Power can be evasive for his rivals at a big price
15:10 Tipperary - Back Evasive Power @ 10.09/1
The rain was forecast for last Sunday at Gowran Park, and while there was the odd shower, it didn't really have much of an impact on the going. That in turn scuppered the chances of a couple of bets that wanted it soft.
It's the same sort of waiting game for this weekend's action as rain is predicted, and the first bet of the day runs in an open-looking 3yo sprint handicap. Plenty hold chances here.
Evasive Power caught the eye in a race at the Curragh last time. He was disadvantaged with the way that panned out, as the winner was always up with the speed, and it's been fairly difficult to play catch-up and come from off the pace at that venue recently.
Nitro Boost won that day and travelled well, but Evasive Power made up plenty of ground in the closing stages and stayed on nicely. The going was officially good to yielding for that fixture, but it looked more soft. Those conditions were not ideal for today's selection.
He was a good juvenile with Michael O'Callaghan, who since switching to Denis Hogan, has dropped down to a mark of 82 from 87.
The ability to stay 6f could serve him well over the minimum here if they go hard. With better ground possibly in his favour and a mark that looks reasonably attractive, I am happy to take him as the pick. Again, not too much rain please.
Worth taking a chance on De Bromhead newcomer?
The 15:40 maiden contest is an interesting little race as the ones with experience do not set a wild standard. Backing in this sort of company I like to see something with a figure in the low 80s, but the main contenders are rated 71 to 75, so this looks winnable.
There could be a trading option with Brendan Duke's Tham Luang, who didn't really stay 1m at the track last time in soft conditions. He really served it up to the eventual winner in that race and they had a tremendous tussle between themselves until Tham Luang eventually gave way. A combination of the trip and ground just caught him out, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts and shapes up to having his first run since being gelded.
And he's having quite a quick turnaround too.
He hit 1.715/7 in the race last time, and if he's ridden handily again, you could try and lock in a similar sort of price to lay or get your stake back as back-to-lay.
However, it could be the sort of betting heat to take a chance on a newcomer. Trainer Henry De Bromhead has the filly Royal Highness declared, and she's a likely type on pedigree. The yard had a Flat winner recently at Leopardstown and a second at Limerick to indicate the stable well-being. She is available at around 40.039/1 on the Betfair Exchange.
Halford runner appeals from the front and for a trade
The best race of the day in terms of ratings is the 16:15 1m1f handicap, and the progressive Basic Law is looking for win number four. He goes handicapping for the first time from 92, and has been earmarked by his trainer Ger Lyons for some better races down the line. He looks as though he'll stay 1m2f quite well.
They should go a pace here thanks to Balefire - who likes to get on with things, and that could make him bet material.
He has been described as a "timid" horse, but he has improved for the addition of cheek-pieces in his last three starts. For a horse still learning, he gained valuable experience in a handicap last time, in fact the "Coolio" Handicap at Leopardstown behind Cnoc An Air.
Balefire was up with the pace in that contest, but that turned out to be the wrong place, as the first, second and fourth all came from further back. He won his maiden from the front at Cork, and at a bigger price than Basic Law, he could be easy to trade, as the fav is usually held up.
Turnberry Isle is the big question mark. He has been poor over 1m2f this season but shaped much better last time out. The most interesting run from him came as a juvenile at Naas when taking his maiden in nice style. He looked a prospect then, but he hasn't really kicked on. He does sweat beforehand and there's plenty of pace on the dam side.
He remains a lurker, but I would rather play the back-to-lay on Balefire. He was trading at around 5.04/1 last night, and if he makes the running, there's a bit of leeway for a trade.
One more chance for O'Brien runner to prove himself
16:50 Tipperary - Back Macquarie @ 7.06/1
The maiden at 16:50, should present a good opportunity for Yonkers to get his head in front and he sets a good standard. He finished second (albeit a well beaten second) to Anthony Van Dyck once upon a time ago, and he bumped into a good one last time in Micro Manage. He was ridden more aggressively on that occasion, and he does need to prove himself at today's trip of nearly 1m5f.
He usually trades a bit shorter than his Betfair SP, but he has to prove he is worth 80 now, and he has had six chances to win a race. It might be the time to throw in a really cheap lay at around 1.201/5 or lower test his mettle.
Aidan O'Brien's Macquarie was much better last time at Navan over today's sort of trip. He looked hard work and took a bit of driving in the first time blinkers, but he has got a staying pedigree, and with a more patient ride, he could be the one to back.
He went too early at the home straight in the Navan contest and set up the race for a closer. While his attitude didn't look totally 100 per cent, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt as the sons and daughters of Australia can take a while to get going. He isn't a sire of precocious horses, in fact, they tend to be very laid back. I'm hoping that's the case with Macqaurie rather than anything else.
*Click here to read the exclusive thoughts of trainer Joseph O'Brien on his Sunday runners at Tipperary