Sport Horse Racing

Thursday 14 December 2017

Brilliant Minding is back but 'just ready to start' at Naas

Aidan O’Brien believes Minding is “just ready to start”.
Aidan O’Brien believes Minding is “just ready to start”.

Johnny Ward

The feature of an excellent Bank Holiday Naas offering is the Group Two Camelot Irish EBF Mooresbridge Stakes, in which the brilliant Minding begins her third campaign.

A stunningly versatile sort, her Classic-year campaign featured victories in both the English Guineas and Oaks, in which her talent rather got Ryan Moore out of jail. The pair reunite now.

Minding was only beaten twice last year. In the Irish Guineas, she had excuses, while her third in the Champion Stakes was one of the best efforts of her career.

Quite how ready she will be this afternoon is hard to say, yet it looks a fine starting point for the term. That said, Aidan O'Brien (right) believes she is "just ready to start".

Michael Halford's representatives have shown up well and Rehana has the benefit of a run in the Group Three Canford Cliffs Irish EBF Athasi Stakes. This Dark Angel-bred pacy runner has solid each-way claims, with some concern as to whether Diamond Fields will have enough toe on this nicer ground.

Read more: O'Brien filly Somehow claims Gowran feature for Heffernan

The Listed Power Irish EBF Tetrarch Stakes is also a really nice contest and, even though he has a lot to find on the ratings, True Valour is one to consider. He is a typically genuine son of Kodiac, which did the job nicely at Limerick, and trainer Johnny Murtagh does not tend to place unrealistic demands on his horses, so he feels this one can perform with credit today.

It is a day of firsts as well. Actress is the first progeny of Declaration Of War to run in Ireland, thus of considerable intrigue for Ballydoyle in the opener, in which Sarah Lynam - daughter of Eddie - has her first runner in the shape of Philadelphia Story.

Aljunood is a tentative selection in the second maiden, though Dermot Weld has had something of a mixed start to the 2017 season and had no luck with two well-fancied runners in maidens at Gowran.

Dali should double up for Ballydoyle in the sprint rated race, a son of the late Scat Daddy which sets a demanding task for the unraced rivals that dominate the field.

Willie McCreery was among the Gowran winners and in Nathan Crosse he has a promising 10lb claimer, such youngsters always of great interest to punters given their allowances. The pair combine with the consistent Sweetest Taboo in the sprint handicap and she should be thereabouts, carrying less than eight stone.

The mile handicap which concludes the meet can see Halford double up, Hasanour liable to be suited by the reversion to a mile after a fair run here on its latest effort.

Whoever trains the winner of the opening Pat O'Hare Bookmakers Maiden Hurdle will be leading the jumps title race in Ireland, though if Vanishing Point does the business, it may be best to ignore that when congratulating Gordon Elliott.

Davy Russell rides this Pivotal-bred and the Youghal rider steers the nap selection, Newsworthy, for Westmeath handler Dot Love in the Magners Irish Cider Beginners Chase.

Ten runners for Elliott announce that the show goes on and Cecil Corbett is lively in the handicap chase under Denis O'Regan.

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