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Johnny Ward's Irish Angle: Laburnum "my nap of the weekend" at Naas

By Johnny Ward
Fri 3 Jul 2020

Our Irish racing expert believes an Aidan O'Brien-trained filly will enhance her Irish Oaks claims on Saturday plus has four other selections.

What a day of sport we have on Saturday. Whilst Epsom dominates, and having the two Classics on the one card is a bit of a Christmas in July, the Naas card is a cracker too.

She is not running in the Investec Oaks at Epsom, but might we see Laburnum in then Irish equivalent? She is declared to run in the 5.15pm at Naas as she bids to enhance her credentials for the Classic contest at the Curragh on July 18.

Best of luck this weekend.

3.35 Naas: Madaket Mystery at a general 10-1

Madaket Mystery finished fifth behind Confidence High last time out and, even though Dark Pine got within a neck of the winner, it was a hopeless task for the rest of the field as Confidence High was running under a penalty and has since been beaten a length in a Group Three.

Andy Oliver’s charge is one of the most progressive horses in training after failing to even place as a two-year-old.

Madaket Mystery, by contrast, was third on all three starts at two, but she has a bit of size about her and made a lovely start to the campaign when fifth to Confidence High.

She raced wide at Leopardstown but finished really nicely into fifth; there should be more to come.

3.55 Bellewstown: Pepper'n Salt at a general 8-1

There are a few doubtful characters in this race, including potential favourite Oak Park, who again flattered at Limerick recently.

Gavin Cromwell struck with a couple of well-backed winning hurdlers recently and this Mastercraftsman-bred takes the eye here.

Pepper'n Salt has not been highly progressive himself, but he was second to the pretty useful Tronador at Thurles on his hurdling debut in January. A repeat performance might be good enough for his in-form stable.

4.40 Naas: Fame And Acclaim at 7-1 with Bet365

Watch how Fame And Acclaim fared on his seasonal debut

Toronto could be a bit too classy for these, having been ridden aggressively but still running a very nice race in the Gallinule.

However, preference is for the Acclamation gelding trained by Joseph O'Brien. He had a nice draw at Gowran last time out but was badly lacking the early pace to take advantage and he ended up going from first to last, only to stay on really well up the straight. He looks well-handicapped.

5.15 Naas: Laburnum at a general 5-2

A cracking race this. Even So is probably more of an Oaks than Guineas filly, so Ger Lyons was no doubt quite pleased that she finished fifth in the mile Classic, without ever posing a threat.

I loved the performance from Laburnum first time out where she did a rare (albeit not quite as rare this year) thing for a Galileo-bred trained by Aidan O'Brien - winning first time out.

She was niggled at various stages of that decent Gowran maiden but ended up winning with authority and it was the sort of run that screamed one thing, she would be miles better in due course. She is the nap of the weekend.

5.30 Bellewstown: Poseidon at a general 4-1

A tricky race this but Charles Byrnes has already struck at Bellewstown and can do so again. This horse only had one shot at a handicap hurdle, and he would need to improve on that run, but he still finished sixth of 25 at Leopardstown and this is not as strong a race as it could be for the grade.

His second to Abacadabras reads well, but more pertinently, he belied market weakness to win on his reappearance when showing a good attitude. This race is almost certain to be run to suit as well.

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