6.20 Ballinrobe – MUTAABEQ (nap)
This looks a typically run-of-the-mill maiden for the course/time of year, a few of these unlikely to ever taste success while one or two others have passed up several chances to get off the mark, but there are a couple of twice-raced sorts open to some improvement and a particularly well-related newcomer representing top connections.
The selection is a son of Teofilo who is a full brother to smart 9.5-10f 3yo winner (including at Listed level) Adool and a half brother to dual 7f 3yo winner Imaam, 10f 3yo winner Hadeeqa and 5f 2yo winner Kashoof, out of a smart 6-7f winner (including at Group 3/Listed level) who was a half sister to very smart multiple 6f winner (including at Group 1 level) Elnadim, very smart 6f-1m winner (including the Irish 1000 Guineas) Mehthaaf, smart 6-7f winner (including twice at Listed level) Ashraakat and four other winners out of an unraced half sister to Bianconi, Hamas, Timber Country and the dam of Dubai Millennium. This colt is trained by Dermot Weld and makes obvious appeal on pedigree, a full brother to connections’ Listed winner Adool, herself a belated debut scorer over this distance, whilst his smart dam came from an outstanding family that also includes one or two three-year-old debut winners. For him to be introduced at this venue suggests he is nothing out of the ordinary, but it also means he starts out at a realistic level; facing some exposed/modest sorts, a winning start for this son of Teofilo would come as no surprise.
The Jim Bolger-trained Active Approach is a daughter of New Approach who contested some good races at two, following a promising debut effort with a third place finish behind Magical in a 1m maiden at Cork, though she unsurprisingly found the step up to Group 1 level too much when last of eight behind Happily in the Moyglare Stud Stakes. She signed off with a tame display in blinkers at Dundalk but started her three-year-old campaign with a trio of second place finishes, the first of them coming in a 10f maiden at Sligo and then chasing home very useful pair Kalaxana and Lucius Tiberius in handicaps at Down Royal and the Curragh respectively. However, she passed up what seemed a gilt-edged opportunity in an 11f maiden at Killarney eight days ago (5/4 favourite), racing keenly in behind the leaders, ridden to try and close two furlongs out but making no impression as she came home in fourth behind Shringara (beaten 3¼ lengths). The pick of her form would make her difficult to beat, but her latest effort perhaps sums her up, finding a once-raced improver and a couple of others rated 5/6lbs her inferior too good; a step back in trip looks the right move, but she requires a quick bounce back here and does look a tad vulnerable.
Joseph O’Brien’s National Wealth is a son of Invincible Spirit who debuted in a 10f maiden at Roscommon last month (14/1 chance), settled off the leading trio, shaken up and making progress over two furlongs out, keeping on inside the final furlong to take fourth close home behind Lethal Power (beaten 2¾ lengths). His second outing came in a six-runner event at the Curragh 18 days later (6/1 chance), close up and ridden to chase the clear leader with half a mile left to run, moving through to dispute the lead two furlongs out but unable to take a decisive advantage, dropping into third close home behind Kisanga (beaten 1½ lengths). He had every chance that day, having ample opportunity to go past the eventual runner-up, but that form alone leaves him with solid claims in a race of this nature; still unexposed, it’d be somewhat disappointing if this colt wasn’t right there at the business end of matters.
The Tracey Collins-trained Stranagone is a daughter of Motivator who shaped well on her debut outing in a 1m fillies’ maiden at Dundalk last December (33/1 chance), tracking the leaders on the inner and ridden two furlongs out, keeping on into second without proving a match for ready winner Adaliya, coming home 1¾ lengths adrift at the line. However, she failed to progress as expected on her return in a 7f fillies’ maiden at Cork back in May (5/1 chance), tracking the leaders and pushed along three furlongs out, folding tamely inside the final furlong to eventually finish ninth behind Most Gifted (beaten 19 lengths). The manner in which she faltered inside the final furlong last time combined with a two-month absence suggests something was amiss, better judged on her debut run; from a stable that has enjoyed past success in this race, this daughter of Motivator isn’t to be underestimated.
The Sheila Lavery-trained Encantador is a daughter of Dandy Man who has some solid efforts in defeat to her name, making the frame in maidens at the Curragh (1m) and Naas (6f) at two and returning with a good third place finish behind the useful Maymine in a 5.5f maiden at Navan in April. She fared about as well as could have been expected when tenth to Mrs Gallagher in a 5f Listed event at Naas next time, following that with a couple of fair efforts back in maiden company, chasing home Scriobh Nua in a 7f fillies’ contest at Leopardstown 39 days ago. The pick of her form would give her some sort of chance here, but she is now 0-9 and also has questions to answer with regards her stamina for this ten-furlong trip; her very capable stable has also rather struggled for winners of late.
Jessica Harrington’s Grovel is a son of Most Improved whose sole outing to date came in a 9.5f maiden at Gowran Park early last month (16/1 chance), standing still as the stalls opened and detached in last, getting a bit closer to the main pack over half a mile out but left behind on the approach to the straight, trailing home last of nine behind Change Of Velocity (beaten 60 lengths). It is hard to read much into that debut run, completely blowing the start and detached for the most part; market should reveal expectations second time out but clearly a risky proposition.