1.55 Curragh – NITRO BOOST (nap)
The opening two-year-old maiden on the card looks a reasonable enough contest, a couple of those with experience posting decent debut efforts while one or two others are likely capable better than they showed first time out, and there are also one or two newcomers of interest including one that holds a Group race entry later this month.
The selection is a daughter of Dandy Man who is a half sister to smart dual 5f 2yo winner (including at Group 2 level) Prince Of Lir and fairly useful 5f-1m winner Kalagia, out of a 5-6f winner who was a half sister to smart 5-6f winner (including at Group 3/Listed level) Resplendent Glory, useful 7-11.5f winner Well Painted and 5-6f winner Matuza out of a 6f 3yo winning half sister to Group 2-placed 5-6f winner Funny Valentine and useful 8-9.5f winner Dame Hester (later dam of German 6f Group 2/3 winner Donnerschlag and 7f 2yo Listed winner Izzy Bizu). This filly is trained by Willie McCreery and fetched €90,000 as a yearling at auction, making plenty of appeal on pedigree as a half sister to Norfolk Stakes winner Prince Of Lir and out of a half sister to a 5f Group 3 winner and a 6f 2yo debut winner. There are other useful speedy performers/two-year-old debut winners in the family, so this filly really ought to prove capable of making an immediate impact at this sort of trip in her first season. She comes from a good stable that does fairly well with its two-year-olds, able to have the odd one ready to strike at the first time of asking; starting out in a winnable enough race, it wouldn’t at all surprise to see this daughter of Dandy Man go close on debut.
The John McConnell-trained Rockview Spirit is a daughter of Charm Spirit who made her debut outing in a 5f maiden at Navan a month ago (25/1 chance), racing in midfield and moving closer three furlongs out, ridden to challenge approaching the final furlong but unable to sustain her effort and having to settle for third behind Fantasy (beaten 2¼ lengths). It was an encouraging first effort from this filly, making good ground from halfway to look a threat one point, unable to see things out fully and only losing out to a pair from top stables boasting experience. She is entitled to strip fitter for that initial outing, especially as she comes from a stable hardly renowned for its prowess with juveniles; rather surprising if she didn’t have a significant part to play at the business end of matters.
Darren Bunyan’s Chestnut Express is a daughter of Camacho who debuted in a 6f Listed event here back in May (50/1 chance), slowly away and racing in rear, ridden halfway and making no impression, one paced inside the final furlong as she came home eighth of nine behind Fairyland (beaten 10 lengths). It was always going to be a tough ask for this filly on debut, kicking off at Listed level against some smart sorts, slowly into stride and never at any stage able to get competitive. She can only improve for that run, given plenty of time since, and it’s interesting she was asked to start out at such a high level; tongue tie applied for this return and ought to be more competitive now.
The Johnny Levins-trained Espirit D’Escalier is a daughter of Dark Angel who debuted in a 6f fillies’ maiden here back in May (50/1 chance), close up in the far side group and taking a keen hold, pushed along two furlongs out and on the retreat when crossed by another rival entering final furlong, eventually beating just one home behind Just Wonderful (beaten 12¼ lengths). There wasn’t a great deal of encouragement to take from her debut effort, dropping away rather tamely having refused to settle, bred to be an out-and-out speedster after all; to that effect, the step back to five furlongs may see her in a better light, but clearly a risky proposition returning after a break.
There are one or two interesting newcomers aside from the selection, the first of them being Michael O’Callaghan’s Carbon Fibre, a son of Helmet who is a half brother to 7f-1m winner Sister Slew, 7-7.5f winner The Special One, 7f 3yo winner Lady Sparkler and once-raced 1m 2yo winner Capeslew, out of a US 5.5-6f 3yo winner who was a half sister to 5f 2yo Listed winner Western Art out of a US 6f 3yo winning close relation to US 7f Grade 3 winner Mineral Wells. This colt’s sales price increased from €10,000 as a foal to €75,000 earlier this year at the Goresbridge Breeze-Up sale, making only some appeal on pedigree, a half brother to a two-year-old debut scorer (albeit at 1m) and three fair to modest handicappers, though the dam was a half sister to 5f 2yo Listed National Stakes winner Western Art and from a decent US family. He comes from a stable that can have them prepared to strike first time out, and an entry in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes indicates all has gone to plan at home; also a good chance he will know what’s required here given he is a breezer and no surprise to see this son of Helmet very much involved.
The Jim Bolger-trained Cuileann is a daughter of Vocalised who is a full sister to modest 1m 3yo winner Cresendo out of a once-raced maiden sister to 1m 4yo winner Vasanta Navaratri out of a twice-raced maiden half sister to dual 7f Group 3 winner Flight Risk, 7.5f/1m Group 3 winner Marionnaud, Group 3-placed 6-6.5f winner Rock Moss, Group 3-placed 8-10f winner Maqaraat and very useful 5.5-6f winner Khubala. This filly makes some appeal on pedigree, her two sisters ordinary performers and her dam a maiden half sister to mostly maidens, but further back there are several at least useful performers stretching right back to the likes of Sholokhov and the dam of Soldier Of Fortune. There are also one two in the family that were quick enough to start out and indeed win over this minimum trip, this filly clearly inheriting that speed; from a top stable, she isn’t to be underestimated by any means.
The Adrian Keatley-trained Duhallow Noelie is a son of Dragon Pulse who is a half brother to Listed-placed 6f-1m winner Eddie Jock, Group 2-placed 7-10f winner Mawaakef, 5-10f winner Supercast and two others winners including the dam of 6f 3yo Listed winner Letters Of Note, out of a maiden half sister to smart miler Air Express. This gelding sales price fell from €35,000 to €10,000 earlier this year, but he does make a fair amount of appeal on pedigree, related to some useful performers including Britannia winner Eddie Jock; not necessarily bred for this out-and-out test of speed and stable not specialists with this age group, but booking of Colin Keane an interesting one.