The horse racing action moves to Navan this afternoon, where Aspar can show his appreciation for the drop to the minimum trip by taking the opening race for trainer Tommy Stack.
The son of Holy Roman Emperor contested a very good maiden at the Curragh on debut, back in June, and finished an honourable, if well beaten, second behind subsequent Group 3 winner Final Frontier. Next time out he showed plenty of pace when finishing a close second, trying to concede 4lbs, to the now 99-rated Moral High Ground, but was a shade disappointing behind the classy Blood Moon on his all-weather debut last month.
His most recent runs confirmed the drop back to five furlongs should suit, and today’s race is a good opportunity to prove so.
From a decent draw, he can grab an early lead, and fend off all challengers. As the Jim Bolger stable is in such good form, newcomer Burning Bullet must be afforded maximum respect.
In Salutem wasn’t beaten far in a six-furlong race at Cork last weekend, and can make amends for that by securing back-to-back victories in the Come Racing Again Sunday 8th November Handicap.
Although Ken Condon’s charge takes time to warm to his task and was finishing well in last weekend’s outing, Navan is a stiff track, and that can offset the drop in trip. Of greater concern is the lack of pace, as he appears best when finishing strongly in a truly-run contest.
He is much higher in the handicap this year than in 2014 but that is of no concern as he has been in terrific form recently, and can make the most of this chance go grab an overdue second success of a long season.
Caution could be a value bet in the Arkle Bar Handicap. Michael Halford’s colt secured his sole success to date over this course and distance, on quick ground, and the make-up of today’s race should help in his bid for a repeat performance.
Old foes Mcguigan, Valac and Bairns At Bay should ensure a decent pace from the outset, and that can set it up for Shane Foley to deliver Caution with a late rush for glory.
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