After advising Creggs Pipes at 12.011/1 last Sunday, Tony Keenan is back with four horses to bet on at Naas this afternoon...
"Megan Lily ran second to the expensive breeze-up purchase Broken Stones in a fast time at York but that doesn’t tell the full story as she looked to go very hard in front but still found plenty in the finish."
Naas brand this afternoon's card as Royal Ascot Trials Day and while some might crab the track for notions of grandiosity, their claims are accurate. Of the 94 Irish-trained horses to place at the Royal meeting since 2010, it no surprise to see 36 of them having their previous start at the Curragh but Naas comes in third overall with 10 preppers, close behind Leopardstown's total of 12. Not bad for a course without the status of those two premier venues and it would be no surprise if there are some Ascot pointers on show today.
Naas 14:05 - Cry Me A River can land an overdue win
Californiadreaming is respected back on decent ground, her best efforts coming on a sound surface, but Cry Me A River not only has the best form but the most upside of these and is overpriced around 4.216/5. Clearly well-regarded at two, she went with distinct promise in a listed race behind Round Two on debut before being sent off a single-figure prices in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot.
Off the track until earlier this month she ran a fine race at Dundalk, not suited by how things unfolded as she came from rear off a slow pace. Though not the easiest to train it is encouraging that she is back out so soon and can break her maiden provided none of the newcomers are above average.
Naas 14:35 - Oppose the favourites with In My Pocket
The front end of the market looks dodgy in this listed event. Anamba comes from a Halford yard that has started the campaign slowly; their seasonal debutantes this turf season are 1/38 so there have to be doubts about her readiness while her form hardly entitles her to be this short. That she is the only one to have been mentioned for this race during the week only means she is shorter than she should be.
Embiran is the one with the sexy form having come third to Awtaad last time but he finished off weakly that day and was suited by the run of the race in any case. Yuften is respected after a facile victory last time and he has some strong back form but at the prices In My Pocket is the bet. He produced a good effort in a deep Group 3 last time, suggesting he'd improved over the winter, and if there is more to come with fitness - and that would be his trainer's way - he should go close.
Naas 15:40 - Megan Lily has speed to burn
Cuff and Wayside Flower head the betting but their form looks ordinary and the former has shown temperament too. Megan Lily is readily preferred and should be favourite. She ran second to the expensive breeze-up purchase Broken Stones in a fast time at York but that doesn't tell the full story as she looked to go very hard in front but still found plenty in the finish. It's a concern that she had a tough race just eight days ago but she is a big enough price to take a chance on.
Naas 16:45 - Aridity can exploit a fair opening mark
Three-year-old handicaps like this can be fiendishly difficult as it is hard to ascertain how much improvement the inexperienced participants will make until after the event but Aridity could be nicely treated on an opening mark of 80. Certainly his Gowran run when he went a bit quick in the lead makes that rating look lenient as he was just behind decent types like Newsman and Mittersill with good debutantes like Black Sea and Harzand further back.
His seasonal debut over this course when finishing seventh looks poor but is anything but as the ground was too soft and the trip was too far. He should improve for that run too.
1 Point Back Cry Me A River @ 4.216/5 or bigger in the Naas 14:05
1 Point Back In My Pocket @ 11.010/1 or bigger in the Naas 14:35
1 Point Back Megan Lily @ 6.25/1 or bigger in the Naas 15:40
1 Point Back Aridity @ 8.27/1 or bigger in the Naas 16:45
Flat Season P+L: +8.4 points