1.40 Curragh – MOUNT TABORA (nb)
With most of Ireland’s powerful yards represented this looks an above-average renewal of this maiden, it featuring a pair boasting previous experience to have shown some promise that face some very interesting newcomers – notable recent winners of this include Rawaaq, Final Frontier, Intelligence Cross and U S Navy Flag.
The selection is a son of Scat Daddy who is a half brother to very smart 6f-1m winner (including at Group 1 level) Chachamaidee, high-class 6-7f winner (including twice at Group 3 level) J Wonder, smart UK/Hong Kong 6-7f winner (including at Group 3 level) California Whip and the dam of 1m 2yo Listed winner/Racing Post Trophy third Celestial Path, out of an unraced half sister to several winners including 1000 Guineas winner Virginia Waters. This colt is trained by Aidan O’Brien and fetched $750,000 as a foal, making any amount of appeal on pedigree as a half brother to a trio of at least smart performers, all of whom were able to make winning starts at two (a couple over this six-furlong distance), whilst the dam was related to several smart performers including winners at two/on debut. For all the stable’s youngsters are often better for a run, this colt’s paper credentials are very striking indeed, bred to make an immediate impact; it looks significant he is the choice of Ryan Moore over one with experience and another boasting a good pedigree, and a winning start for this son of Scat Daddy would come as no surprise.
Stablemate All The Kings Men is a son of No Nay Never who debuted in a course and distance maiden three weeks ago (16/1 chance), slowly away and racing a little worse than midfield, shaken up over two furlongs out and keeping on nicely inside the final furlong to take sixth behind Decrypt (beaten 7 lengths). This colt was very much ridden with an eye to the future, subjected to nothing more than hands-and-heels riding and closing in nicely come the finish; as on that occasion he looks to be down the pecking order here, and it could be the bulk of his improvement will be reserved for a move up in trip. The other one with experience in the field is Fozzy Stack’s Darkash, a son of Dark Angel who stepped up on his debut effort to finish third of five behind Parkers Hill in a 6f maiden at Leopardstown two and a half weeks ago (10/1 chance), close up and holding every chance (beaten 2 lengths). He sets the standard on that, but that’s not saying much and it’d be surprising if something didn’t improve past him.
The third representative from Ballydoyle is U S S Michigan, a son of War Front who is a full brother to Group 2-placed French/Hong Kong 9-10f winner (including at Group 3/Listed level)/French Derby third Green Dispatch and Group 3-placed 6.5-7.5f 2yo winner/French 2000 Guineas fourth George Patton, out of an unraced half sister to US 10f Grade 1 winner War Flag, Hong Kong 12f Group 1 winner Helene Super Star (both by War Front), French 1m 3yo Group 2 winner Homebound and Group 3/Listed-placed 6.5-7f winner Battle Chant. This colt cannot fail to take the eye on pedigree, a half brother to a high-class pair and out a half sister to several smarts, including a couple at the top level by War Front; seemingly rejected by Ryan Moore but no surprise to see him play a part here. Dermot Weld’s Asdaa is a son of Dutch Art who is the first foal of a French 8.5f 3yo winner who was a half sister to Irish 1000 Guineas winner Betharah out of a French 1m 1f 3yo winning sister to French 10f 3yo Group 1 winner Reve D’Oscar and French 11f 3yo Group 2 winner Numide. This gelding cost €120,000 as a yearling and makes a bit of appeal on pedigree, the dam a half sister to connections’ Irish 1000 Guineas winner Betharah; others still likelier.
The Jessica Harrington-trained Boston Bruin is a son of Kodiac who is a half brother to high-class 8-10f winner (including at Group 2/3 level) Bocca Baciata, smart French 7f-1m winner (including at Group 3/Listed level)/French 1000 Guineas third Topeka, smart French 7-9f winner (including at Group 3/Listed level) Kalsa and four other winners, out of a Listed-placed French 12.5f 3yo winning half sister to French 6.5f Group 3 winner Perugina. This colt fetched 160,000gns as a yearling and appeals on pedigree, a half brother to three smart performers including this yard’s smart filly Bocca Baciata; his sire injects speed into the equation and he comes from the stable that won this race with a newcomer/next-time-out Group 3 winner in 2015. Gordon Elliott’s Final Fettle is a son of Bated Breath who is a half brother to 7f 3yo AW winner Michael Corleone out of a Listed-placed US/French 5-7f winning daughter of a French 1m winner who was a half sister to 5f Listed winner Lover Man. This colt fetched 62,000gns as a yearling and represents an excellent stable that enjoyed success with its 2yos last season, but he makes only a limited amount of appeal on pedigree and is likely best watched unless the market strongly suggests otherwise.
The Ger Lyons-trained Viadera is a Bated Breath three-parts sister to Group 3-placed 8-10f winner (including at Listed level) Crossed Baton (by Dansili) out of a 9.5-10f 3yo winning close relation to 12f 3yo winner Clepsydra (later dam of very smart trio Father Time, Passage Of Time and Timepiece) and half sister to the 11.5f 3yo Listed winning dam of Twice Over. This filly comes from a good Juddmonte family and is sure to make her mark at some point this season, but there is a fair chance she’ll improve for both this experience and another furlong in due course; still, it’s interesting she’s pitched in against the boys first time up. Willie McCreery’s Montalvan is a son of Lope De Vega is a half brother to smart triple 6f 2yo winner (including at Group 1 level) Sudirman out of a Group 3-placed UK/US 5f-1m winning sister to Group 2/3-placed 5-6f winner (including twice at Listed level) Mister Manannan. This colt was bought back in for just 60,000gns as a yearling but makes appeal on pedigree, bred to be both useful and make an impact at two; stable gets the odd winning newcomer but this looks a warm race in which he starts out.
2.20 Newmarket (July) – MASTER BREWER (nap)
This two-year-old novice event sometimes produces an above-average performer – notable past winners of this race including King’s Ironbridge, Solent, Rockinante, Kingman, Ibn Malik and Taamol – and although this year’s renewal is lacking numerically, each of the four runners has at least something to recommend them on.
The selection, trained by Michael Bell, is a son of Reliable Man who made his debut outing in a 6.5f novice event at Newbury 16 days ago (33/1 chance), slowly into stride and waited towards the rear of the field, travelling strongly over a furlong out but having nowhere to go, persistently denied a clear run inside the final furlong and finishing on the bridle in eighth behind Confiding (beaten 4¼ lengths). It is an understatement to say this colt wasn’t seen to best effect that day, full of running but having no room to operate, closing up into midfield still firmly on the bridle. It was a messy affair in which he was one of the chief sufferers, and it’s highly encouraging that a couple of others denied a clear run along with the seventh have all won in the past week. He ought to appreciate the extra yardage on offer here, and his stable’s youngsters almost always improve for a run; open to significant improvement, it’d be something of a disappointment if this son of Reliable Man couldn’t come good at the second time of asking.
The Richard Hannon-trained Moyassar is a nicely-bred son of Tamayuz who debuted in a 6f median auction novice contest at York five weeks ago (4/1 chance), waited with in rear until shaken up and making progress two furlongs out, making good progress to challenge inside the final 120 yards and failing by just a short-head to overhaul I Am A Dreamer. It was a highly meritorious first effort from this colt, perhaps deserving extra credit for coming from further back than the majority of those involved in what was a bunched finish, the fourth a winner next time out. His stable farmed this race during the last decade, supplying the winner every year between 2004-08, but it has only won it once (2011) since then; however, their representative this time around quite clearly boasts excellent credentials, and the additional furlong on offer here should also suit given how he shaped first time out.
Hugo Palmer’s Nathless is a son of Nathaniel who debuted in a 6.5f novice event at Newbury a couple of weeks ago (6/1 chance), slowly into stride and dropped in at the rear of the field, brought across to the stands’ side at halfway and shaken up over a furlong out, going nowhere fast when short of room inside the final furlong and coming home 13th of 16 behind Confiding (beaten 6 lengths). For all his own passage wasn’t completely trouble free, he had a clearer run than most and didn’t appear to be launching a telling challenge when space was at a premium on the stands’ side rail going into the final furlong. He is entitled to improve for that experience, and his prominent market position that day is likely significant; however, he has a couple of lengths to find with the re-opposing Master Brewer, and there’s no real reason why he ought to reverse that form given how things panned out for the pair.
The final member of the quartet is the Mark Johnston-trained The Trader, a son of Mastercraftsman who is a half brother to UK/Hong Kong 7-9f winner Best Effort out of a high-class 7-10.5f winner (including at Group 1 level)/Irish Oaks fourth who was a full sister to fairly useful 12-14f winner Pumblechook, 10f 3yo debut winner Raushan and two other winners and a half sister to useful 8-10f winner Daira Prince out of an 11f 3yo Group 3 winner. This colt fetched just €16,000 as a yearling despite making plenty of appeal on pedigree, though it’s a family that tends to thrive with time/distance; facing some promising once-raced types, he’s likely best watched on debut.