Bolger's Sanus looks healthy option in Tyros
The Group Three Tyros Stakes that was won by this year's brilliant 2,000 Guineas victor Gleneagles in 2014 spearheads a fine spread at Leopardstown this evening.
Aidan and Joseph O'Brien rely on the smart Listowel winner Deauville this time, with the former champion jockey's brother Donnacha pencilled in for stablemate Lieutenant General.
Deauville's form doesn't read brilliantly but he is open to improvement on his second start, while Lieutenant General has a bit to prove after a second defeat at Naas recently.
On his Curragh debut, the Fastnet Rock colt ran well to be second to Sanus Per Aquam and he sports first-time blinkers now in his quest to break his maiden. Inevitably, the Jim Bolger-trained Sanus Per Aquam is the one to beat in this seven-runner affair over seven furlongs.
After its polished Curragh performance, Sanus Per Aquam readily dispensed with Ballydoyle's highly-regarded Port Douglas here a fortnight ago. Bolger subsequently described him as a reincarnation of his sire Teofilo, before nominating next month's Futurity Stakes as his likely target.
That is a Group Two that Teofilo won in 2006, but, in true Bolger fashion, Sanus Per Aquam is being kept busy. Teofilo also won tonight's race en route to establishing his status as a fleeting racing sensation that has gone on to build a lasting legacy as a sire.
It will be disappointing if his latest precocious progeny doesn't emulate him for Kevin Manning, with Bolger's Gleine likely to ensure a truly run race.
Sanus Per Aquam is a handsome colt with the size to keep progressing, so he is fancied to justify the decision of his wizardly handler, whose incredible reincarnation as a source of his very own elite production line yesterday saw him crowned the Connolly's Red Mills Breeder of the Year by the industry tome The Irish Field.
Taking Libertys, likewise unbeaten in two starts in England, is the only cross-channel raider. Trained by Kevin Ryan, he is a son of up-and-coming sire Makfi that has the assistance of the irrepressible Pat Smullen up top.
In the fillies' equivalent, the Silver Flash Stakes, Bolger goes to war with the decisive Gowran Park winner Turret Rocks. However, this could be between Dermot Weld's course and distance scorer Tanaza and O'Brien's Curragh winner, Alice Springs.
Both were impressive in the manner that they went about their business, and they have the form to match the visual impressions that they made, with Minding, well held in second by Tanaza, since scooting up at the Foxrock venue. Miss Gossip, another to have won here in the meantime, finished third behind both fillies.
She got closer to Alice Springs, but she had the benefit of her outing against Tanaza by then, and it was hard not to be taken by Alice Springs' display. A daughter of Galileo, she quickened clear in style, in the process catapulting herself to the head of the betting for next year's 1,000 Guineas.
Chances are that she will enhance those credentials this evening, while the choicely-bred newcomer General Macarthur might also find himself thrust into the 2016 Classic betting should he prevail for the O'Brien firm in the opener. Bolger and his protege are again likely to be to the fore in the finale, with the grand master's Salthouse trusted to justify nap billing at the expense of O'Brien's consistent Cradle Mountain. This is an open conditions race, but Salthouse fought gamely when going down to Shadagann in a decent Curragh handicap. A course and distance winner, he has the scope to step up again here.
In the handicaps, Pat Flynn's Knights Templar appeals under Conor Hoban in the apprentices' version. Successful here off a mark of 66 in 2013, Knights Templar caught the eye when keeping for fifth at Tipperary, so he is favourably treated off 61 now.
At Limerick, Davy Russell gets the nod to again don the Gigginstown Stud colours successfully aboard The Game Changer in the novices' chase. The reformed Arcadio gelding blundered away his hat-trick at Wexford, but Russell had got a rare old tune out of him on his fencing bow at Punchestown.
In the maiden hurdle, Barry Geraghty ought to guide Prickly to victory. While Edward O'Grady's three-time bumper winner has Tradewinds to beat, he has the potential to develop into a smart hurdler on decent ground.