• Naas - Sunday

    O'Brien’s winning run to continue at Naas

    Aidan O'Brien can win the twin Group 3 feature races on a strong card at Naas on Sunday. 

    His Meditate was a very taking winner on her debut and will surely be all the rage to follow up in the Coolmore Stud EBF Fillies Sprint (2.45). She easily brushed aside race favourite Drunk In Love to win over five furlongs here a month ago and she might well be better again for the experience and the longer trip this time. Jessica Harrington’s Dundalk It’s Showtime Baby could emerge as the biggest threat. 

    The O'Brien-trained New York City should take all the beating in the Group 3 Goffs Lacken Stakes (3.45). He certainly improved on a runaway maiden success at Navan when getting the better of Straight Answer, a rival again, to land the Listed Committed Stakes at the same venue last time and he should be up to confirming that form. A couple of recent outings might also see him account for the highly-tried Twilight Jet which is in action for the first time since the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar in November.  

    There are also a couple of Listed races on the card and the Sole Power Sprint Stakes (2.15) might just go the way of the Ger Lyons-trained Geocentric. She has a penalty for her win at this level at Dundalk in October but she ran such a big race when just losing out to Group 1 winner Romantic Proposal on her first run back here three weeks ago that she is hard to overlook. Any improvement must give her a chance against older and higher-rated rivals Logo Hunter and Make A Challenge.  

    The Listed Owenstown Stakes (3.15) might not be as competitive with the 107-rated Bopedro all but standing out for Jessica Harrington. He found his winning form again in handicaps on a couple of occasions last year and might well have been an unlucky loser in the valuable Sovereign Path Handicap at Leopardstown on Longines Irish Champions Weekend in September. A couple of weeks later he ran another good race in the Listed Navigation Stakes at Cork and he could be up to winning again on his first outing since then. 

    The Henry de Bromhead-trained Barbapapa must have his chance in the Royal Ascot Trials At Naas Handicap (4.45). He was having his third outing when winning a maiden at Dundalk in January, a race that is working out nicely, and the three-year-old might again go well from the front-rank. He’s one of five contenders stepping into handicap company for the first time. 

    Far more exposed is the Sarah Lynam-trained Tyrconnell but the eight-year-old is a consistent sort and looks a player in the Tote Always SP Or Better Handicap (5.15). A standing dish at Dundalk, he wasn’t beaten all that far on his return to the grass at Leopardstown last month and if again getting the better of Hale Bopp, he can’t be too far away. 

    Selections: 2.15 Geocentric (NAP); 2.45 Meditate; 3.15 Bopedro; 3.45 New York City; 4.45 Barbapapa; 5.15 Tyrconnell. 

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