Sunday 22 April 2018

Leavy's Ebazziyr looks good at Navan

Aidan O’Brien introduces a regally-bred newcomer Giant Redwood
Aidan O’Brien introduces a regally-bred newcomer Giant Redwood
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Ebazziyr is fancied to relish the step back up in trip when he tackles the two-mile maiden at Navan this afternoon.

Over the years, James Leavy has excelled with cast-offs from his revered Curragh neighbour John Oxx, and he saddles two such transfers in this, with By My Sea also among the 14 runners.

It is a competitive affair, and its 2014 equivalent was won by the decent Silver Concorde.

At first glance, there is nothing of that quality on duty this year, although Aidan O'Brien introduces a regally-bred newcomer: Giant Redwood is a Galileo three-parts brother to 2011 Derby hero Pour Moi.

Clearly, Joseph O'Brien's mount could be anything, but that he is making his debut over two miles and sports a tongue strap to boot would suggest that he might not be the most precocious.

With that in mind, Ebazziyr is nap material. Successful in two of its four bumper starts in 2013, the Cape Cross gelding hasn't progressed in the manner that might have been expected.

However, he returned from a seven-month lay-off at the Curragh in August. He needed that run over an inadequate 10-furlong trip, and when he next turned out at Roscommon over 12 furlongs, he ran far better.

On that occasion, Ebazziyr raced prominently and was only just run out of it by Cape Aqraan inside the distance. It was a display that suggested that he is on the right path again, so he ought to do better still back over this trip under Fran Berry.

Ballydoyle isn't short of potent ammunition elsewhere on the card. Indeed, it will be a surprise if the elite firm doesn't go close in both juveniles' maidens.

In the fillies' edition, the Colm O'Donoghue-ridden Etched is the one to beat on the back of her debut fourth at Naas, while Cook Islands is hard to oppose in the colts' version.

On its Curragh bow, the Fastnet Rock colt came from a long way back to flash home for fourth behind stablemate Hit It A Bomb. That was an encouraging turn, and the jump from seven furlongs to a mile should suit.

In the opening maiden, Eddie Lynam's Falcao should finally score under O'Donoghue.

Having shown plenty of early pace at Cork last time, Falcao tired late on to finish second to Compass Hill, so this drop to five furlongs ought to be right up his street.

Irish Independent

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