Rapid Applause can deny Moore on Dundalk visit
Despite having stated his intention to ride at Dundalk tonight, Joseph O'Brien sits it out as Ryan Moore again flies in to partner Ballydoyle's War Envoy in the Patton Stakes.
Aidan O'Brien's younger son Donnacha, who is of a similarly towering physique to his brother, rides the stable's second string Song Of Love in the €45,000 seven-furlong Listed contest. Both horses have been allotted 9st 3lb.
Given that the two-time champion Joseph was unable to do 9st 5lb on Sunday, any aspiration to do 2lb lower tonight were probably unrealistic. At Cork next Saturday, O'Brien senior has entries that will have 9st 5lb or more should they run, so the participation or otherwise there of his 21-year-old son might be a more pertinent indication of where he is at.
Things tend to get serious pretty quick once the season gets underway, so, with Classic trials scheduled for Leopardstown on Sunday week, any prolonged absence for O'Brien Jnr would be ominous. With Moore in the plate, War Envoy is clearly respected tonight.
However, he was a busy juvenile, and eight outings yielded just one win, for all that he ran well in defeat in good company. When the War Front colt was last seen on Irish soil at the Curragh in August, he was outstayed for second behind Cappella Sansevero by the re-opposing Rapid Applause.
Michael O'Callaghan's son of Royal Applause progressed solidly in each of his four starts at two, and the step up to seven furlongs here should suit ideally under Declan McDonogh.
If so, Rapid Applause might take a bit of stopping for his up-and-coming Curragh handler, a Kerry native who promptly got off the mark for the season at headquarters on Sunday and whose exploits continue to impress.
In the mile maiden that follows, Jane Foley's Torpedo Alley appeals as nap material. Gary Carroll's mount showed promise in two outings as a three-year-old last term, and he confirmed that potential by only giving best inside the distance on his reappearance here two weeks ago. Carroll wasn't hard on Torpedo Alley in finishing third, so the pair should go close in a relatively moderate affair.
The subsequent handicap over the same distance is a competitive heat, but Share A Secret is fancied for Garristown handler Garvan Donnelly, who has an fine record at the track.
A winner off a mark of 47 in February, this four-year-old filly was one-paced when sixth off 55 last time. A pound lower now, she has live claims back up in trip under Gary Phillips.