The two-year-olds take centre stage this afternoon, with all seven races at Naas restricted to the juvenile division.
The nap goes to Doctor Geoff, who is a confident selection to build on a most promising debut effort when he lines up for race five, the 18-runner Irish Stallion Farms EBF Median Auction Maiden.
Prior to that first outing, in early July at this track, his trainer, Ger Lyons, expressed the expectation his charge needed further than the six furlongs of that race.That played out in the running, as he was off the pace early, but showed plenty of promise when, racing on his own along the far rail, he stayed on nicely under hands and heels.
Lyons’s horses almost inevitably improve for a run and, up to a mile for today’s outing, much better is expected.
On limited evidence he looked a potentially smart sort and, while there are numerous newcomers from capable stables all worth a precautionary glance in the market, it’ll be disappointing if he does not oblige.
Allography also showed enough on debut to suggest he would be capable of winning a maiden, but the wide draw makes his task that little bit tougher, and he may have to wait for another day to make his mark.
Courage Under Fire can make the most of significant drop in grade in the five-furlong maiden. Aidan O’Brien’s War Front colt is a five-race maiden, but the best of those efforts came in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes, in which he found only stable companion Caravaggio too good.
While he was no match whatsoever for the winner, he had Medicine Jack in behind, and also showed enough pace to suggest the drop back to the minimum trip would not be a major concern. With a rating of 105, he is head and shoulders above his rivals in terms of what he has achieved and this looks an opportunity to finally get off the mark.
There are some interesting rivals, most notably Ribbons ‘N’ Roses, who showed plenty on debut in a maiden won by subsequent Group 2 winner Roly Poly.
It is a concern that she hasn’t been seen since April, but there was no mistaking the promise of that effort, and market support should be noted.
Newcomer Circus Ring is also worth keeping an eye on in the market, though it would require something special to beat his 105-rated stable companion on debut.
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