Walker can continue fine form with Blessing
We’ll start Sunday’s preview with a look at the feature Group 3 Brownstown Stakes. Trainer Aidan O’Brien has three of the eight, whilst there is a strong UK challenge from Ed Walker, Hugo Palmer and David O’Meara.
Anything running for Walker has to be noted, especially with his yard striking hot on Friday with four winners across the day’s action.
With that strike-rate in mind, I am backing his Indian Blessing at 11/2 on the Sportsbook.
She’s a bit of a globetrotter and I can see why she has raced in America with her visits to the Spa at Saratoga, Belmont and Keeneland. She travels well in her races and can quicken at sharp venues – which was certainly the case when she landed a Listed race at Musselburgh earlier this season.
That was over 7f, which is today’s trip, but she does stay a little further.
I would forgive her run at Royal Ascot last time as the soft ground was against her. She needs it quick, and the quicker the better at Fairyhouse will suit. The man with the white gloves – Gerald Mosse rides.
In terms of her rivals, I am worried about Fire Fly. I have backed her a couple of times this season and I am prepared for her to pop up one day at a decent price – as she has been a touch disappointing in 2019.
She finished well beaten in the Jersey but she would have a chance on her Ballycorus run. She was an interesting floater at 8/1 last night, but I’ll pass. For now.
It’s also worth mentioning the in-form Black Magic Woman, who is seeking the hat-trick for trainer Jack Davison. This was earmarked as a target by the handler following her course and distance victory last time, but she has a bit more on her plate today. But she is progressing.
Harrington set to strike with another juvenile
The strike rate of Jessica Harrington with her two-year-olds this season has been excellent. Prior to Sunday’s action, she was operating at 29%, which brings into play her filly But You Said.
She has been in a couple of deep maiden races so far – in particular her debut effort at Naas behind Peace Charter. That looked strong form and she didn’t shape too badly in her first start.
Her second effort was behind an Aidan O’Brien short-priced favourite who subsequently wasn’t beaten too far in the Queen Mary. The ground was on the slower side of good and she could be better suited to a quicker surface today.
So Wonderful is the one to beat, but I have no interest backing her at 10/11. I’ll take the 11/2 on offer for the selection.
Helen to be crowned the winner in weak affair
I have been struggling with the 0-65 handicaps recently, so the fact there are three on this card made some of those races a bit less appealing than some of the maidens. Thelooks very winnable and I am looking to take on the favourite Fairy Fort.
The pick in this race is the Ger Lyons’ filly Helen Of Albany.
Firstly, Lyons is another trainer in red-hot form (there’s a recurring theme today). He is hitting the 50% mark with his juveniles with seven from 14 this year, and his filly made a nice enough introduction, albeit in a weak maiden at Bellestown.
That was over 5f and she steps up to 7f for this, and whilst she has a poor draw out in 18, a lot of the rivals have no chance at all. It will be interesting to see if Colin Keane can bounce her out sharply to grab a decent position.
Bizarrely Royal Aide ran against 3m chaser De Name Escapes last time at Roscommon over 1m2f. It’s not often there would be 5f form to 3m chasing form in three steps.
Also good luck to my former Timeform Radio colleague Lorna Fowler. She trains Keep Dreaming, who at five years of age made an encouraging debut at the track recently.
Mon the progressive one at Sligo
We have the added bonus of a jumps fixture at Sligo on Sunday, and there’s one progressive horse to look out for in the best race on the card at 15:25.
Mon Storm looks as though he can improve on his current rating of 103, especially with a drop down in trip from 3m last time. He met some trouble in that race, but his come-from-behind style can lend itself to that if he doesn’t get the gaps. That was also a bit of a messy affair at Down Royal as they didn’t go much of a gallop.
The selection holds winning form at the track when he scored over 2m2f at Sligo. He displayed his liking for the good surface on that occasion and he seems to excel on this sort of ground. Back down in trip with conditions to suit, he’ll run a big race hopefully.
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