Cristal looks primed to shine for Lyons in Naas showpiece
WHILE the Musidora Stakes holds centre stage at York today, Aidan and Joseph O'Brien will be hoping Dazzling can enhance her own Oaks prospects in this evening's Blue Wind Stakes at Naas.
The choicely-bred daughter of Galileo made a winning return at Navan last month when showing an abundance of stamina and she certainly looks to have a favourite's chance.
Dermot Weld has been sending out winners this season with remarkable regularity and he holds a strong hand in this Group Three contest.
The master of Rosewell House relies on three-year-old fillies Tarfasha and Tahaany, a winner already during this campaign, but the booking of Pat Smullen for the former suggests she is first choice. Tarfasha won her juvenile maiden in Galway last July before following up with a third-placed finish behind John Oxx's My Titania in a Curragh Group Three and the daugher of Teofilo looks sure to be suited by the step up to 10 furlongs.
Having sprung a 33/1 shock when making all 12 months ago, Euphrasia returns to the scene of her biggest triumph, but Joseph Murphy's charge faces a stiff task in trying to concede upwards of 3lb to the field.
Mizzava is another contender worthy of mention as Michael Halford's four-year-old ran respectably in a number of decent contests, including when fifth to Just The Judge in the Irish 1,000 Guineas. However, Shane Foley's mount is yet to win over this distance.
Considering the competitive nature of the field, it might be worth taking a chance on Cristal Fashion, which ran a race full of promise when chasing home Dazzling last time out.
Granted, the Ger Lyons-trained filly has ground to make up with the Ballydoyle representative, but she landed her maiden on soft ground last October, so conditions won't be a problem. With plenty scope for improvement, she looks the value option in the capable hands of Gary Carroll.
Earlier on the card, Lyons is also taken to put one over on O'Brien in the Fishery Lane Race with Cappella Sansevero. This Dundalk scorer impressed when making a winning debut, as did O'Brien's War Envoy at this venue a fortnight ago, but the fact Colin Keane's mount will be receipt of 5lb tilts the balance in favour of the Lyons-trained colt.
The six-furlong Woodlands 100 Club Handicap is a tricky puzzle to solve and it might pay to go with local trainer Willie McCreery who runs Champagne Or Water.
Leigh Roche's mount ran away with a maiden at Sligo 10 days ago, and with the daugher of Captain Rio sure to relish the soft ground, she can find sufficient improvement to see off the Due Diligence and Monsieur Power.
It's rare for the in-form Weld-Smullen to leave any track without a winner and their best chance could be Carla Bianca in the concluding maiden. This one finished fourth in the Group One Moyglare Stakes last September and a reproduction of anything close to that should see her home.