Wednesday 26 June 2019

O'Brien means business with Art Nouvelle

Joseph O'Brien. Photo: Julian Smith/Reuters
Joseph O'Brien. Photo: Julian Smith/Reuters

Thomas Kelly

For a man who has won some of the most famous races in the world as a jockey and now as a trainer, a December meeting at Lingfield wouldn't normally be high on the agenda.

However, Joseph O'Brien sending a runner to today's meeting at the southern England venue is significant, and particularly so when engaging the services of top all-weather pilot Adam Kirby.

All of that makes Curragh winner Art Nouvelle worth a close look in the Betway Handicap, even though it's over a year since his only victory from 10 races, albeit over the same six-furlong distance as he faces today.

Richard Hannon can get on the scoresheet with Zalshah fancied in the EBF Novice Stakes.

Having come home well here last month, it was no surprise to see her go one place better at Chelmsford at the beginning of this month.

Tom Marquand popped the question just over a furlong out and his partner ran on strongly to beat Dance Emperor by a length.

While the handicapper has taken a dim view, there might be a bit more to come on her fourth all-weather outing.

Captain Navarre is fancied to make it a hat-trick of wins with victory in the Betway Stayers Handicap.

The Charlie Fellowes-trained five-year-old is in rare old form and arrives on the back of success at Kempton and, most recently, Wolverhampton.

He does in fact go particularly well on an artificial surface, and the Excellent Art gelding did it well at Kempton, travelling nicely before being gathered up off the bend and always doing enough through the final furlong, without being given a hard time.

He has a 4lb higher mark to contend with, but it is very hard to see him not being heavily involved in the finish.

Corazon Espinado looks capable of winning a race judged on a recent effort here and the 32Red Casino Nursery Handicap fits the bill. His second to Fire Orchid was a big step forward on his first try in handicap company.

Paradise Lake should go close on his first start for Ed Walker in the Play Slots At Maiden Stakes.

The three-year-old was not without ability for Michael Stoute, just being touched off at Windsor in October. He has been gelded since then.

Irish Independent

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