General and Parliament to rule at Dundalk for in-form O'Brien
Aidan O'Brien's bluebloods have hit the ground running this term and he sends a few smart types to Dundalk tonight.
Housesofparliament and General Macarthur, in particular, look capable of going on to bigger and better things.
Housesofparliament is joined by Ballydoyle stablemate Pietro Testa in the 10-furlong maiden. They have both had a run recently and look by far the pick of these, but Housesofparliament strikes as being the classier prospect.
Fifth on his only start last term, the Galileo colt had no answer to the stable's Bhutan at Leopardstown 12 days ago.
However, they came clear of the rest, so Housesofparliament would have been a good winner otherwise. Seamie Heffernan's mount is in the Derby and its Irish equivalent, and, while he might not be that good, he could still be a Group horse.
General Macarthur is also in those two Classics, as well as the Irish 2,000 Guineas. He contests the mile maiden here, although Heffernan is on Long Island Sound, a War Front colt that won nicely on its April 1 bow. A three-parts War Front brother to the Group One-winning juvenile Horatio Nelson, General Macarthur will be ridden by Donnacha O'Brien, who leads the apprentices' championship at this early stage of the campaign.
On its second start in 2015, General Macarthur found plenty to win here over seven furlongs, putting the highly regarded subsequent Group Three winner Blue De Vega in its place.
Chances are that he will be better back over this mile trip, so he is fancied to collect. Five-pound claiming O'Brien should also take the claimer on Pat Shanahan's Split The Atom. Top-rated by some way in this six-furlong affair, Split The Atom is dropping notably in grade.
Over jumps at Kilbeggan, Enda Bolger's Little Stevie ought to atone for its luckless exit at the final flight at Cork, while Mark Bolger could take the two-mile handicap hurdle on Flaviana. Jessica Harrington's mare travelled well when fifth on her Fairyhouse reappearance, and this drop back in trip should suit.