Earring the best option at Killarney
A massive field of 13 tackles the Listed feature on day one of Killarney's marquee July festival, but it might be all about Earring.
Of the baker's dozen, 11 are rated between 79 and 94. Creggs Pipes and Orcia share top billing of that group, and they have the potential to get involved if they continue to progress.
David Wachman's Assume brings a mark of 100 to the table, but she bombed completely on her sole outing this year, at Naas in May, so she is hard to fancy given the stable's general lack of form.
Aidan O'Brien's Earring fits in on a mark of 97. A daughter of Dansili and Together, she is bred to be smart, and improved from her debut to easily beat An Cailin Orga at Gowran Park in May.
She then went down fighting when second to Discipline in a Naas Listed race over 10 furlongs, having had to cut out her own running. That was a fair performance against a decent rival, and the suspicion is that the drop to a mile here will suit the aggressive way that Seamie Heffernan is likely to ride Earring.
As such, the Ballydoyle firm appeals as nap material. O'Brien's Istan should have a big say in the two-year-olds' race that gets proceedings under way at the picturesque Kerry venue.
The stable's newcomer Sao Paulo is also on duty here, and Joseph O'Brien's determined Leopardstown winner Eagle Spirit is another sure to figure. Nonetheless, the one that stands out is Ger Lyons's Boyfriend Brian, which danced up on its recent Bellewstown debut.
A gelded son of Big Bad Bob, Colin Keane's mount will surely come forward for that, as Lyons doesn't tend to tighten every screw with newcomers.
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If Boyfriend Brian does progress, then he should take a bit of stopping, as the ground will be similarly slow here as it was on his track bow.
A chance is taken on Wachman's Hidden Oasis in the handicap over the same trip, while Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh should take the mares's maiden hurdle with Screaming Rose. A two-time bumper winner in the autumn, Screaming Rose ought to have too much quality for her less precocious rivals.
Emmet and Patrick Mullins are the team to keep on side in the mares's bumper. They combine for Arbor Des Champs in that, and the facile Tramore bumper winner sets a fair standard.
In between, Crocodile Dundee gets the nod for the Tralee father-son duo, Tom and Bryan Cooper. This looks an open contest, but Crocodile Dundee is more than capable of winning a race like it.
While he has failed to get his head in front in 10 starts, he has been placed in two of his three handicap starts, so he is fairly treated.
He is two pounds higher here than when third at Limerick last time having travelled smoothly, and he has the scope to defy that small hike.