'Barroso' can get Mullins' season going
Willie Mullins has yet to get off the mark for the Flat season but is napped to do so with Buzz Off Barroso at Leopardstown tonight.
The perennial champion jumps trainer has had just three runners on the level so far this term.
Buzz Off Barroso is on duty in the concluding long-distance handicap on this evening's spread at the Foxrock venue, and there is an awful lot to like about his prospects.
Twice a runner-up - latterly off a handicap mark of 60 - for Jessica Harrington, the Big Bad Bob six-year-old made its debut for Mullins at Navan on May 28. On that occasion, he didn't get the clearest of runs, but he fairly motored home when he did get into a rhythm.
In the end, Buzz Off Barroso fell a couple of lengths short of Pirolo, but it was hard not to be encouraged by the performance. Sure enough, the handicapper saw fit to hike him four pounds to a mark of 61.
Clearly, then, he will need to perform to a career-best level here to collect for Chris Hayes. However, having had just nine runs in his life, he has the scope to do so, and this 15-runner affair is more about depth than strength.
Hayes might also be on the one to keep on side in the seven-furlong maiden. The Irish 2,000 Guineas-winning rider partners Roseisarose for his boss Kevin Prendergast. She is a nicely bred Acclamation filly that is taking on the boys, but showed a lot of promise when fifth to Camellia Japonica on her Curragh bow earlier in the month.
Roseisarose kept on from mid-division over six furlongs that day, so you would imagine that she will be ideally suited by this slight step up in trip. If she comes forward for the experience, she is sure to be thereabouts.
The likes of Schubert, Midnight Crossing and Palmetto Dunes have all shown enough ability to win a race like this. Nonetheless, they have also passed up plenty chances already, so they don't have the same scope to progress as the selection.
In the two-year-olds' maiden that follows, Aidan O'Brien introduces two newcomers, but his son Joseph might have the solution in Eagle Spirit. On its track bow over seven furlongs here a fortnight ago, the Holy Roman Emperor colt kept on gamely to finish third behind Currency Converter.
Again, it looked as if stepping up in trip would be to his advantage, so he should be a big player over a mile under Donnacha O'Brien now.
Charles O'Brien's in-form Drillmaster might take the apprentices' race for Tom Madden. The joint top-weight will have to turn the tables on his recent Navan conqueror Zebgrey, but he appeals as the more progressive of the two.
In the mile handicap, Johnny Levins' Mr Right will be looking to build on a decent turn in third at Fairyhouse. He and Donagh O'Connor should figure prominently, but just preferred is Plough Boy.
Garvan Donnelly's Robbie Downey-ridden five-year-old has won six times off a rating as high as 74. He is up to 79 now, but his narrow Listowel defeat suggested that he is more than capable of winning off such a mark.