This afternoon’s meeting at Naas features some very interesting and potentially informative maidens, but the nap comes in the shape of Landofhopeandglory, who can follow up his debut success in the Premier Nursery.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained colt made his first start at Galway, and got on top late to win a shade cosily, from Alaskan Son and Kitten Loves Roses.
While the placed horses have, thus far, done little to add substance to the form, the winner was well on top at the line, and the very fact he was able to make a winning start at what is a difficult track for debutants says plenty about his potential.
He has been put in on a mark of 90, which connections must believe is exploitable, and this is a good opportunity to prove it. The one-mile trip, with a little cut in the ground, will bring his stamina in to play, and he can score at the expense of fellow top-weight Glamorous Approach, and the promising Clon Rocket.
Race three is a fillies’ maiden and Ceol An Ghra can make it third-time lucky. Trained by Jim Bolger, she ran a race full of promise when sixth, beaten less than five lengths, behind How High The Moon on her debut, at the Curragh, and improved on that when collared close home by exciting newcomer Zalfana at the same track, just a couple of weeks later.
The latter run was over a mile, and a drop back to seven furlongs should be no inconvenience to the daughter of Teofilo. From a decent draw she can take up a prominent position early, and use her experience to see off some very interesting newcomers, headed by Etched and Kalisma.
The fourth race is, potentially, a red-hot maiden, for colts and geldings, and Blue De Vega gets the vote to make up for a debut defeat at Dundalk.
The son of Lope De Vega was very heavily backed to make a winning start, but experience counted against him as he missed the kick, and was left with a mountain to climb thereafter. However, he ran a super race in defeat, finishing strongly to take third place behind General Macarthur.
While runner-up A Likely Story was disappointing earlier this week, it’s clear Blue De Vega is very highly regarded, and he showed more than enough to suggest a maiden would be his for the taking.
There are numerous unknown quantities in opposition, and the market should tell a tale, but Tribal Beat was heavily backed on both previous outings and could be the one to give the selection most to think about.
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