Joseph O'Brien has runners across Riyadh, Navan and Leopardstown this weekend. Have a read on which of them have the best chances...
"She has been working nicely at home and we'll be hoping she can show promise on her racecourse debut."
Saturday - Riyadh
13:35 - Speak In Colours
Speak In Colours has been a smashing horse for us. He is very consistent and has won two Group 3s, a Listed race and been placed in Group 1 company. He proved himself at seven furlongs last season, most notably finishing third in the Prix de la Foret at Longchamp, so this 6.7f trip should be close to ideal for him. We've had this race in mind for him since it was announced and his preparation has gone smoothly. He has got a good draw and we'll be hoping he runs a good race.
Downdraft on an up
14:10 - Downdraft and Twilight Payment
Downdraft is a horse we've always loved, but it was only really last season that he got to the sort of level we always hoped he'd get to. He won two Listed races at home and went down to win the Hotham Stakes in Australia prior to running below form from a bad draw in the Melbourne Cup three days later. He's been targeted at this race for quite a while and his preparation has gone smoothly. This smaller field will make things a bit easier for him and I'd be hopeful he'll run well.
Twilight Payment joined us halfway through last season and ran quite well in both the Irish St Leger and the Melbourne Cup. This course and distance should suit him and hopefully he'll run well.
Saturday - Navan
13:45 - New Ross
New Ross is a lovely horse with a good National Hunt pedigree. We won't be burdening him with any expectations on what is his racecourse debut. As long as he has a good first experience on the track and jumps a clean round, that will do us.
Hopeful for improvement
14:18 - Scarlet And Dove
Scarlet And Dove looked a promising mare when making a winning debut in a bumper at Limerick back in November 2018, but she had a couple of issues after that and was disappointing on her hurdling debut at Limerick's Christmas meeting. We couldn't find anything amiss with her afterwards, but we have taken our time with her and this looks a nice opportunity to get her back on track. Hopefully she'll run a big race and go close.
Sunday - Leopardstown
Alighted made a promising start to his career, but he hasn't been the easiest to train and has disappointed in both his starts this season. It will be hard to be confident in him until he shows some of his old spark on the track.
Filon D'Oudairies has been a work in progress since we got him, as he was quite free-going when he arrived. He shaped well for a long way on his return to action in a maiden hurdle at Leopardstown's Christmas meeting and he's the type that should be better suited to handicaps than maidens. Hopefully he'll settle and run a good race.
Mortal needs more spark
Mortal has been a bit disappointing in his two starts this season. This mid-range trip might well suit him, but he'll need to show more spark to be competitive in a race such as this.
Lunar Display is a homebred that is a half-sister to Kalopsia who won five races for us. She has been working nicely at home and we'll be hoping she can show promise on her racecourse debut.