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Moth to swat rivals at Naas

As we approach the beginning of Derby weekend on Friday, it is Naas that stages an all-flat card tonight and it'll be an evening that answers questions about a couple of high-profile Ballydoyle inmates.

The feature race is the listed Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fund Naas Oaks Trial and this has attracted a really intriguing 11-runner field with a number of progressive three-year-olds taking on the more established O'Brien runner Moth.

Jim Bolger is the only trainer to introduce a newcomer to the field with Ronan Whelan riding the Coolcullen second string Feile Na Mban and Kevin Manning on the Irish 1,000 Guineas eighth Bunairgead, while Dermot Weld will look for a hat-trick in this race with Fairyhouse maiden winner Sleeping Beauty.

However, it is Moth that appears a worthy pick to return to winning ways having finished third in the English 1,000 Guineas and then fourth in the Epsom Oaks all within six weeks of opening her account in a Curragh maiden.

O'Brien also runs Fairyhouse maiden winner Venus De Milo, but it is Moth who is far superior on ratings and would prove a major disappointment if she didn't earn a second career win here. But just keep an eye on Rocktique who could be one to run a big race on what is just her second outing for John Oxx.

Following the Oaks Trial is the Boston Access Race for three-year-olds and unfortunately the €15,000 contest has only attracted a field of three, but on the plus side it will give an Irish debut to new Ballydoyle resident Darwin who joins from America.

Previously trained by Todd Fletcher, Darwin won a maiden at Belmount in October before slightly disappointing when fourth in a Grade Two on his only other start the following month.

His opposition includes the David Wachman-trained, 101-rated Fighter Squadron and the 100-rated Resolute Response representing Dermot Weld and Moyglare.

Elsewhere on the card, Johnny Murtagh will have his 10th runner in a maiden this evening and he can win one for the first time as a trainer tonight with Gold Peregrine's experience from finishing third last time set to prove vital.


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