The Galway extravaganza kicks away on Monday and it is a real case of the calm before the storm, with Wexford this afternoon the only meeting in Ireland for the weekend.
The nap vote falls on Jan Van Eyck, who has changed stables since he last ran, in the Sile Seoige Judges Littlewoods Ireland Ladies’ Day Rated Race.
He used to be trained by Ken Condon, who ran the horse in a ten furlongs claimer at Navan last time. The selection won by seven lengths and was duly claimed for €15,000 by Gerard O’Leary.
Jan Van Eyck made most of the running then, stays really well and, hopefully, will give his new connections an immediate return on their investment.
John Oxx and Declan McDonogh are not having a good season, but can combine with Papaya to take the Littlewoods Ireland Ladies’ Day Maiden.
The daughter of Teofilo has run just twice, stepping up nicely on her initial effort, at Limerick last month.
Despite being far too free in the early stages, Papaya finished a creditable third behind Khothry and Drifting Mist.
Khothry has won again in the meantime and so has Drifting Mist, as well as Always Annie and Goddess Of Love, who were fourth and sixth respectively in that Limerick contest.
Morga, representing the on-fire Jim Bolger yard, gets the nod in what looks a competitive Irish Stallion Farms’ EBF Fillies Maiden.
It has been a case of unfulfilled promise on the part of the daughter of Whipper thus far and she was fourth of four at Leopardstown on her latest appearance.
But Morga was doing all her best work at the end of an inadequate six furlongs then and the three horses who beat her, Via Ballycroy, Curley Wee and Talitha Kum, are all much better than anything she meets now.
Willie Mullins’ somewhat enigmatic Moveable Asset is the fancy in the two-mile Gorey Rated Race.
He was coming back from a break when seventh of 12 behind stable companion, Digeanta, at Leopardstown last month.
Moveable Feast is entitled to come on plenty for that and Pat Smullen is obviously a significant booking.
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