THERE could be Magical moments to come for Aidan O’Brian’s filly. It has been a stop start season for her but she proved herself a smart prospect by easily taking a Group 2 contest last Sunday on her return.
She will stay further and goes on any ground – so what is not to like?
I would prefer her to go up in trip rather than drop back a furlong, but everything is planned with the paddocks in mind and connections will be hoping she could nick a Group 1 over a mile.
Ideally the Prix Opera would be a long term target, but in the short term the Nassau at Goodwood would suit her perfectly – the weight allowance making her the one to beat in a renewal that does not look the strongest.
Another returning star was September and the betting market was not as negative as I thought it would be.
She clearly has had her problems and this run would have been needed, but there is no doubt that this was still very disappointing.
She was given a very tender ride by Seamie Heffernan to build her confidence, but even when he put her between horses she did not grab the bridle and run on. It was very disappointing and there is every chance that she has not trained on.
WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS/WESTERN AUSTRALIA
THE opening maiden on Irish Oak’s day has a history of producing good horses and this years renewal looked a strong one and the type to throw up plenty of winners in the coming months.
The winner and second both look pretty smart already, but the two that most caught the eye for the future were a pair of Ballydoyle-trained sons of the dual Derby winner Australia.
Western Australia was very green and running on and off the bridle before getting the message late on under a typical considerate Seamie Heffernan ride.
He will be winning before long and looks like he could potentially be pattern class quality once he matures.
The other Australia colt Whitsunday Islands was given a very tender ride by Donnacha O’Brien to finish a never nearer fifth, but he did well to get so close from stall one and should be winning next time out.
THERE was a thrilling finish to the Irish Oaks and the winner Sea Of Class could be a serious filly in time.
She was given an excellent waiting ride by James Doyle and there is no doubt that she could progress into an Arc Filly – especially with the generous weight allowance she would receive.
I thought the third Mary Tudor ran an impressive race too. She may not have seen out the trip as well as the front two, but she is a very good filly when getting cover and Billy Lee got her beautifully settled.
She perhaps travelled a little too well though, so a drop back to 10 furlongs looks a likely next step for her and she could nick a Group 2 contest somewhere down the line.
CLIFFS OF DOONEEN
I’m not sure how far this son of Galileo can go, but given his size and scope he could become a Cup horse.
Sent off favourite for a two-mile handicap at the Curragh last Sunday, the three-year-old was given plenty of time to find his stride by Ryan Moore and he responded well when asked to win with a bit in hand.
That was no mean feat off an opening mark of 97 after only winning a modest Bellewstown maiden and the perfect race for him could be the Doncaster Cup — three-year-olds have a great record.
MONA LISA’S SMILE
IT tends to be the modus operandi at Ballydoyle for their two-year-old progeny to progress significantly from their debut runs and that should be the case with Mona Lisa’s Smile after her run at the Curragh on Sunday.
The War Front filly showed plenty of early speed, but evidently lacked experience and was given an easy time of it by Donnacha O’Brien, coming home under hand riding.
Given her connections, it’s no surprise to see her pedigree is stacked full of group performers and although it may be a long way away, her pedigree screams possible Oaks contender.
The fact that she made her debut over six furlongs suggests she has been showing plenty at her home and she will be a big player over seven furlongs plus.
SHE certainly won’t make back page news, but Jessie Harrington’s mare is one to follow over timber after her runaway win at Ballinrobe on Monday.
The five-year-old was nothing special on the level, but she achieved a fair standard and has a decent cruising speed which is always an advantage.
She was ridden by Barry Geraghty and he always looked confident when producing her at the last to win going away by five lengths. She went wider than ideal and clearly was not suited to the sharp nature of the track, so an 8lb rise is easy to digest with the assumption there is more to come.
She is entered up in the Easyfix handicap hurdle at Galway on Monday and you could see her going close with a bit of luck.
USUALLY nothing really exciting happens on a quiet Tuesday evening at Ballinrobe, but Denise Foster’s five-year-old has the potential to reach dizzy heights.
He tanked through the race and was absolutely cantering over a Willie Mullins’ hotpot before powering clear to win by five lengths.
He goes well on decent ground, has the size to well over timber and is very much above average for the summer jumps racing scene.
It’s very possible a certain prominent Irish owner may soon be flashing his cheque book and this fellow could be racing in some very familiar green and gold silks.
SMALL BIT OF LOVE
SHE’s certainly no star for Closutton, but should prove to be a decent money spinner over staying trips for Willie Mullins.
I liked the way she powered home once she found her stride at Ballinrobe on Monday and will be even more effective on a more galloping track over further – stamina is very much her forte.
She won smoothly off a mark of 66 and the handicapper will most likely bump her up 7lb, but that should still see her with a bit left up her sleeve.
It’s hard to judge the ceiling of her ability, but I would like to think she could progress into a mid 80s handicapper – especially over further.