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Five horses to look out for on a classy card at Leopardstown on Thursday

By Harry Allwood@H_Allwood1
Wed 5 Aug 2020

Three Group Three contests take centre stage on Leopardstown’s eight-race card on Thursday, which will be shown live on Racing TV, and Harry Allwood has five horses for you to consider.

We are in for a treat at Leopardstown on Thursday with three Group Three contests featuring on the eight-race card and some of the best two-year-olds in Ireland will be on show.

The Bahrain International Ballyroan Stakes is the feature and six will go to post for the 1m4f contest in which some classy individuals are set to take each other on.

Click here to view our Bahrain International Ballyroan Stakes (3.00pm) runner-by-runner guide.

All eight races will be shown live on Racing TV on Thursdsay afternoon, and don’t forget to tune into Mark Your Card from 12.30pm for Mark Your Card where the Racing TV pundits will be previewing all the action.

Not a member of Racing TV? Click here to join now.

Below are five horses who ought to go close on Thursday and are worth keeping on side.

Horse: OODNADATTA

Trainer: Jessica Harrington.

Race: Franke Conroy Silver Flash Stakes (1.00pm) - Click here to view racecard

Watch how Oodnadatta scored on debut

Jessica Harrington has had some useful two-year-olds in her yard over the past 12 months and Oodnadatta is another potential high-class performer in the making for the County Kildare handler.

The daughter of English and Irish Derby winner Australia was successful on debut over course and distance in June on good ground and will face similar conditions on Thursday, which connections seemingly believe suits her best given she was withdrawn at Killarney in July due to unsuitable ground (yielding).

Although she had the run of the race out in front on debut, the youngster showed a good attitude plus was well on top at the finish, despite showing greenness up the home straight.

The form of that race has worked out well too as three of the six rivals she beat have won since, including Shale and Meala who both re-oppose here.

It is hard to know how much her rivals are going to improve, and there are a number of other exciting prospects in this race - most notably Pretty Gorgeous and Shale - but Oodnadatta will have learnt plenty from her debut and it would be no surprise if Shane Foley attempts to make all again.

Horse: CHARTERHOUSE

Trainer: John Joseph Murphy

Race: Japan Racing Association Tyros Stakes (1.30pm) – Click here to view racecard

Charterhouse was narrowly denied on debut

This looks another race that is full of potential future stars, with six of the 11 runners all victorious last time out, and we will no doubt be talking about a contender for a Group One contest later in the season, or even next year’s 2000 Guineas, at 1.35pm on Thursday.

Aidan O’Brien - who runs Military Style, Swiss Ace and Van Gogh - has won this race 13 times and the master of Ballydoyle’s runners must be considered given his record in the race.

The beautifully bred Masen, who represents Siskin’s connections, travelled nicely when successful on debut at Leopardstown and is likely to be held in high regard given he was sent off the odds-on favourite on that occasion.

However, one who caught the eye on debut behind Masen was Charterhouse, who was also making his debut, and would have won in a few more strides.

John Joseph Murphy’s youngster was a 3,000gns yearling who was sent off at 66-1 on debut, which was a bit of a surprise as he makes plenty of appeal on pedigree being a son of Group One winner Charming Thought.

He certainly outran his odds though and, despite running green under pressure until the penny dropped, he stayed on strongly and almost caught the winner in the final strides.

With runners from plenty of powerful yards in this contest on Thursday, he will hopefully be a nice price and is expected to take a big step forward from his debut run.

Horse: DANCE EMPEROR

Trainer: Peter Fahey.

Race: Holden Plant Rentals Handicap (2.00pm) – Click here to view racecard

Dance Emperor was unlucky at the Galway Festival

Dance Emperor was unfortunate not to finish a lot closer at the Galway Festival last week and can gain compensation if he is able to back that effort up here.

The five-year-old was slowly into stride before travelling nicely throughout the race and was forced to make his challenge out wide after enduring a troubled passage, and eventually finished a never-nearer third.

It is wise to think he would have probably won with a clear run as he was left with too much to do once in the clear.

The handicapper has raised him 2lb for that run, which leaves him on a rating of 65, which is fair, but he remains well-handicapped on his old form and was last successful off a rating of 74.

He has disappointed on a few occasions and remains without a win since 2018, which is a slight concern, but there is no doubting he has the ability to win off his current mark and is a previous winner at Leopardstown.

The likelihood of a strong pace in this contest should suit now he drops back to seven furlongs and rates a decent each-way bet at his opening price of 8-1.

Horse: PONDUS

Trainer: Joseph O’Brien.

Race: Bahrain International Ballyroan Stakes (3.00pm) – Click here to view racecard

Watch how Pondus scored last time out

This ex James Fanshawe-trained gelding produced a couple of useful efforts in defeat in Group Three contests last year, most notably when runner-up behind Addeybb at Haydock, and bounced back to form when second on his debut for Joseph O’Brien at Limerick in June

It was no surprise he built on that effort to land a Listed contest at Roscommon last time out where he did well to win as cosily as he did off a slow pace and showed a good attitude in the testing conditions to defeat Camphor, who was successful at the Galway Festival on Sunday.

A return to good ground should not hinder Pondus who is versatile ground-wise, and this trip clearly suits him well.

He is likely to progress again here as he is still relatively lightly-raced, plus it is still early days with his new trainer, and it would be disappointing if he is not capable of going close in Group races this season.

Horse: DALILEO

Trainer: John Patrick Murtagh.

Race: Holden Plant Rentals Handicap (4.30pm) – Click here to view racecard

Dalileo shaped well from an unfavourable draw at Galway

Dalileo shaped better than the bare result suggests when eighth in a valuable handicap at the Galway Festival last time out as he had a bad draw to contend with and did well to finish less than three lengths behind the well-handicapped winner, Princess Zoe, who scored again later in the week.

He was also only a place behind Willie Mullins’ Great White Shark who was successful over obstacles four days later, so the form looks strong, and Dalileo is sure to appreciate the drop-in grade here.

That was not the first time the five-year-old has gone close in a higher grade, and he deserves to get his head back in front following decent efforts on his past three starts.

Danny Sheehy claims a useful 5lb and there is no reason why Dalileo will not give another good account.

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