Notwithstanding problems with the size of the parade ring, the redevelopment of the Curragh is coming along really well and the course looks in fine shape.
No doubt for me that the star race there on Sunday is the Goffs Vincent O’Brien National Stakes, with a proper clash of the heavyweights, Coolmore being represented by the exciting Anthony Von Dyck and Godolphin by the unbeaten Quorto.
It is one of four successive Group One races on a card that begins with a 27-runner sprint handicap. That’s the race in which of the first of my three fancies runs.
Speaking on Friday night, Johnny Murtagh recalled Urban Beat working very well beside Beckford as a two-year-old.
It is hard to believe he began the campaign rated in the 80s! Murtagh is thriving as a trainer, like the horse, but it may pay to take a chance on a big-priced alternative here.
Tresorier is that horse and any ease in the ground will suit the French-bred. A little unlucky in running at Roscommon last time, he was placed off 88 in July and is down 3lb.
He looks badly in need of a strongly run race, is trained by an excellent operator in John Feane and had smart form in France before coming to Ireland, winning over today's trip and beaten under ten lengths in a Group One.
It is hard to forget how eye-catching Eziyra was on her debut, since which time she has form of 121231113.
She has become exceptionally reliable and, given the third-place finish last time was in the Group One Yorkshire Oaks won by Sea Of Class, one can hardly knock her. She looks good thing here, the ground being fine and her reliability thoroughly established.
The only concern is the drop distance – perhaps she is best at 12 furlongs – but it seems pretty probable that the pace will be in her favour.
Hermosa fits the bill here at her price in what is a tricky renewal of the Moyglare.
Clearly, she is not good enough on what she has achieved but after a powerhouse display at Galway there is hope that she can deliver.
She was disappointing last time but was well-backed and the stable’s runners were not setting the world alight. I would much prefer to be a backer than a layer in what looks a run-of-the-mill renewal at the 25-1 on offer.
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