The valuable Irish Stallion Farms EBF Premier Nursery tops the bill on today’s card at Navan, and Birdcage can make the most of the drop back to five furlongs to land the spoils for trainer Ger Lyons.
The filly made a promising debut over today’s trip when third of four behind subsequent Windsor Castle Stakes winner Washington DC, and duly built on that effort with an impressive victory over the same trip, at Dundalk.
She disappointed next time, when the ground may have been against her, but bounced back to form when a close fourth behind Redstaroverchina in a six-furlong race at Naas early last month.
One of today’s rivals, Blood Moon, was marginally in front of her on the latter occasion, but the filly gave the impression they weren’t going quick enough for her and, back over the minimum trip, can reverse that form.
With Know visored for the first time and likely to set off in front, there ought to plenty of pace for the selection and, on quick ground she likes, Birdcage can get back to winning ways. The aforementioned Know is feared most.
Pincode can complete a hat-trick in the mile-and-five handicap. Paddy Prendergast’s colt has thrived since stepped up in trip on fast ground, and had little trouble conceding weight to Three Colours Red at Tramore last time out.
He escaped punishment from the handicapper following that success, but the runner-up has thrived since, winning twice and being raised 20lbs for his efforts. While there isn’t a direct correlation between the performances, it’s reasonable to believe the runner-up ran above its mark at Tramore and, therefore, Pincode could remain reasonably treated. A big run looks assured, and he is preferred to Venezia and Moonmeister.
Mcguigan was disappointing last weekend at Wexford, but the ground may have gone against him there, and he can earn his stripes in the closing maiden.
The Jim Bolger-trained colt never looked entirely happy there, and was well beaten into seventh place behind easy winner Los Barbados. However, he looked somewhat progressive prior to that, and today’s quicker conditions should show him in a better light. From a good draw, next to the rails, he should be prominent throughout, and is taken to account for Van Schaick and Reddot Express.
The action moves to Dundalk tomorrow, where General Macarthur can get off the mark at the second time of asking, in the seven-furlong maiden.
Aidan O’Brien’s colt was the subject of positive reports prior to his debut at Leopardstown, but was a little on edge prior to the start of the race, very green when racing across the path which crosses the course, and had to settle for fifth place behind the well-backed Corstorphine.
The winner earned a mark in the high eighties for his victory, while third-placed Restive boosted the form when winning his maiden at the Curragh next time. Ballydoyle runners usually take a significant step forward for their first experience, and such progress can be expected from this fellow. Hr has a number of interesting rivals, headed by John Murphy’s Spruce Meadows, Johnny Murtagh’s Churchill D and Charles O’Brien’s 84-rated From Eden.
Dark Alliance can land the Irishinjuredjockets.com Handicap for trainer Mick Halford. The four-year-old was a very impressive winner on his only previous outing at this track, and has since looked useful on the turf, particularly when winning a competitive handicap at the Curragh in June.
The return to this surface could prompt further improvement and, while its’s his first try over the minimum trip, the son of Dark Angel is not short of pace, and is taken to land the spoils ahead of Kasbah.
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