Verbosity gets the nap selection to take the second race on Students’ Day at Leopardstown.
Trained by Jim Gorman, the Vocalised filly ran six times as a two-year-old and was rewarded for her consistency with a smooth victory at Cork on her final start of the season.
On that occasion, she quickened up smartly early in the straight to open up what would prove a race-winning advantage. Put up nine pounds for that victory, she raced off her new mark on her return at the Curragh a fortnight ago, and was far from disgraced in finishing fourth behind Awtaad in what was a better race than this.
With that run under her belt and proven form on soft ground, she can carry top weight to victory in this easier-looking race, in which Set To Fire is feared most.
Race five is the Spin 1038 Handicap, over 10 furlongs, and many of the runners are likely to struggle to get the trip on today’s testing ground.
One who should improve for the step up in distance is the Jim Bolger-trained Ceol Na Nog, and the Teofilo filly can make the most of a mark, 66, which looks workable.
She showed promise on her debut, in a Leopardstown maiden won by Corstorphine, and next time out there was no shame in being unable to get heavily involved when seventh in a Gowran maiden in which Rayisa beat Best In The World, and Pretty Perfect finished fifth.
Both of those races were over a mile, and the drop back to six furlongs for her final start of the season was never likely to suit. Unsurprisingly, she made late headway, albeit into a modest eighth behind runaway winner and high-class prospect Cool Thunder.
All of that resulted in a mark of 66, which she should have little trouble leaving behind this season. The step up to 10 furlongs for today’s race should prompt immediate improvement, and the ground, which she hasn’t yet encountered, is not expected to be a problem. Entirely unexposed, she can prove too well treated for recent winner Love In The Sun.
Ballydoyle’s jockey bookings in the opening race make it more difficult to read but the Donnacha O’Brien-ridden Claudio Monteverdi can make his experience count. Fourth behind Tirmizi in a maiden at this track in late October, he filled the same spot when beaten only two and a half lengths behind Embiran on his return, little more than a fortnight ago at the Curragh.
That was a decent effort for his first start of the season and the benefit of the outing can make the difference today. The danger may come from Dermot Weld’s Look Closer, though Ballydoyle newcomer The Gurkha, ridden by Seamie Heffernan, is worth noting in the betting.
The Embiran line of form can also come to the fore in the fillies’ maiden, as Shamreen caught the eye when third in that race and should prove hard to beat this time. Dermot Weld’s once-raced daughter of Dubawi travelled strongly and stayed on well to be beaten only two and a half lengths behind her stable companion. Any improvement should ensure she goes very close.
The ground isn’t a concern for her, whereas likely market rivals Runmhar and Somehow have something to prove in testing conditions.
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