PINCHECK (best price 8-1) was one of the stronger fancied runners for the Irish Lincoln at Naas on his seasonal reappearance and although he ran well enough to finish a respectable fourth, he just left the impression that he would be all the better for the run – which makes him a more solid proposition this afternoon. Last off the bridle at the Co Kildare venue 22 days ago, the son of Invincible Spirit could only muster the one pace from over a furlong out, but that effort was certainly no disgrace given the demanding conditions that particular afternoon. Although he has a bit to find with some of the main players here this afternoon, the overriding feeling is that he may still have quite a bit of improvement to come and having scored on his only previous visit to today’s track this time last year, Jessica Harrington’s imposing four-year-old makes plenty of appeal at the morning odds.
LITTLESTICKARUBARB (NAP) (best price 5-2) came from a long way off the pace to land some tidy bets at Cork last time out and she looks in the sort of form based on that performance to warrant her receiving the confident vote to supplement those gains 14 days on. On the hurdles course at Cork, it’s unusual to see a horse come from that far behind to win, so the fact she managed to achieved that feat without coming off the bridle points towards a mare bang on top of her game at present. The danger of course, is expecting her to convert that sort performance over a totally different track, but the fact that Adrian Maguire’s mare has run around today’s sharp, uphill and down dale venue three times, all to a fair standard, gives hope that she can offset that slight negative.
SEBASTIANO RICCI (best price 13-2) shaped with an immense amount of promise on his seasonal debut at Naas 22 days ago and with just normal improvement, Joseph O’Brien’s charge looks set to overcome top weight in this competitive three-year-old handicap. Progressive as a juvenile, the Lope De Vega gelding did only manage to score just the once from 11 starts, but as that victory came on the worse ground he encountered all season at Roscommon, there’s a decent chance he will be more at home under today’s conditions than most. Moreover, his stable has made an excellent start to the Flat campaign and the overall form and time figure of that run at the Co Kildare venue rates highly in context of today’s race.