15:45 Curragh

Undeniable more strength in depth than the colts’ classic here yesterday and in what looks as wide open a renewal as there’s every been, A LILAC ROLA (best price 10-1) and BUTTONS (best price 10-1) are taken against the field. 

The former warmed up for a tilt at this prize with a gutsy success on desperate ground at Leopardstown 49 days ago and that performance proved she’s just as good as she appeared as a juvenile. Equally effective, if not more so, on a quicker terrain, Paddy Towmey’s filly has the notable scalp of today’s favourite, Opera Singer, tucked away in her locker and nicely drawn over towards the favoured far side fence, she looks poised to give her handler a shot at winning this race for the first time. 

The latter has a bit to find with her old rival on their match at the Dublin venue, but her subsequent performance back at the same track suggests she’s heading in the right direction. Seemingly caught in the way both races were run, a stronger gallop over this stiff track looks set to suit and she might just well prove to be the best of the O’Brien runners. 

A Lilac Rola - 0.5pts e/w
Buttons - 0.5pts e/w

15:35 Uttoxeter

SAGEBURG COUNTY (best price 11-2) continues to go the right way over fences and arriving here in the form of his life thanks to a career high performance on the figures at Chepstow last month, Warren Greatrex’s gelding looks set to take this step up in class in his stride. 

3-7 since joining the chasing ranks, the seven-year-old has chucked in a couple of stinkers along the way, but since fitted with a tongue-tie, he has become a good deal more reliable. His latest effort at the Welsh venue, for instance, backed up that view and the way he stayed on in the latter stages of a strongly run affair proved he has the stomach for a battle. 

Although today’s ground will be in stark contrast to what he faced 30 days ago, he has plenty of solid form on an easy surface and with today’s gallop likely to be a sound one from the outset, he has the credentials to be right in the thick of the action at the business end.

Sageburg County - 1pt e/w

16:10 Uttoxeter

HIGGS (best price 7-2) arrives here on the crest of a wave and, with his latest success at Ffos Las suggesting he is showing no signs of taking his foot off the gas, the veteran can role back the years for the fifth time in succession. 

A couple of solid runner-up spots were a precursor to what was around the corner and went on to gain a deserved success over today’s C&D over a competitive field despite being sent off at 20-1. Going on to prove that victory was no fluke at the Welsh track 11 days later, he always looked in total command and with today’s ground likely to prove more compliant for him than favourite, Next Left, Sarah Jayne-Davies’ inmate can put his vital course knowledge to good use and see it out from the front. 

Higgs - 1pt