2.00 Irish Stallion Farms EBF 'Bold Lad' Sprint Handicap
Johnny Murtagh had a story to tell at a racing gig on Friday evening, recalling how he brought Urban Beat to work with a Gordon Elliott-trained horse that happened to be called Beckford last season. He impressed in the peace of work, yet flopped in his following race, pulling a muscle.
However, Urban Beat has gone on to much better things this season, winning his last three, and showing a proper turn of foot. He has a big chance.
It might be worth chancing Tresorier here. A classy performer in France, he was third earlier this season, and is much better than the form of his Roscommon run, when things went a little awry. Any more rain will help a horse trained by an excellent operator in John Feane.
Selection: Tresorier 50-1
2.35 Moyglare ''Jewels'' Blandford Stakes
Probably one of the good things of the weekend here in Eziyra, who has been a remarkably consistent filly. Normally first or second, she could only manage third at York last time, but there was no shame whatever in that: the winner, Sea Of Class, is top-notch.
Eziyra might prefer a shade farther, but she is really hard to oppose, and it should be a fair gallop. The in-form Jessica Harrington runs two fillies and both I'm So Fancy and Beautiful Morning are smart performers. Colm O'Donoghue takes the mount on Beautiful Morning and she should run a big race.
Clear Skies has the ability but has had a patchy Turf campaign.
Selections: Eziyra 4-5
3.05 Group 1 Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes
This is the first time this has been run as a Group 1, Ireland’s only Group 1 sprint, and it is disappointing that it is a poorer renewal than it would normally be when run as a Group 2.
Sioux Nation is a big bull of a horse who has been a shade disappointing this season and he would not want any more ease in the ground ideally but he likes the track and has the assistance of Ryan Moore.
Havana Grey gets the nod for the in-form Karl Burke. The Havana Gold colt is a hardy three-year-ld sprinter, ground-versatile, and he enjoyed the course and trip when winning here in July. He had a tough task at York last time in a much better race and was far from discredited.
Selection: Havana Grey 2-1
3.40 Moyglare Stud Stakes
This is a tricky edition and one perhaps lacking a star. Since 2005 inclusive, Aidan O'Brien has won the race five times, and the pick of his runners today looks to be Just Wonderful, who quickened up smartly to win at the Curragh last time, the form boosted at York this week by Fleeting into the bargain.
Zagitova was ahead of Hermosa when they clashed here three weeks ago but it might be worth a poke on Hermosa at the prices. Hugely impressive in winning her maiden at Galway, she is bred to be special, and the stable was a little under a cloud when she ran last time.
Skitter Scatter has done wonders for Patrick Prendergast, winning that race three weeks ago, and she has to be respected. Despite being by Scat Daddy, she handles an ease well, but this ground will suit. Main Edition was good at Newmarket after disappointing there previously and has fair claims.
Selections: Hermosa 22-1
4.15 Group 1 Goffs Vincent O'Brien National Stakes
If the Fantastic Light-Galileo clash were the most memorable renewal of the Champion Stakes, that it was Coolmore and Godolphin take on each other rendered it all the more intriguing, and that is the case here as the two heavyweights clash in the form of Anthony Van Dyck and Quorto.
Anthony Van Dyck produced a sensational effort on his third start at Leopardstown, winning by nearly five lengths, and it was just a little underwhelming that he could only score in a workmanlike fashion at the Curragh, though the stable’s horses were not firing at the time.
Quorto is by Dubawi, the main Godolphin stallion; predictably Anthony Van Dyck is by Galileo. Quorto is also out of Volume, who ran a blinder in the Irish Oaks only four years ago, one of the best horses to run by Mount Nelson. He is bred to be very good and he could be better again, hacking up on debut at Newmarket and again there since when heavily backed.
Selection: Quorto 5-4
4.50 Comer Group International Irish St. Leger
The retirement of Order Of St George robbed this race of the likely favourite and it is a pretty open if not especially inspiring renewal.
Weekender was second in the Ebor to the impressive Muntahaa and that was off 112, so he does not need to improve much to win this, while the fact he skipped a clash with Enable last weekend will do his chance no harm.
Latrobe's victory in the Irish Derby was a first Classic success for Joseph O'Brien. That was a moderate renewal in some respects and the form looks iffy, but at least it was reassuring to see Rostropovic (third) win at Leopardstown on Saturday. The distance should suit Latrobe, while Flag Of Honour has an edge over Twilight Payment and should be thereabouts.
Selection: Latrobe 9-4
5.25 Tattersalls Ireland Super Auction Sale Stakes
It is no surprise that British raiders fare well in this race – winning three of the last four – and Flashcard might be the answer under Rob Hornby. Though clearly his rating of 88 is not good enough, he seemed to have plenty in hand in his pair of wins at Salisbury over six furlongs, sent off 1-2 last time, and the home team does not look especially strong.
Invasion Day, rated 92, has blinkers on for the first time, and it is not common for Ger Lyons to go for headgear. He was disappointing at Roscommon last time but his previous runs in good company give him a chance, with stablemate Andre Amar not out of it either; it is worth recalling that the yard won this with a stable second-string (Glass House) in 2015.
Selection: Flashcard 2-1
6.00 Irish Stallion Farms EBF 'Northfields' Handicap
Still Standing looks really interesting here. He has gone up just 12lb for two wins in August and that prompted thoughts of how exciting the son of Mastercraftsman could be over hurdles, but it appears more likely that a stallion career awaits the three-year-old.
If that is the case, one would imagine he would be able to improve again beyond a mark of 93, and he hacked up at Killarney last time. It never seemed in doubt.
Arthurian Fame likes the track and should continue to run well, with stablemate Downdraft another Camelot-bred not without claims.
Selection: Still Standing 7-1