Our horse racing expert Andy Holding has three tips for today's meetings.
13:35 Gowran Park
Some strong form lines in above average contests are brought forward to this maiden in the shape of TRUE ARTIST (best price 7-2) and Miramis and it’s the former who receives the vote by virtue of his confirmed fitness.
A creditable sixth in the maiden won by Santa Barbara at the Curragh as a juvenile, Gerard O’Leary’s gelding rounded off the campaign with an excellent effort in a hot nursery at Naas behind the well-regarded Hector De Maris (fifth in the Blue Riband Trials at Epsom recently). Off the track for 140 days, the son of Mastercraftsman reappeared at the Curragh to contest the Madrid Handicap up against some promising three-year-olds and despite a slow beginning and racing a little freely in the early stages due to being posted out wide, he ran a storming race to finish a head second to Amazing Grace. Just run out the argument close home, the chestnut, however, finished well ahead of the likes of Fourhometwo, Keeper Of Time and Erzindjan who have all gone on to score and boost the form in a major way since and he would only have to repeat a similar level of performance to be a factor in a race of this nature here this afternoon. Moreover, the rain which fell in large quantities yesterday and overnight – thus turning the ground soft – will suit him more than most, and providing he breaks a little better than he did 44 days, a good position into the short run to the first bend should enable him to be a major player throughout.
14:35 Gowran Park
There’s quite a few in this maiden fillies’ contest who have shown decent form on their last starts, none more so than ADELISA (best price 11-2) and being as though her latest effort took part over today’s C&D, hopefully her track knowledge can be put to good use.
A promising fifth in a Dundalk maiden on debut back in March, Joseph O’Brien’s filly was gifted a handy draw on her first run on turf at the Co Kilkenny venue and following a good break, the early position which obtained was maintained throughout. Although not quite good enough to contain the substantially-sized Create Belief in the closing stages, she still kept on well all the way to the line to finish an honourable second and with the third and fourth both going on to advertise the form on their next two starts respectively, it’s quite easy to make a strong case out for her going one place better on her return to the same track under similar conditions.
16:50 Gowran Park
Gavin Cromwell had a bit of a rough time of things at the Punchestown Festival, but the Co Meath handler has struck back with a couple of winners since and that provides a good degree of hope that his DUCHESS RAVENWAVES (best price 4-1) can add to the tally and back up her hugely impressive victory at Navan last time out.
Unlucky when falling at the last looking the most likely winner at Wexford over fences two months ago, the daughter of Harbour Watch was sent back on the Flat in a bid to atone and after travelling well throughout in a strongly-run 1m5f contest, she readily pulled clear to the tune of six lengths. Considering her levels of dominance at the Co Meath venue, one could argue she’s done pretty well to only get a 12lb hike in the ratings and that potential leniency means she’s still eligible for 0-70 company which she faces again today. Interestingly, her time figure 38 days ago worked out one of the fastest on the eight-race card – especially when you compare it to the one won by All Class (first reserve) in the other division – and with the distinct possibility of the ground being pretty horrid by the time the clock ticks around to post time, the seven-year-old mud-lover will be more in her element than most. Stall 19 is also seen as a major positive as they are likely to race wide looking for better ground as the afternoon progresses.