The flat season on turf starts at the Curragh tomorrow, with the nap vote going to the mud-loving Yellow Rosebud in the Group 3 Lodge Park Stud EBF Park Express Stakes.
The daughter of Jeremy loves soft ground and there will certainly be no shortage of that. She was admirably consistent last season, scoring twice in five runs, with her only disappointing effort coming on a fast surface in the Irish 1000 Guineas on this track in May.
Dermot Weld’s filly rounded off her campaign with a fine effort at Tipperary, the surface was heavy, in October.
In another Group 3, she powered to the front two furlongs down to slam an old adversary, Lady Wingshot, by three lengths.
Starbright and Rehn’s Nest are a pair of useful enough three-year-olds, but Yellow Rosebud is fancied to give them a bucket of weight and a beating.
Weld might also provide the answer to the very competitive 20-runner BetVictor Irish Lincoln with Tandem.
The Dansili gelding won twice last season, at Galway and Killarney, handles the ground and is reportedly working well.
Tandem finished off his campaign when a well-beaten fourth of six behind Chamonix at Listowel in September, but the mile and a half then was much further than he wanted to travel.
Aidan O’Brien also has to be fancied to get off the mark at the first time of asking and has three possibilities, led by Piet Mondrian in the Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Maiden. He showed plenty of promise in his only outing as a juvenile, third to John Oxx’s hot-pot, Zand, and Dermot Weld’s newcomer, Ghaamer, on soft ground at Leopardstown.
He is by Danehill Dancer, a big plus, and another son of that top stallion, O’Brien’s Master Speaker, gets the nod to make a winning debut in the Big Bad Bob Maiden.
The Ballydoyle handler’s Francis Of Assisi, who ploughed through heavy ground to win a maiden by four lengths at Naas in October, is the choice in the Gabriel Curran Memorial Madrid Handicap.
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