Given that the front end of the market doesn’t appear particularly strong, this opening two-year-old race looks primed for an upset of sorts and the two that are worth playing against the field are SAYDE (best price 11-2) and ROONEY O’MARA (best price 9-1). The former shaped really nicely on debut in a decent contest at the Curragh and coming from a good low draw with testing ground in her favour, she makes quite a bit appeal. The latter takes a little more explaining, but given that she was noted doing some good late headway on debut at Navan after running with the dummy in her mouth in the early stages, today’s extra furlong might help her to be a bit more competitive this afternoon.
Having already proven his liking for today’s track courtesy of two solid performances of late, FATHER MCKENZIE (NAP) (best price 5-1) rates a knocking each-way bet at his morning odds. Runner-up to brilliantly-named Brian The Snail two starts ago, Mick Channon’s charge took full advantage of his track knowledge when returning to the Yorkshire venue seven days later and although today’s contest looks a little more competitive, his speed figures suggest he should have no trouble coping with the examination paper set before him.
FAIR GAME (best price 3-1) is developing into a fairly useful performer when there’s plenty of cut underfoot, so this afternoon’s testing conditions should once again prove ideal for Edward O’Grady’s inmate. Indeed, her overall and sectional times when landing a competitive affair at Listowel last time out suggests there could be more improvement still to come from the daughter of Lawman and she just gets the nod over the other soft ground specialist Ecoeye, who also arrives here in good nick.
One win in 22 indicates DOUBLE FAST (best price 11-1) is far from a cash cow, but her last two performances point towards her adding to her modest tally sooner rather than later. Her second to William Ashford at Gowran two starts ago was the first real indication of a return to form and although she only managed to finish seventh on her latest outing, that number doesn’t tell the whole story. Pushed along and in rear at halfway, the daughter of Fast Company fairly flew home in the closing stages and given that contest at the Co Kildare venue was over six furlongs, the slightly extra yardage and slower ground should aid her cause no end this afternoon.
For those of us that sided with BULGADIN LADY (best price 7-2) at the Curragh last time out, there were one or two anxious moments – especially around the home turn – but once she got herself extricated from the pocket inside the final two furlongs, she stayed on strongly to seal the deal late on. An eye-catcher at Navan the time before, John Feane’s filly is clearly on top of her game at present and with conditions once again heavily in her favour, a quick follow up is a distinct possibility.