Betfair Ambassador Joseph O'Brien's runners go to York, Curragh and Killarney on a busy Saturday. He says more than one should be in the mix...
"He's been doing really well so far, winning two of his three starts in median auction and auction company. He was particularly good at Roscommon earlier this week..."
Capable of running well in a tough race
15:40 - Pondus
We've been really happy with how Pondus has progressed since he joined us this year. He has generally been contesting small-field stakes races without much early pace in them and he has been running well in spite of that rather than because of it. This big field and likely strong pace should both suit him better. This will be the longest trip he has run over, but we think he is ready for it. This is always a really tough race to compete in, but I'd be hopeful he will acquit himself well.
Speak In Colour can go close
15:10 - Speak In Colours and Lady Penelope
Speak In Colours has been a real star for us and ran right up to his best when a close fourth under a penalty in the Phoenix Sprint Stakes over this course and distance two weeks ago. He has to carry a penalty again in this contest, but he is entitled to go close.
Lady Penelope has run a bit below form in her two starts since winning a Listed race at Naas in June, but will be suited by the rain-softened ground and can hopefully bounce back to her best.
Track should suit improving filly
15:45 - Pretty Gorgeous
Pretty Gorgeous is a filly I have a high opinion of. While it was a little bit disappointing to see her beaten in the Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown last time, she ran a great race behind an exciting filly and it represented a strong step forward from her debut. I would hope and expect that she can improve again and this track should suit her well. She faces a tough task to reverse form with Shale, but I'm hoping she will make it a good go of it.
This race will suit her
16:15 - Mighty Blue
Mighty Blue is a lovely filly that I feel has shaped better than the bare form in all three of her starts since joining us. She is capable of better than she has shown thus far and I think a race like this will suit her well. She has to give away weight to all her rivals, but I think she'll run very well.
Ready for a tougher test
16:45 - Snapraeterea
Snapraeterea has been doing really well so far, winning two of his three starts in median auction and auction company. He was particularly good at Roscommon earlier this week when making all for a comfortable success. This represents a much tougher test for him, but he is going the right way and seems in good order since his win on Tuesday, so we'll let him take his chance and see how he shapes up.
Star Max should be in the mix
16:35 - Star Max/A Wave Of The Sea
Star Max brings plenty of chasing experience to the table which is sure to stand him in good stead. He ran up to form on his latest outing at the Galway Festival and a repeat of that form should put him in the mix.
A Wave Of The Sea won a Grade 1 juvenile hurdle at Leopardstown in February and he's one that we've had chasing in mind for. He receives a big weight-for-age allowance as a four-year-old and his schooling over fences has been good, so we are looking forward to seeing how he fares on his chasing debut.
Two runners are yet to deliver their best
17:35 - Mortal/Us And Them
Mortal has it in him to go close in a good handicap chase when he puts it all together, but it's been a long time between drinks for him and he's a difficult one to have a lot of faith in on any given day.
Us And Them is another that has a big day in him, as he strongly hinted at when third in the Grand Annual at the Cheltenham Festival, but again he is one that needs everything to go right. He can be an erratic jumper of a fence and putting in a clean round is crucial for him.
Can compete for a second win in a row
18:05 - Slige Dala
Slige Dala made it third-time lucky when running out the impressive winner of a bumper at the Galway Festival last time. This is a stronger contest, but I've been very happy with him since then and hopefully he'll go very close.