Andy Holding has four selection from Leopardstown this Sunday.
MY GENERATION (best price 9-2) left the impression she would have had a huge say in the final outcome of a similar 1000 Guineas Trial back here in April, so with that in mind, it makes sense to stay loyal to
Joseph O’Brien’s filly now stepping back up to a more suitable trip.
An easy winner of a listed contest on the all-weather at Dundalk during the winter in which she claimed the notable scalp of subsequent Salsabil Stakes heroine, Rocky Sky, the daughter of Speightstown was given a chance to see whether she could translate the ability she showed that night to the turf here last time out. Held up towards the rear in the early exchanges, she was getting up a nice head of steam running down to the two-furlong pole, from which point all her troubles began. Going for a daring run up the inside, she had the door well and truly slammed in her face and it meant all her momentum was checked and she ended up being shuffled right back through the pack to finish with only one behind her at the line. Whether she would have won could be debated until the cows come home, but there’s no denying she was in the process of running a big race and she’s fancied to press home that viewpoint on her return to the Dublin venue in the hope she gets a clear run this time around.
ANNERVILLE (NAP) (best price 9-4) was a massive eye-catcher over today’s C&D on her debut and with that all-important run under her belt unlikely to be lost on Johnny Murtagh’s filly, she rates a confident choice to make no mistake on her return to the Dublin track.
An unconsidered 40-1 outsider in what appeared a useful fillies contest 25 days ago, the daughter of Iffraaj showed distinct signs of greenness through the early stages and it all added up to her being one of the back markers as the field turned for home. However, once meeting the rising ground in the straight, she really began to pick up the bridle and by the time she’d hit the line, she was bearing down on her main rivals. Moreover, had she enjoyed a smoother passage in the last two furlongs it’s easy to come to the conclusion she would have won with a bit to spare and she’s strongly fancied to confirm that impression in a race that appears no tougher on paper. Of the others, Ulster Blackwater may turn out to be the joker in the pack based on her professional attitude showed when landing a barrier trial with a bit to spare at Dundalk last September.
There’s a cogent case to be made that EARL OF TYRONE (best price 8-1) has the strongest form line coming into this competitive three-year-old handicap and, at the morning prices, he deserves to be played accordingly.
A solid fourth in an above-average maiden won by subsequent Dee Stakes third, Earlswood, on his seasonal bow, Joe Murphy’s colt went to the Curragh for his latest encounter and even though he failed to better his previous finishing position, it’s easy to suggest his levels of performance were significantly improved. Held up towards the rear due to his high draw, the son of Australia found himself with plenty to do as the field turned for home, but in powering home down the outside of the course, he ended up running on strongly into fourth. Looking at the nuts and bolts of that strong contest at the Co Kildare venue, the winner, Wordsworth, is held in such high regard he would easily take in one of the Derby’s later in the season if he comes through his trial with flying colours, the runner-up, Agrimony, bolted up at Gowran in midweek, and the fifth home, Sunwalk, was easily the best horse in his race at the same track a day earlier. If he was, as the case will turn out to be, taking on horses rated in the 100+ bracket, the three-year-old chestnut has done well to come out of that contest 22 days ago with a mark of just 80, and with the distinct possibility of even more to come now racing over 1m4f given how he came home last time, it would be a huge disappointment if this likeable colt couldn’t make some sort of impact on his first go in handicap company.
EGYPTIAN ROCK (best price 5-1) fared pretty well under the circumstances in a hot maiden at the Curragh on debut and with the likelihood of him gathering enough information that day to carry successfully forward to his second start, Joseph O’Brien’s colt is likely to prove a big player in this concluding contest.
Well-touted beforehand 22 days ago, the son of Fastnet Rock went to post a well-backed 15-2 chance in a 17-strong field and although he never looked likely to justify those odds at any stage at the Co Kildare track, he did more than enough to suggest the money in his direction was only lent. Finishing his race off strongly from the back of the field without being subject to a hard ride, it was the kind of introduction in-keeping with how most of the stable’s tend to perform on their first day at school, and with the form of the race in question working out to suggest it was a very strong one of its kind, a repeat or even just a slight improvement on his part should see him go close here.