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Step up in distance can bring the best out of Even So under Keane at Naas


Even So can triumph today

Even So can triumph today

Even So can triumph today

Aidan O'Brien will bid to create history at Epsom on a day when the English Oaks will be the curtain-raiser to the Derby but domestically Naas host a trial for the Irish Oaks in which O'Brien relies on Laburnum.

However, it is EVEN SO (5.15, Naas) who is a rare runner for Coolmore's John Magnier for the Ger Lyons stable that is picked to oblige here and book her place in the next Curragh Classic.

The daughter of Camelot was fifth in the Irish 1,000 Guineas when last seen and the step up to 10 furlongs here should see her return to winning ways under Colin Keane.

Naas stage a fascinating card which will feature live on RTé2 this evening and the concluding contest will see a British raider make the journey across the Irish Sea which has been something of a rarity since racing returned.

The Classics in Ireland were natives only but Tim Easterby is sending over the progressive ART POWER (5.45, Naas) for the Group 3 Lacken Stakes.

The Royal Ascot winner landed some confident bets when running away with the Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap last month and he most certainly earned his right to a step up to Group 3 class here.

Few trainers have come out of lockdown in better form than Johnny Murtagh who runs Koolasice here, while Jessica Harrington's outstanding filly from last year, Millisle, will be hoping to break her duck for this season in a race that carries plenty of depth.

However, Art Power was a blot on the handicap in his last start and should end what could be a very profitable day for the former champion jockey, Colin Keane.

Just the five runners go to post for the opening of three pattern races on the Naas card but SUSSEX GARDEN (2.30, Naas) can be expected to add to her course and distance win of just over a fortnight ago.

Harrington introduced Alpha Centauri to win at Naas a few seasons back and then returned to win this Group 3 event and that path may prove fruitful once again for the Moone maestro.

Sussex Garden made a similarly good impression when winning on her racecourse debut and can continue the fine run of Shane Foley, a talented ockey who himself could be eyeing up a possible first championship tilt.

Jump racing returns to Bellewstown today where the Fast Shipping Bellewstown Handicap Hurdle is worth a tasty €40,000.

Punters will possibly take a cautious approach here with just four of the runners having a previous outing over jumps since racing returned.

Poseidon made a winning return and confidence in the market surrounding that horse would be significant but ZARKAREVA (5.30, Bellewstown) is a tentative choice. The French import was well fancied in a decent hurdle at Punchestown last winter and was tried in a juvenile Grade Two event at Christmas, albeit well beaten on that occasion.

Given the way she was campaigned on her two starts for Henry de Bromhead she could be a filly that is considered to be capable of running above her rating of 118 though and is worth another look.

Following that, the Eoin Doyle-trained STYLISH MOMENT (5.00, Bellewstown) is a horse that we might not have seen the best of yet though and could be a step or two ahead of the handicapper. The son of Milan has ran well fresh in the past and could be value here.

Tomorrow Fairyhouse and Cork stage all Flat cards with the Munster Oaks taking centre stage in Mallow. SEARCH FOR A SONG (5.15, Cork) needs to concede weight all round but looks a cut above her rivals for Dermot Weld and Oisín Orr.

In the Marble Hill Stakes earlier on the card SHALAALAA (3.05, Cork) might continue a fine weekend for Ger Lyons and Colin Keane.

There is Group 3 action at Fairyhouse also where last weekend's Curragh winner SPEAK IN COLOURS (5.30, Fairyhouse) would seem the standard setter if he can stay the trip.