Cromwell's Amigos can be a punter's pal
This is a time of year beloved of many racing fans, with the heat of the Flat action still glowing and some choice jumpers easing their way back into action.
Jer's Girl, which did more than any other to put Gavin Cromwell on the map, returns at Roscommon today in the Budweiser Maiden, ahead of what ought to prove a more profitable National Hunt campaign than she enjoyed last term. However, she will need this to a great degree.
Solo Saxophone, trained by Dermot Weld, is preferred. This Frankel colt has three solid runs to his name, one of them on similarly heavy ground at this venue.
Cromwell likely has better prospects in the apprentice handicap, in which both of his runners have a definite chance. The lock of the day here is his Siempre Amigos, a Fast Company filly which enjoys an ease and took the eye in a major way with her finishing kick in face of a sterner recent Galway assignment.
A cracking opening auction race will invite patrons to get involved. Previous winners Guessthebill, Sirjack Thomas and South East may struggle to give weight to Song Of Dunes, with his trainer Jessica Harrington in stunning form. This one looked raw on debut in what was likely a strong Gowran heat.
The utterly remarkable Bubbly Bellini bids to augment his Fairyhouse win in the next and he may well achieve that, but the rather less admirable Fair Game could strike for the in-form Edward O'Grady and title-chasing Colin Keane. Her tendency to miss the break remains a concern, however.
The National Hunt boys roll into town for a smart novice chase and though the ground may be softer than ideal, Landofhopeandglory must have reasonable prospects of giving a beating to Product Of Love, off which he gets 10lb for Joseph O'Brien.
Charles Byrnes is double-handed, though Alto Esqua was greatly flattered by his Listowel win and this looks a little demanding for Rosie Alice.
The handicap chase is pretty modest for the purse and the market needs keen study, since JP McManus runs William Du Berlais and Philip Dempsey's Teacher's Pet, which is at least potentially better-handicapped.
Alan Fleming has his string enjoying their combat, such as Massey's Wood, which won by half the track at Listowel. That form may not amount to as much as is implied by the visual impression, but he can show too much for the Byrnes-handled Brave Poppy.
The finale can go to another title seeker, Gordon Elliott, and promising pointer Flawless Escape under the recently returned Nina Carberry.