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Horse racing tips: Johnny Ward's best bets for Naas and Killarney

By Johnny Ward
Sun 15 May 2022

Killarney, one of the most beautiful places to visit in Ireland, welcomes its first meeting of the season on Sunday, live on Racing TV.

Some tricky Stakes races are the order of the Naas menu, another of the fixtures live on Racing TV, and I have five selections across both meetings. Best of luck.

1.45 Naas: The Antarctic

Aidan O'Brien has access to some top sires such as Dubawi on occasions, Siyouni, No Nay Never and Dark Angel, sire of this brother to Battaash who beat Wodao on debut, despite that rival having the benefit of a run.

He should beat him again here and looks a high-class colt in the making.

3.00 Killarney: Santa Rossa

It has been a memorable 13 months or so for Dermot McLoughlin and he runs Santa Rossa here who is a really classy mare that I am a big fan of, and she returned to action with a predictably bloodless win at Limerick.

She upstaged that by finishing second to Darasso at Fairyhouse when nearly touching evens in running on her next start, where perhaps her stamina was a little stretched.

There should be plenty of pace on here and she should be very hard to beat.

3.30 Killarney: Ardla

Ardla went off too hard when fading tamely at Punchstown last time out but he's far better than that based upon what he previously achieved in maiden hurdles.

His gutsy third to Banbridge at Navan in January reads really well and I love the booking of Paul Townend here. If he can make the running, this track will very much play to his strengths.

4.00 Killarney: Max Flamingo

I tipped Egality Mans at Punchestown when he was strong at the finish over two furlongs shorter, and this test will suit him. Even so, I can't really see why he beats Max Flamingo at these weights.

The latter might have had his stamina stretched in the Irish National, but it was another excellent run, and the figures suggest he'll win if he runs his race here.

4.15 Naas: Kerkiyra

Strangely, Aidan O'Brien runs four here but none of his quartet can be fancied on form.

By contrast, Kerkiyra ran to a mark between 80 and 90 on all her runs at two and she could hardly have contested better maidens.

All three of her siblings who made it to the racecourse won, two of them being above average, and trainer Johnny Murtagh had a double at Gowran Park during the week.

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