Meeting Review: Leopardstown – Sunday, May 12th
6f 2yo Maiden
This was slowly-run like many other races on the card and it was pretty boring to watch in truth; the first four in the same positions throughout. Sacred Aspect has come from the Focus On Venice race over course-and-distance and trainer was at pains to point out after the race that that race had a number of horses that connections liked; I remain to be convinced about how good that race was though. Disappointing that Ealain Aibrean couldn’t winning getting lumps of weight; bit keen but had the run of it and gives a knock to the form of Najm Suhail though that one will be better over 6f. Heart Focus is limited while Pleasant Bay travelled quite well though that may not have been much of an achievement in a race such as this. Third Dimension was very strong in the market from a yard not known for punting theirs and Lyons has history with this race, often starting a good type here as it’s restricted in terms of sales prices; his runner here broke badly but showed little in truth, well-beaten and could be one to take on as might be punted NTO too.
1m Group 3
The run of the race was interesting with Murtagh trying something new on Sweet Lightening by making it; it didn’t work out and he’s just one that isn’t suited by a small field and his mark flatters him especially as he can’t run to it under conditions as this; had a soft lead when Custom Cut was settled in (jockey hardly wanted to get into a battle with his suspect stamina at the trip) and one to keep opposing in this sort of race. Duntle travelled well in the manner of one that is better than these (which she is), didn’t pick up brilliantly but she’s not a flashy type and never getting beaten, type to improve for this. Trainer said afterwards she wants a strong pace and better ground (formbook backs this up) and no surprise to see her get 10f; might be a touch overrated but keeps winning and was part of a very strong crop of Irish 3yo fillies last year and could well have the measure of this year’s 3yos later in the season. Both Custom Cut and Bold Thady Quill are very likeable and being from smaller yards are likely to be overpriced in races such as this for rest of season; they’re in the form of their lives at present; Custom Cut likely prove best at 7f, Bold Thady the first off it here but ran on well and will do better on deeper ground and/or stronger pace.
1m Group 3
Pace looked stronger here than most races on the card, We’ll Go Walking seems to have only one way of going – hard – and the first five were all dropped out to one degree or other. Very dubious about the form of this with the two fancied ones running no race; We’ll Go Walking dropping out completely and Rawaaq running to about 80, the latter likely best fresh and/or wants softer ground. Consequently, this took little winning and two with dubious attitudes fought it out; Just Pretending has been called tricky by the trainer but in fairness found plenty for the whip, she may just be one the APOB fillies whose form has just taken off; Hint Of A Tint showed temperament as a 2yo. Presence of 80 rated yokes just behind holds the form down and the handicapper hiking Wannabe Better 12lbs to 92 looks harsh; that one wants further on breeding and went like it too, first off it but staying on. Talitha Kum might have done a bit much too soon as part of the pace but isn’t up to this class anyway.
1m2f Group 2
Nothing impressive about Battle Of Marengo especially in light of some wide-margin wins for his stable-mates in England in the previous days; there are some things that suggest he is the pick of them though: has taken the Ballysax/Derrinstown route, was hammered in the betting here (2/13 from 4/9) and APOB may well have done nothing with him since the last day (when he was more impressive and the form worked out), training him only with Epsom in mind; he travelled best here and keeps winning. Loch Garman showed temperament, awkward HC and hanging, his French Group 1 win was a Group 1 in name only and could be flattered by 114. Little White Cloud ran well for one so inexperienced and a tilt at a Royal Ascot handicap looks a good call though he’ll have plenty of weight there; Don’t Bother Me doesn’t get this trip. First Cornerstone was a non-runner but was likely to be sent off at 12/1 plus which suggests he’ll be underrated when he does run though missing this is hardly ideal; the form of his Irish wins is rank but the Racing Post Trophy effort is anything but.
In a race with few likeable types, the winner Reposer is certainly one; he’s a surprise improver but there is a reason with trainer stating his feed has been changed and he did it very well even getting a soft lead, raced keenly and had this won entering the straight; advantage was reduced in closing stages but that masks his superiority and with this sort of speed will prefer 7f as may not have entirely seen this out; has clearly improved a ton and took the rise out of the bottom grade in his stride. Brown Butterfly never wins and Waydownsouth is similar; off it early he stayed on but is hardly screamingly well-treated. Stronger Than Me had a troubled run, checked early and then ridden to hold position before straight, in rear meeting some trouble in straight but came home well; as a hold-up type needs luck in running but can win off this mark. Bendzoldan showed more than lately; lost position early straight but picked up afterwards not getting clearest run. Little Arrows had to weave way through but is hardly well-handicapped while Danzerini showed little, may need better ground. Pc Henry not show much either but mark likely to drop for this and may have a day as being brought back slowly.
Fairview Star got the run of this in front, a soft lead, and looks flattered. The best horse in this was Aladdins Cave; raced in mid-division, off it over 3f out but came home well and would likely have won with a stronger pace. He’s the definition of likeable: never wins far, never seems to be punted and consistent; had no record fresh before this so improvement likely and could be one for the 1m4f premier handicap on Guineas weekend where sure to be taking on a few hyped yokes. Beach Of Falesa met trouble but is the type to find little while Brog Deas looked awkward under pressure. The slow pace would not have suited Rossvoss and he didn’t run badly in the circumstances; that said, he rarely wins and isn’t likeable. Shadow Eile got hampered in the straight but its chance was gone at the time and isn’t well-treated on the flat while Cebuano looks like proving an all-weather specialist, not that there’s anything wrong with that but it could be a while until you get paid on him with no upcoming fixtures at Dundalk. Salam Alaykhum may have needed it.
Ralston Road is slow (off it early again here) but keeps finding and is likeable; will do better up in trip. There has to be an attitude doubt with Mourani; travelled better than the winner but not find as much, hung in and not really going forward when asked to lead in straight and the blinkers going on so early with Oxx would be a negative. Rae’s Creek improved for the hood (keen-goer) and the run, got plenty to do here and can be rated a bit BTBF. Waver ran a fair race on debut with little help from the saddle, sure to improve, while Teoirim looks very limited.