Surprisingly can step forward at Naas

Surprisingly can build on the promise of her debut fourth at the Curragh just a fortnight ago by taking the final race on this afternoon’s card at Naas.

The Dermot Weld-trained filly was the subject of positive reports prior to that start, but had to settle for fourth place behind the impressive Line De Vega.

With another highly regarded sort in second place, the likelihood is it was a decent race, and it’s reasonable to expect the selection to take a significant step forward from that effort. This looks a much more manageable assignment for the three-year-old daughter of Galileo, and she is preferred to Shalamanka, who well beaten into third place behind Waarif on debut, at Dundalk, but should take a step forward now.

There’s a National Hunt programme in Mallow, and Fiosrach makes appeal in the Irish Examiner Handicap Hurdle. Trained by Denis Hogan, who saddled a double at Galway on Saturday, this six-year-old caught the eye in defeat at Killarney on his most recent outing. A winner on the Flat at this track, in 2014, he won a maiden hurdle at Kilbeggan last year, and looks well treated off a mark of 99.

Ground conditions should be ideal and, with the stable in such good form, he should give supporters a big run for their money. The progressive Bitview Colin is respected, but a bigger danger may come from Copy Print, who finished third behind Afatcat on his first start for seven months. That should have put him spot-on, and he looks capable of winning off his current mark, so must be feared.

The fifth race at Naas is a potentially very hot maiden, in which a case can be made for a few. The Aidan O’Brien-trained Whitecliffsofdover showed enough promise on debut, behind stable companion Intelligence Cross, to suggest he could be useful.

With natural improvement expected from a runner from this stable, he looks sure to go very close.

There was positive word for the Ger Lyons-trained Lightening Fast prior to his debut, but the son of Frankel and Group 1-winning mare Lightening Pearl had to settle for eighth place behind Arcada. He’s sure to improve markedly for that, and it will be disappointing if he does not reach the frame.

The other worth consideration is Beast, trained by Michael O’Callaghan. He carries the same colours as Lightening Fast, and finished in front of that rival in that maiden won by Arcada.

Give Her Bach has been in terrific form recently, and Paddy Cronin’s mare can make the most of a lenient-looking hurdle mark in the two-mile-three handicap.

Rated 119 over fences, she has been at the top of her game recently, and lost nothing in defeat on ground softer than ideal when third behind Our Kylie in a handicap hurdle at Galway on Wednesday.

A big run looks assured.


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