Stack's Wannabe Better can capture Fairyhouse feature
The Tommy Stack-trained Wannabe Better is fancied to claim the €48,750 first place prize in tonight's Brownstown Stakes, the sole Group race on Fairyhouse's entire Flat calendar.
A total of eight horses will contest the seven-furlong event, with Leopardstown scorer Majestic Queen the only other to have won at this level. Tracey Collins' filly was slightly fortunate to land the Ballyogan Stakes, as runner-up Joyeuse had to make up a lot of ground in a short time.
That said, Majestic Queen wasn't an undeserving winner. It will be interesting to see how she fares now, but the rest have plenty to find if Wannabe Better runs to her optimum level for Wayne Lordan.
A dual Listed winner last term, she posted a career-best effort to deny Eastern Rules and Brendan Brackan in Leopardstown's Ballycorus Stakes last time. That triumph came over seven furlongs on fast ground, and she also has two previous Group placings over seven, so conditions here will suit.
On all known evidence, then, Wannabe Better is the best horse in the race. The card's nap selection is the hitherto frustrating Monsieur Power in the opening six-furlong maiden for Lordan's frequent ally Eddie Lynam, though it is Colm O'Donoghue who retains the ride this time.
The Buttevant, Co Cork native was aboard the Sabena Power-owned Azamour gelding when it finished second to the highly regarded Cougar Mountain at Naas last week.
That represented the fifth time in seven starts that Monsieur Power had made the frame without winning, but it is ability rather than attitude that has been his downfall. He pulled well clear of the remainder at Naas, so he ought to take all the beating in this lesser heat, with first-time blinkers likely to sharpen him up.
The in-form Ger Lyons-Colin Keane axis should take the juvenile maiden with the Curragh third Cape Wolfe, while Muscle Beach and Port Merrion could both collect under Fran Berry. Jessica Harrington's Port Merrion was swamped by Teoleena late on at Gowran Park last time, but is progressive enough to warrant another go in tonight's five-runner finale.
At Gowran last night, the exciting Highland Reel turned in a dominant display to give Aidan O'Brien a seventh consecutive victory in the juvenile maiden over a mile.
The 8/15 favourite quickened clear in the straight and despite showing signs of his inexperience in the closing stages, he still passed the post 12 lengths clear in the hands of the trainer's son, Joseph.