Betfair Ambassador Joseph O'Brien discusses his runners' chances at Leopardstown on the first day of Irish Champions Weekend as well as one at Chester...
Maritime Wings has had a very good campaign already, making a winning debut in a maiden over this course and distance prior to twice finishing second to Point Lonsdale in Group company. He doesn't have that colt to deal with here and those runs make him the form pick in this.
Promising pair for the opener
Pennine Hills was impressive in a barrier trial and again when making a winning debut at Fairyhouse in July. We were very happy with her when she finished second in a Listed race at Naas on her next start, but she disappointed us in a Group 3 at the Curragh last time. We step her up to seven furlongs here and are hopeful that she'll get the trip given that her full-sister stayed a mile-and-a-quarter in America, but she'll need to return to her best to get competitive.
Voice Of Angels made a promising debut when second at the Curragh in July, but probably only ran to a similar level when third in a maiden over this course and distance last time. Both of those races were well above average contests, so we feel she is worth trying at this level. There is an awful lot of potential upside for her if she runs well and very little downside if she doesn't, so it's worth a shot.
Maritime Wings has a very good chance
Maritime Wings has had a very good campaign already, making a winning debut in a maiden over this course and distance prior to twice finishing second to Point Lonsdale in Group company. He doesn't have that colt to deal with here and those runs make him the form pick in this. There are a few unexposed ones in against him that look very promising, but he sets the bar good and high for them. He shouldn't have any issue with this longer trip and he looks to have a very good chance.
Buckaroo is a big colt that has always showed plenty at home. He made a really promising debut in a strong maiden at Killarney having missed the kick badly and he built on that to win a maiden at the Galway Festival last time. This track should suit him well and we feel he has improved well since that win. He's a horse we like a lot and he shouldn't be underestimated.
Hoping her luck will change
Pretty Gorgeous was obviously one of our stars coming into this season, but it just hasn't happened for her yet this year. She has shaped reasonably well a couple of times and we were hopeful that a drop in class would help her at Tipperary last time, but nothing went right for her and she never really got a clear run at them. This obviously represents a return to the deep end, but hopefully she gets more luck and can run a better race.
Thunder Moon would relish firm ground
Thunder Moon was another one of our star two-year-olds last season that hasn't had the smoothest of campaigns this season, but he showed that he still retains a lot of his ability when a close second in the Prix Jean Prat at Deauville in July. He shouldn't be judged too harshly on his latest run in the Prix Maurice de Gheest, as he got isolated in the middle of the track following the wrong horse. His low draw is ideal and the firmer the ground, the better his chance.
Snapraeterea has already had a productive campaign, winning twice in Listed company this season. He was particularly impressive at Cork last time where he showed once again that he is particularly effective on soft ground. He is unlikely to get such a surface here, but he has enough form in the book on sounder surfaces to suggest he can run well.
Great horse ready for red hot race
Patrick Sarsfield has been a great horse for us and has run very well without winning in his two starts this season, most recently when just getting touched off in the Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot. He had a little hold up after that which ruled him out of an international target we had in mind for him, but he has been training well of late and is ready to return to the track now. This is obviously a red-hot renewal of one of the very best races in the world, but it looked likely to cut up and we felt it made sense to leave him in it. He'll pick up a good cheque regardless of where he finishes and all being well will run a good race.
Recent arrival aiming to bounce back
Sir Lamorak is a horse that recently joined us from Ballydoyle having shown high-class form, most notably when finishing an unlucky second in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot. While he disappointed in the Grand Prix de Paris last time, he can hopefully bounce back and run a better race here.
Needs to rediscover best form against tough opponents
Shoshone Warrior has been acquitting himself well without winning this season, but this is very deep company and it will probably be a tough ask for him. That said, he ran very well to finish second in this race off a 4lb higher mark last season, so we'll be hoping he can return to that sort of form and run well.
Winning partnership link up again
San Andreas has proven he is just as good on turf as on the all-weather in recent starts and a race like this promises to suit him. The draw has been kind to him and Hugh Horgan has won on him three times, so hopefully they'll combine to run a good race again.
Mazagran was impressive on his Irish debut at Limerick in July, but hasn't produced the same level of form in his two starts since, but a well-run seven furlongs might well suit him. He is currently a reserve, so we'll have to wait and see if he gets in.
Dhabyah aiming to get back on track at Chester
Dhabyah took a while to come to hand after joining us, but made a winning start for us in a conditions race at Bellewstown in July. We stepped her up to Listed company at Newmarket for her next start, but she didn't run her race and proved disappointing. We feel this track might suit her and, while she faces a tough task on paper, we are hopeful she will get back on track and run a better race.
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