Rhys Williams has analysed Monday's racing and has two selections at Naas.
"While running over these unsuitable distances and with far different tactics to those used throughout his career, Aloysius Lilius' rating has slipped from 72 to 63."
Returns to suitable trip with headgear back on
Having spent his career running over five and six furlongs, Aloysius Lilius has been stepped up in trip this season to race over seven furlongs and a mile and the quality of his results have dipped.
On his first start over seven furlongs at Leopardstown, he was restrained early on to gradually drop back through the field and raced in second last leaving the back straight. He wasn't given an overly hard ride in the home straight while running on late to finish eighth.
He was once again restrained towards the back of the field on his next start over a mile at the same track. He made some headway on the inside early in the home straight but clearly didn't see out the trip and finished tenth.
Aloysius Lilius was dropped back in trip to 6½ furlongs next time out at the Curragh and ran well considering he was on the unfavoured part of the track. In a race dominated by those that raced close to the near side rail, he raced nearest the far side rail for much of the race and was the first home on the far side.
He got completely blocked off when making ground late on over seven furlongs at the same track who starts ago and was then ridden much handier on his latest start at Fairyhouse over the same distance.
He tracked the leaders from the off and was still in contention with a furlong to go but faded inside the last half furlong and finished 6½ lengths behind in sixth.
While running over these unsuitable distances and with far different tactics to those used throughout his career, Aloysius Lilius' rating has slipped from 72 to 63.
He's now back over six furlongs and the cheekpieces that he's often worn throughout his career are back on for the first time since he ran at Dundalk in February.
He's shown that he can run well on a variety of ground on turf in the past so there shouldn't be any concern over how much rain will fall at Naas today and whether there will be any change in the ground as a result.
I'm hoping that they repeat the tactics from Fairyhouse and look to ride Aloysius Lilius quite prominently and he should get a good lead off King's View who is drawn next to him in stall 20. With everything seeming to fall into place for a return to a better level of form for Aloysius Lilius, any 7/1 or bigger appeals.
Trainer switch may spark revival
Ustinov has been woefully out of form since leaving David O'Meara and it could be that the sharp decline in his form continues today but he's making his first start for a new yard and it's possible that he could spark back to life as a result.
He showed glimmers of ability during his time with Anne Marie O'Shea including when running ok off 52 at Dundalk in November.
While his new trainer, Dick Donohoe, hardly sends out winners on a frequent basis he has a better record than Ustinov's former trainer and I think it's notable that Seamie Heffernan has been booked to ride Ustinov having only ridden three times for this trainer.
When a hood was first applied, it resulted in victory for Ustinov back in 2016 so it may be that the reapplication of a hood will help his chances today. The tongue tie that he regularly wore when in training with O'Shea is now off which makes me wonder if some work on his wind has been done since his last run for O'Shea in December.
Ustinov might just not be the horse he once was and will run badly again, which is why he's a win only bet, but I can't let him go unbacked at a big price and any 25/1 or bigger appeals.
RHYS' PROFIT/LOSS 2021
Daily Offer - Get a £5 Free Bet on Multiples
“Place £20 worth of multiples over the course of a day, and, after the bets have settled, you'll get a free £5 to use on multiples. Bets must settle before 23:59 on the day they're placed. No opt-in required, T&Cs apply.”