A couple of interesting juvenile maidens stand out on today’s card at Navan, where the nap goes to the Aidan O’Brien-trained Etched in the fillies’ maiden over a mile. By Dansili out of a half-sister to former Derby winner Pour Moi, she ran a fine race on debut, when fourth behind Kalisma.
Although she dropped back a couple of places in the final furlong, that was likely down to needing the experience rather than the trip being an issue.
If anything, today’s extra furlong should bring about improvement and, that being the case, she’ll be very hard to beat.
The danger may come from Suvenna, who finished behind the selection on debut.
The outing is bound to have brought her forward, too.
Sweetest Taboo can take the Trim Apprentice Handicap for Willie McCreery.
A close third behind Big Bad Lily in this race in 2014, she was off the track for more than five months prior to making an eye-catching return at Cork just a fortnight ago.
The four-year-old travelled best of all but didn’t pick up as well as the principals, and had to settle for seventh place, beaten only three lengths.
With that run under her belt, she should strip fitter and, with track form as an advantage, should be primed for a bold showing. She is preferred to National Service and Gladly.
Cook Islands will take a world of beating in the colts’ and geldings’ maiden over a mile. The Fastnet Rock colt made his debut at the Curragh last Sunday week, and really caught the eye coming from off the pace to finish a close fourth behind stable companion Hit It A Bomb.
As is the norm with runners from the Aidan O’Brien stable, he’s bound to have come on significantly from that first run, and can improve past Al Mohalhal, who sets the standard after four good runs in maidens.
The second-last is a tricky looking 10-furlong handicap in which Monolight may prove too strong for his rivals.
A promising stayer, he finished a fine fourth behind Ningxai on his most recent start, over this course and distance, a performance all the more meritorious for the fact he was poorly drawn.
From a better starting position this time and with the application of a visor for the first time, Michael Halford’s colt can sit prominently early, and use his stamina to gain the day.
It’s hard to know what to expect from Prospector, who was beaten favourite on debut, at Roscommon. He can improve, and must be respected.
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