Listowel hosts the first part of a two-day bank holiday fixture this afternoon and Tony Keenan has found a few horses to back at the Kerry track...
"Dom Carlos is making his third appearance in little over a fortnight but there has been something to like in both his runs to date and he looks the overpriced horse in the opening maiden."
Yesterday's Derby didn't disappoint as a spectacle with Masar and his massive stride length coming home in front, the step up to a mile and a half suiting the New Approach colts much better than many (myself included) expected. Where the winner goes next is unclear and one wonders what is to be gained by running in the Irish equivalent where he would have to take on Team Ballydoyle on their home turf; perhaps the King George or a Group One back at 10 furlongs will be preferred.
Another Derby runner that might be better avoiding the Curragh race is Hazapour. He travelled best of all to the two-furlong pole yesterday, hitting [3.0] in-running, but paid for his early keenness from there on, the four that passed him in the finish all racing further off what looked a strong pace. On this evidence he is a non-stayer but a talented one and cutting back in distance should suit well.
We go from one quirky left-handed track at Epsom to another for Irish flat racing today at Listowel. I have never really like flat racing here but this afternoon looks a reasonable card with the course getting some decent ground for a change.
Dom Carlos is making his third appearance in little over a fortnight but there has been something to like in both his runs to date and he looks the overpriced horse in the opening maiden. He was clueless from the stalls on debut at Navan but finished his race quite well having essentially lost all the ground he was beaten by breaking badly before the application of blinkers saw a much improved performance at the Curragh last week. That looked a strong maiden - it was particularly so on the clock - and while not drawn well in box 12 I expect Declan McDonogh to be proactive early in getting him into a forward position.
The morning favourite is Coral Beach but she was a touch disappointing last time, not really improving for her debut run, and her temperament has looked suspect. Mintd had a good run behind Fairyland at Naas but that winner took a big jump from first to second start like many of the Aidan O'Brien juveniles and that form may not be all it seems.
Going for home too early seemed to be the undoing of Aspen Belle at Sligo last time but she looked a well-handicapped mare in so doing and gets to compete off the same mark now as a consequence. The forward-going style that has been employed with her the last twice is certainly no negative at Listowel where the pace often doesn't come back and she has been in excellent form since returning from a winter off.
She looked the most likely winner of the race to me so is worth a bet as the second choice of the market but there is some other pace in this and there is a chance that something could come from behind to win. Boragh Steps might be that horse and she looks on a good mark judged on her ninth in quite a deep listed race at Naas last month. That race was over an extended five furlongs and she dropped back to the minimum trip last time which didn't suit and this step back up in distance should be much more to her liking today.
The horses with multiple runs look vulnerable in this in maiden and it might be better to combine the two once-raced runners at the bottom of the card. Understate was well-backed at Navan and his connections have an excellent record with fancied debutantes, tending to know what they have starting out. He was too keen over 10 furlongs on yielding-soft ground though and this drop in trip and better ground should suit better being by Oasis Dream; the form of the win has worked out pretty well too.
Wentwood was only seventh on debut but it was an eye-catching seventh, the only horse in the field to make real ground up from rear behind Magnetic North at Leopardstown. It was the sustained nature of the move that really impressed as he started getting into the race from three furlongs out and kept going all the way to the line, sectional times suggesting he deserved significant marking up. He should come forward from that and if so is able to get into the mix now.
2018 P+L: -17.8 points
0.5 Point Back Dom Carlos @ [9.0] or bigger in the Listowel 14:10
0.5 Point Place Back Dom Carlos @ [2.4] or bigger in the Listowel 14:10
0.5 Point Back Aspen Belle @ [7.2] or bigger in the Listowel 14:40
0.5 Point Back Boragh Steps @ [14.0] or bigger in the Listowel 14:40
0.5 Point Back Understate @ [6.2] or bigger in the Listowel 15:45
0.5 Point Back Wentwood @ [8.6] or bigger in the Listowel 15:45