Sunday Irish Racing Tips: Saoirse can get free run from the front

Flat racing at Naas.
The Beresford Stakes is the feature at Naas.

Naas host the Beresford Stakes as part of an eight-race card today and Tony Keenan has found three races he likes for a bet...

"Spiorad Saoirse met a horse he simply couldn’t beat three starts back at Ballinrobe, Still Standing now 16lbs higher in the ratings, before a fine fourth in the Irish Cambridgeshire in a good time-figure."

1 Point Back Spiorad Saoirse @ 7.06/1 or bigger in the Naas 17:35

My abiding memory of Tom Hogan is from 2009 when a friend and I had put together a book of Galway trends and statistics and were trying (and failing) to sell them around the racecourses of Ireland. We accosted Hogan on his way out of the Killarney one evening and attempted to foist a book onto him and his reply was 'Stats? What would you pair of boys know about stats? Sure ye probably think the law averages means if you put one foot in boiling water and the other in ice, your feet will be the perfect temperature.' Talk about getting owned!

Whatever about his grasp on the finer points of maths, Hogan cannot be crabbed over his training of Gordon Lord Byron who amazingly was born the year before our encounter. The 10-year-old is looking for his seventeenth win on his ninety-second start in the Renaissance Stakes at 16:00, still going strong when his foils of the past like Slade Power, Olympic Glory and Muhaarar are long since retired. Today's race looks as winnable a group race as he's been in for a while so there is every chance he will land his first win since May of last year.

Naas 14:20 - Consistent Liv can hit the frame

Trethias was an eye-catcher for all to see in the new Ingabelle Stakes last time, slowly away and caught in rear around the tight Leopardstown inner track but finishing well to take fourth in the straight, doing best of those held up. My assumption was that she might be able to get the little less than two lengths she was defeated back on Foxtrot Liv but the prices have that idea in it and more this morning and I have swung back to the Twomey runner in the place market.

Foxtrot Liv is a filly that does things right in her races, getting into good positions and travelling well, while the same can't be said of Trethias who can miss the break; she did so on debut and last time. Furthermore, Trethias looks like she will is better over further than seven furlongs and seems unlikely to get a pace to run at here.

Hermosa brings the Group 1 form with her Moyglare third but the pace collapsed there as the leaders went too hard which suited her as she was one of the first off the bridle and coming from rear. That suggests that she too wants the emphasis on stamina and a turning seven furlongs on decent ground won't test that as much as the conditions she faced last time.

Naas 17:05 - Oppose Everest with form alternatives

Aidan O'Brien really got his juvenile season going yesterday with a Group 1 double at Newmarket and Royal Lodge thrown in for good measure and there is every chance he will take the Beresford today; I'm just not sure it will be with Mount Everest who looks too short around 1.9010/11. He won well enough last time but the runner-up Yonkers has been a bit disappointing given he cost €575,000 and it was nothing special on the clock.

Others in the field have similar form claims, not least his stablemate Sovereign. He was sixth to Mount Everest in the favourite's maiden win but that was off a two-month absence and he looked a different horse next time at Galway, a win that comes out well on the clock. Perhaps he needs soft ground to show his best but he has probably achieved the most of this field up to now and is worth a small bet at the prices.

The other one to be interested in is Power Of Now. He shaped like the best horse when fourth on debut at Leopardstown before finding the combination of slower ground and racing too close to a strong pace against him at Galway. He got back on track winning over course-and-distance last time and that run came after a little setback so it is reasonable to expect improvement.

Naas 17:35 - Drop in trip to suit Spiorad Saoirse

A bit like the Joe McGrath at 16:35, this mile handicap looks short on progressive horses with most of the field having been running in similar races all season. Spiorad Saoirse is the one I came down on as there was promise in all three of his recent runs. He met a horse he simply couldn't beat three starts back at Ballinrobe, Still Standing now 16lbs higher in the ratings, before a fine fourth in the Irish Cambridgeshire in a good time-figure.

His penultimate effort in a 10-furlong handicap over Irish Champions Weekend looks poor but he was too keen to stay that day and actually travelled strongly until halfway up the straight before his early exertions took their toll. This drop in trip is a positive and there is a good chance he gets an easy time near the lead with little predicted pace bar himself and Turbine.

Tony Keenan 2018 P/L

-18.3 points

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