Joseph O'Brien has 11 weekend runners across three meetings with his best chance of a winner or two coming among his eight at Gowran Park on Saturday...
"She didn’t get anything like a clear run that day and will be better suited by this slightly longer trip. It wouldn’t be a surprise if she ran a big race."
- Joseph O'Brien on Lovely Esteem
Can run a good race on hurdles debut
Vultan progressed into a useful performer on the Flat this year, but has been held back of late due to some issues at the stalls. He refused to go into the gates at the Curragh last weekend, so that has brought forward his hurdling debut. His schooling has been good and he has shown enough stamina for the job, so hopefully he adapts to it well and runs a good race.
Longer trip worth a try
Cast Iron hasn't shown much so far, but should find life a bit easier in handicap hurdle company. This longer trip is worth a try, but it would be hard to be confident in his prospects until he shows more promise.
Wonder has shown enough to be able to win a maiden
Awesome Wonder has shown promise in both her starts to date and shaped better than the result at Tipperary last time, as she got caught wide after missing the kick by a few lengths. We have always felt that she would be well up to winning a maiden, so hopefully she'll go well in this.
Clemmie C is a lovely filly that is bred to stay at least a mile-and-a-quarter next year. She has shown ability at home and we'll be hoping that she can make a positive start by showing plenty of promise for the future.
Good improvement expected
Explorers Way has shown encouragement in both a barrier trial and on his debut at the Curragh. He looks like one that will stay well and we think he'll be capable of showing good improvement here.
No surprise if Esteem runs a big race
It was brilliant to nab some Group 2 black type with Lovely Esteem earlier this season and she certainly shaped a fair bit better than the result on her latest start in the Snow Fairy Fillies Stakes at the Curragh. She didn't get anything like a clear run that day and will be better suited by this slightly longer trip. It wouldn't be a surprise if she ran a big race.
Sense Of Style has been acquitting herself well without winning in stakes company this season. She shapes as though this trip will suit her and was badly hampered on the only other occasion she ran over it, so I'd be hopeful that she will run well.
So I Told You has come up a bit short in two starts in stakes company of late, but we know she's better than that and will be hoping that she can bounce back and show that in this.
Jo looks a leading contender here
Jo March ran her best race yet when a close fourth in a handicap at Naas last time. She seemed well suited by the longer trip there and while she has pulled a wide draw here, she looks to be a leading contender for this.
Race conditions make this an appealing option
New Moon Rising has shown promise in her last two runs and the conditions of this race (a maiden confined to horses rated 75 or lower) made it an appealing option for her. She may well want a longer trip than this, but we had to let her take her chance, as races like this are a rarity.
Sunday - Switch to chasing can help
Slige Dala was a useful performer in bumpers and over hurdles that maybe proved a little bit disappointing in the latter discipline. We are hoping that a switch to chasing will help his fulfil his potential and we've been pleased with his schooling over fences. As long as he puts in a clean round and has a positive experience, anything after that will be a bonus.
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