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Joseph O'Brien: Iridessa could be the one to beat at Newmarket

Joseph O'Brien with Iridessa
Joseph O'Brien with Iridessa who runs at HQ on Saturday
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Betfair Ambassador Joseph O'Brien has seven runners at Gowran Park on Saturday afternoon but it could be that his best chance runs at Newmarket...

15:25 – Iridessa

"Iridessa has been a real star for us and it was great to see her produce what might well have been a career-best effort to win the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown last time... Hopefully she can reproduce what she did at Leopardstown and if she does, she’ll be the one to beat."

Newmarket

At her best, she's the one to beat

15:25 - Iridessa

Iridessa has been a real star for us and it was great to see her produce what might well have been a career-best effort to win the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown last time. That was her third Group 1 win and she really has been brilliant. This season, she has been a little bit inconsistent this season, but when she is on song she is clearly a very good filly. Her last run showed she is still fully effective at a mile. We had the option of going back to a mile-and-a-quarter with her in the Prix de l'Opera at Longchamp, but we felt this race was the better option for her. While we'd prefer better ground for her, she handles an ease in it just fine. Hopefully she can reproduce what she did at Leopardstown and if she does, she'll be the one to beat.

Gowran Park

Could go either way

14:05 - Cosmic Horizon

Cosmic Horizon has been a little bit disappointing this season. We were hoping he'd progress and while he has gone close in a couple of handicaps, he hasn't improved as much as we'd hoped he would. His schooling over hurdles has been solid, so we'll give him a go at this game and see if he takes to it. We are often surprised, both pleasantly and unpleasantly, by how our juvenile hurdlers jump on their hurdling debuts, so we don't tend to be too bullish about them either way. If he takes to it, his Flat form entitles him to be very competitive.

One for the future

14:05 - Severus Alexander

He is officially rated 18lb lower than Cosmic Horizon on the Flat. He stays well and has always seemed the type to make a hurdler. His schooling has also been solid, so hopefully he'll show plenty of promise for the future.

Hopefully he can improve enough to compete

15:15 - Chead Solas

Chead Solas won a bumper at Punchestown last November and we were happy with his return to action at Killarney back in August. He should benefit from that first run over hurdles both physically and mentally. He'll need to improve on what he did there to compete in this company, but I'd be hopeful he can run well.

Needs big improvement

15:15 - Tuatha De Dannan

This horse has only hinted at promise in a bumper and a maiden hurdle so far and needs to improve to compete in a race of this standard.

Solid chance at three miles

15:50 - Air Supremacy

Air Supremacy got back to winning ways when stepped up to just short of three miles at Killarney in August and looked to get caught out by the drop back in trip at Listowel last time. Stepping back up to three miles should suit him well and he looks to have a solid chance.

Ideally starting point

16:25 - Us And Them

Us And Them was one of our star performers over jumps last season and it was a real pity that he didn't win a Grade 1 novice chase. He finished second in four of them and was a real model of consistency all season. He will have to improve if he is to be as competitive in open company this season, but we are hopeful that a step up to two-and-a-half miles will bring about some improvement. This looks to be an ideal starting point for his campaign and hopefully he'll run well.

Needs to show more

17:00 - High Sparrow

High Sparrow has been a little bit disappointing over fences so far. This switch to handicap company and step up to a longer trip will hopefully be a help to him, but he needs to show more if he is to be competitive.

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