16:45 Haydock

ANIMATO (best price 13-2) seemed to appreciate the step up in trip at Beverley last time out and there appears no logical reason based on his effort at the Yorkshire venue why he won’t go well again in this similar contest. 

Gelded over the winter, David O’Meara’s inmate returned to action on the Westwood only to disappoint, but he soon bounced back to the sort of form that allowed him to score at Musselburgh last season. In what turned out to be a very strongly run race of its kind, the son of Ulysees ended up being involved in a protracted dual with two other strongly-fancied rivals inside the final two furlongs and if it wasn’t for being the meat in the sandwich close home, he may have gained the day. Despite ultimately having to settle for a gallant third, it was a performance of some merit – especially on the clock – and with today’s ground and long straight track set to suit, his qualities can help him in his bid to defy top weight. 

Animato - 1pt e/w @ 13/2

16:55 Curragh

Waterville is becoming a little expensive to follow in his short career and even though he’s getting ever closer to finally shedding his maiden tag, VELLNER (best price 4-1) will surely make him work harder for his breakthrough success than the morning odds suggest. 

A promising fourth on his debut at Cork, Paddy Twomey’s colt returned to the scene of that useful effort in a similar maiden a month later and although he didn’t manage to better his finishing position, his overall level of performance definitely went up a notch or two. Setting solid fractions from the front, the son of Galileo Gold looked like he was going to make all the running until engulfed by his three main market rivals in the shadows of the post, but despite this agonising defeat, he still came out of the race with great credit. Time-wise, he helped contribute to easily the best overall speed figure on the eight-race card and with main market rival tonight, looking as though he requires further than he does, a good tactical ride from the front could gain maximum rewards.

VELLNER – 1-point each-way@4-1

Vellner - 1pt e/w @ 4/1

17:25 Curragh

LYRICAL POETRY (best price 6-1) has always been held in high regard – her run in a listed race at Dundalk on only her second start backs up that view – and with her opening performance of the season going a long way to enhance her reputation, Johnny Murtagh’s filly has enough star quality to run well against the boys. 

Extremely promising on her first outing as a two-year-old at Cork, connections though she warranted stepping up in grade on her second start, but as it turned out, the combination of a poor start and being way too keen in the early stages over a trip that didn’t suit, all counted against her. Given plenty of time to recover and flourish at home, the daughter of Lope de Vega returned to action after a 194-day break at Gowran a month ago and on the evidence of what we witnessed of her that day, it’s easy to see why she now finds herself back in stakes company. Making all the running at the Co Kenny venue, she spread-eagled her field from an early stage and, in maintaining the gallop all the way to the line, she ended up posting a very fast speed figure in beating a horse who has gone on to advertise the form since. Likely to be ridden close to the speed again, the three-year-old chestnut is expected to give more than a solid account.

Lyrical Poetry - 1pt e/w @ 6/1