HIBISCUS (best price 9-1) ran a good deal better than her finishing position suggested at Naas last week and she's taken to build on her general progression and earn herself some more valuable black type. Off the mark at the fifth time of asking when landing a Curragh maiden, Aidan O'Brien's charge was pitched into the deep end in listed company back at the same track on her next start - a decision which was handsomely rewarded with a second place finish behind Alveena. In a much more competitive heat seven days ago, the daughter of Galileo probably would have justified her position in the market had her pilot not taken his mount on the swamp down the inside and now back on a better surface, she should be capable of a more positive result.
BORN SURVIVOR (best price 5-1) has always been held in the very highest regards by connections and this looks to be a decent starting point for this potential top-class prospect. Dan Skelton’s charge first sprung to prominence when he landed a Warwick maiden hurdle with plenty of panache and such was the style of the performance that day, he was pinched into the deep end of Graded event back at the same track on his start. Although he failed in his attempt put his name in lights, he still came out of the race with great credit and following a confidence-boosting win back in ordinary novice company at Wetherby on his final start, the son of King’s Theatre begins this campaign off a fair handicap mark for a horse of who has all the right attributes to land a big pot one day.
The combination of a funereal gallop over an inadequate trip counted against I’M IN CHARGE (NAP) (best price 2-1) over today’s course last time out, but now racing back up in distance, Grant Cann’s inmate is strongly fancied to add to his impressive C&D victory here last season. As it turned out, it was a good tactical ride on the winner, Present Man, nine days ago, but the same can’t be said for young Cobden on his mount who seemed to let the race pass him by as he sat passively out the back door twiddling his thumbs. Had the son of Rakaposhi King been put in the race sooner to allow his stamina to come into play it might well have been a different story, but least his pilot gets an immediate chance to put matters right on their return visit to the West Country venue.
AARED (best price 4-1) has yet to run a bad race all season and looks booked for another positive display over a C&D he created a favourable impression two starts ago. The combination of good ground and the stiff uphill finish clearly played into his strengths that evening and under similar conditions, the son of Shamardal went on to run a blinder when a solid third in the Irish Cambridgeshire on his latest outing. Likely to be fresher than most following a 56-day break, this improving and consistent four-year-old rates a rock-solid each-way wager.