There's a chance of victory right at the off on a busy Saturday for Betfair Ambassador Joseph O'Brien with 15 runners spread across the meetings at Killarney and Curragh...
"She showed significant improvement when making all to win the Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown and was quite impressive in doing so."
Chance to land an overdue win
It has been a surprise that Embittered hasn't won over fences yet given the level of form he has shown throughout his career, but this looks to be a great opportunity for him to get off the mark over the bigger obstacles. He has much the best form in the race and with a bit of luck it will hopefully be a straightforward race for him.
Form says Druid's Altar should go close
Druid's Altar has made a solid transition to fences in recent months, winning a maiden chase at Limerick and acquitting himself well enough in a Grade 3 novice chase at the Galway Festival. That form gives him solid claims in this company and if he can sharpen up his jumping, he will hopefully go close.
Star Max has been a model of consistency over fences and has deserved to win more races than he has. He seems sure to run his usual solid race, but whether that sort of effort will be enough to get him involved in the finish remains to be seen.
Hard to have much confidence
Choungaya has been a bit disappointing over fences and has yet to make a meaningful impact in the handicap chases that we've run him in, so in all likelihood he probably needs to drop more in the weights and compete in lesser company to get competitive again. I hope I'm wrong and would love to see him run well in this, but it's hard to be confident in his chance.
Will need to improve again but don't rule it out
Level Neverending showed a really excellent attitude to battle his way to victory in a bumper at the Galway Festival. It was great to see him do that on just his second start and the hope will be that he can improve again in this stronger race. Mind, he'll need to improve, as this looks a decent contest.
One for the future
Comfort Zone is a nice colt by Churchill that is a sibling to Flying Scotsman who has won a few races for us. He shows ability at home, but we're expecting him to need the experience on his racecourse debut.
Hoping for improvement after difficult debut
National Gallery was undone by his inexperience on debut, missing the kick and racing too freely. This shorter trip might suit him better and I'd be expecting him to show a nice bit of improvement.
Capable of building on promising start
Swan Bay is a lovely colt that was a bit unlucky not to make a winning debut at the Curragh a fortnight ago. He didn't get much room and had to make his challenge in very tight quarters, so it was a fair effort to go as close as he did. This looks a strong maiden, but the promise of that debut run suggests he should be involved in the finish.
Excited to see how Agartha performs
Agartha took a little while to fulfil her early promise, but that was our fault, as we didn't step her up in trip as soon as we should have. She showed significant improvement when making all to win the Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown and was quite impressive in doing so. She is a high-class filly that is open to more improvement and we are very excited to see how she gets on here.
Seisai finished third to Agartha in the Silver Flash, but improved since then to win a Listed race against colts at Tipperary. She probably needs to improve again to get in the mix in a race of this class, but she is going the right way and can hopefully get involved in the placings.
Unlucky loser gets chance to prove his point
Maritime Wings made a really pleasing winning debut at Leopardstown in June and followed it up by finishing second to Point Lonsdale in the Tyros Stakes at Leopardstown. I think he'll definitely improve again from that run, but it might be asking too much for him to improve enough to get the better of Point Lonsdale, as he has looked very exciting to date.
Point Gellibrand was a very unlucky loser on his debut at the Curragh, being locked up in traffic until well inside the final furlong and flying home to be beaten a short-head. We decided to treat him as if he won that day and if he had done that, this race would have looked the obvious next step for him. It is asking plenty of him, but he's a horse we like and are happy to let him take his chance.
Two strong contenders go head to head
Mighty Blue was a little bit disappointing at Cork last time, but we've given her a bit of time to freshen up and we felt this was an interesting option for her. She obviously has to give away a lot of weight, but she is the class act here and should be well suited by this bigger field. She should be capable of running well.
Merroir has been a bit of a revelation since returning to turf this season, winning three of her last five starts and going up 26lb in the weights. She was quite impressive at the Galway Festival last time and while she has gone up 11lb, she deserves her chance in a race like this. It will be fascinating to see how she copes with this much stronger race.
Hoping for a positive run
Alessandro Algardi has ended up being a bit of a long-term project, as he was due to make his debut at Dundalk last October only for him to refuse to load and be withdrawn. It has been a long road with him between then and now, but all being well we'll finally get to see him race in this. We won't burden him with big expectations and would be happy to see him have a positive experience.
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