Betfair ambassador Joseph O'Brien heads to Navan on Sunday with nine runners across the card. Read what he has to say about their chances...
"He tends to improve with racing, so he is highly likely to improve on whatever he does here. We're looking forward to another exciting season with him."
- Joseph O'Brien on Master Of Reality
Debutants to shine
Andreas Vesalius and Swift One will be our first two-year-old runners of the season. Both have been showing up well in the most forward group of our two-year-olds, but as always with our two-year-olds we won't be burdening them with big expectations on their debuts. The hope is that both will have a positive experience and shape well with a view to the future.
Two to follow
Thinking Of You came a long way in a short space of time last year, winning a maiden at Limerick and finishing third in a Group 3 at the Curragh in her first two starts. She was a bit disappointing in the Oh So Sharp Stakes at Newmarket, but I'd say the run just came too quickly for her. She is bred to stay this longer trip and we'll be hoping she can run a nice race over it. She'll improve from the run.
Lovely Esteem made a lovely debut at Leopardstown in July and made it second-time lucky at Dundalk in January. Dropping back to seven furlongs wasn't ideal there, but it looked a very winnable race, so we let her take her chance and she won well. This sort of trip should suit her well and we'll have a much better idea of where we stand with her after this.
Master Of Reality has been a super horse for us, most notably going close in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and the Melbourne Cup in 2019. He tends to improve with racing, so he is highly likely to improve on whatever he does here. We're looking forward to another exciting season with him.
Baron Samedi was a revelation last year, transforming from looking very moderate to winning five races in a row including a Group 2 at Longchamp. We think he might be able to stay a bit further this year and how he copes with this longer trip will be our main focus here. He should improve from whatever he does and we are excited to see how he runs.
Big runs expected
Melliferous has yet to win, but has been knocking on the door. She didn't get much luck in running when we dropped her to a mile-and-a-quarter last time and the return to this longer trip will help. It wouldn't surprise to see her run well.
Lady Dahlia deservedly got off the mark in her final start of last season at the Curragh. She stays well and this even stronger test of stamina should suit her. She will improve on whatever she does, but I'd be hopeful she'll show up well.
Longer trip to suit
Vultan showed some promise last year, but will have better prospects in handicaps such as this. He has given us missed messages in terms of what trip he wants, but we think he'll stay this slightly longer trip.
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