Wednesday 24 April 2019

Magical can stamp her class as Classic winners light up stellar Naas card

Ryan Moore takes the mount on Magical – the highest-rated runner on 122, with her stablemate next best at 117 – after the daughter of Galileo had a spectacular finish to last season. Stock photo
Ryan Moore takes the mount on Magical – the highest-rated runner on 122, with her stablemate next best at 117 – after the daughter of Galileo had a spectacular finish to last season. Stock photo
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

IT'S not every day of the week that three Classic winners line up on one card but that's the situation today as Latrobe, Flag Of Honour and Romanised are the key players in a stacked Naas meeting.

It's rare to see a Group Three packed with the quality of the Alleged Stakes (4.35) as last year's Irish Derby winner Latrobe returns, but this is a stepping stone, with Joseph O'Brien admitting that another Group One victory is the ultimate goal.

His father Aidan is double-handed with Irish St Leger winner Flag of Honour and top-class filly Magical as the Ballydoyle maestro searches for his fifth success in the contest.

Ryan Moore takes the mount on Magical - the highest-rated runner on 122, with her stablemate next best at 117 - after the daughter of Galileo had a spectacular finish to last season.

Landing the British Champions Fillies & Mares Stakes at Ascot last October was followed up by a stellar effort in second when pushing Enable to the pin of her collar in the Breeders' Cup Turf.

That is the best form in the book by some distance and while race fitness may not be where it needs to be, Magical is given a tentative vote to score in a fascinating renewal.

Of the others, Jessica Harrington's Still Standing is one of the few to have a run under his belt having landed a Listed event at the Kildare track last month and he looks the most likely to score outside of the big three.

The Group Three Gladness Stakes (4.0) is similarly intriguing, with last year's victor Psychedelic Funk making his seasonal debut and bidding for a repeat for the red-hot team of Ger Lyons and Colin Keane.

A cracking field of nine also includes Ken Condon's Romanised but carrying a penalty won't be easy for last year's Irish 2,000 Guineas hero and others are preferred.

Le Brivido - second in the 2017 French 2,000 Guineas - is an exciting recruit for Aidan O'Brien having switched from Andre Fabre but with just one run as a four-year-old last season, his best is unlikely to be seen today.

Imaging may be the solid option for David Weld having shown rude health with a Listed win at Leopardstown ten days ago, and he can score under Oisin Orr.

All eyes will be on Aidan O'Brien's Monarch Of Egypt in the maiden (1.50) as the €660,000 purchase is the first progeny of American Triple Crown winner American Pharoah to race.

Ruby Walsh rides Castletownshend for his father Ted in the three-year-old maiden (2.50) before heading to Tramore tomorrow where he has two low-key rides for Willie Mullins.

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