Preview of racing at Naas and Downpatrick

By Luke(@lukekeena1)

Sunday marks the start of the flat season in Ireland with flat racing coming from Naas. For those that don’t like the flat there is also jumps racing coming from Downpatrick. I have a few selections for each track and will go through my Naas selections first.

The feature race at Naas is race six the Tote Irish Lincolnshire off at 4:10. It is hard to be confident in many horses at Naas with there being a question mark about most horses fitness. This looks very competitive with twenty runners going to post. It is easy to make a case for a lot of these but the one I like is Quizical at around 20/1.

This son of Roderic O’Connor only got to the racetrack once last season as a three year old. He finished fifth behind Imaging at Naas last May. The form of that Listed race looks good with the sixth horse, Romanised since coming out and winning the Irish 2000 Guineas. The third Brother Bear came out and won a listed race on his next start. The winner Imaging has came out and finished second in a Listed race at Leopardstown.

Quizical has form on soft ground finishing second three times on soft ground. Two of those seconds were behind Yulong Gold Fairy at Galway and Naas back in 2017. I think a mark of 94 is a winnable mark. I think if he is fit enough he can run a good race with Gary Halpin in the saddle.

Race two off at 2:00

This race sees the match everyone has wanted to see, Ruby Walsh vs Ryan Moore on a racetrack over six furlongs. All messing aside it is interesting to Ruby ride for his dad Ted at Naas on the flat. It will be interesting to see how he gets on but I like Ryan Moore’s mount Empire State for Aidan O’Brien.

This son of Scat Daddy was a very expensive purchase costing $275,000. He came close to winning twice as a two year old only bet a head at Naas and a neck at Gowran Park. It won’t be long till he gets his head infront and I think here is a good chance for him to do so. If he is fit he will be hard to beat.

Race three off at 2:35

Arcanears won on his second start last year on heavy ground. He was an unraced  two year old. He finished second to Sors in October in a handicap at Naas. I think he is better than a mark of 79. Hopefully he will have improved through the winter and will run a good race at around 6/1.

Race four off at 3:05

Zander looks a worthy favourite on ground he will enjoy. He was impressive when winning his maiden at Galway last year. He then came out and finished second to Mount Tabora giving him ten pounds. I think he will be hard to beat off a mark of 98.

One at a bigger price that could run a good race is Chicas Amigas. She ran in a lot of good races last year. She finished second behind Servalan at Naas last year with Skitter Scatter finishing third. Skitter Scatter has since came out and won a group one and has a leading chance in the 1000 Guineas this year. If she handles the ground she can run a good race off a mark of 92.

Race five off at 3:40

Yulong Gold Fairy looks hard to oppose here. She is a filly with plenty of class, she finished second in a 1000 Guineas trial at Leopardstown last April. She won a Group three and a listed race last year. I think she is by far the best of these and will be hard to beat on ground she likes.

Race seven off at 4:45

This race sees the return of Amedeo Modigliani after missing all of last season with a setback. Before being ruled out for the season he was being built up as one of the leading contenders in the Derby. He won his maiden at Galway on soft ground so the ground won’t be a concern but how fit will he be is the question. I think he will be hard to beat,whatever he does here he would be expected to improve for the run.

Race eight off at 5:20

Wargrave looks to be the best of these. He finished second behind Zander at Galway back in July. He has also finished second at Limerick behind Could Be King back in October. If he comes here ready to go he will be hard to beat.

Now to Downpatrick and the first race is off at 2:15. I think the favourite Kalum River will be hard to beat. On his hurdles debut he finished six lengths behind Commander Of Fleet at Punchestown back in November. He hasn’t built on that run since but he won’t get a better opportunity to get his head in front.

Race three off at 3:20

Cappuccino Man was second on his penultimate start at Fairyhouse. The first three pulled six lengths clear of the fourth. Last time out he was fifth at Leopardstown. He probably ran better than his finishing position suggested, he was slightly interfered with after the last hurdle. I think the step back down in trip will suit and can run a good race at a price of 11/2.

Race five off at 4:25

Mill Forge ran a great race to finish second to Father Jed at Gowran Park earlier this month after a break. He know returns to fences after some good runs over hurdles. He hasn’t shown much over fences but I think in handicap company he will be shown to better effect. He is well in on his Hurdle form and hopefully he can run well with Patrick Corbett in the saddle.

Race seven off at 5:30

Fasola Tido ran a promising debut at Fairyhouse back in December finishing second to Santa Rossa. Santa Rossa has since came out and won a Grade two bumper at the Dublin Racing Festival. Fasola Tido has since came out and disappointed at Punchestown. That run was too bad to be true and if she returns to form she will run a good race at a price of 9/4.


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