


John Ryan 

  • 4.45 Automatic 
  • 5.15 Say It Ain’t So (n.b.) 
  • 5.45 Mystery Stowaway 
  • 6.15 Demi Plie 
  • 6.45 The Echo Boy 
  • 7.15 Gunfire Reef 
  • 7.45 James Boru
  • 8.15 Dysart Diamond 

Next Best 

  • 4.45 The Hunter Hoe 
  • 5.15 Haggard Lad 
  • 5.45 Hill Of Truth 
  • 6.15 Lord Lariat 
  • 6.45 City Limits 
  • 7.15 Galaxy Girl 
  • 7.45 Miss McIlroy 
  • 8.15 Coeur Aimant

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox