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Chicago to land nap for O'Brien

Aidan O'Brien can sign off on a positive note with his final runners at Tipperary tonight ahead of Camelot's eagerly-anticipated tilt at Saturday's 2,000 Guineas, WRITES RICHARD FORRISTAL.

Following a dry day and having passed an inspection yesterday afternoon, the Limerick Junction venue is expected to be fit for purpose this evening, though the going will undoubtedly be heavy.

The Ballydoyle handler introduces Offer, yet another particularly well-bred newcomer, under his son Joseph in the three-year-old maiden.

However, a large percentage of those types from the all-powerful stable have needed a run this term, and it is the father and son partnership's two other runners that appeal.

In the nine-furlong maiden, Chicago is napped to build on his respectable second to Macbeth at Gowran Park, while Hail gets the nod in the subsequent Tipperary Races On Facebook Handicap.

Of those that have run, Noel Meade's Casual Creeper, fourth in the decent Navan maiden that the Ballysax winner Light Heavy finished second in during the autumn, is one of Chicago's more likely threats. That one may need the run on this ground, though, and Chicago drew 13 lengths clear of the remainder when well held by Macbeth over 12 furlongs on soft going.

While dropping in trip now, he travelled nicely that day before failing to cope with the useful-looking winner at the death, so the shorter journey may suit.

Hail has plenty on his plate, as Pat Flynn's hat-trick-seeking Brog Deas and Kevin Prendergast's maiden winner Soohad are among a bundle of live prospects in the 10-runner handicap over the same distance.

Nonetheless, Hail posted an encouraging effort when fourth to Azamata at Leopardstown on his seasonal reappearance. Off a first-time mark of 81, the Derby entry could be well treated.

In Offer's maiden, John Oxx's Hartani can improve on his debut fifth at The Curragh, and a similar comment applies to Canary Row in the juvenile. Pat Prendergast's colt was a fine second to Dawn Approach on its bow, form that gives him an edge over his two rivals here.

Irish Independent