O'Donoghue has rare Outstanding opportunity for O'Brien in Naas trial
Seven fillies will tonight put their Irish Oaks claims on the line in Naas' Listed trial.
It is a competitive €55,000 affair in its own right, with Dermot Weld's Variable the most visually impressive winner on duty.
Khalid Abdullah's daughter of Sea The Stars built on her debut second to draw clear over 12 furlongs in a modest enough contest at Cork last month. If she makes similar progression now, she ought to be in the mix over this shorter 10-furlong trip.
Aidan O'Brien will saddle two, with Seamie Heffernan on Easter, which beat the re-opposing Stellar Glow in an autumn maiden at Leopardstown. While Easter disappointed on her Curragh return, that was on deep ground, so she must enter calculations on the forecast drier surface again now.
Remarkably, Colm O'Donoghue, who got Ballydoyle's Qualify home in the Oaks at Epsom in typically consummate fashion, is pencilled in for his first ride for O'Brien on home soil this term aboard Outstanding. A Galileo full-sister to Magician, Outstanding looked immature in both her outings as a juvenile.
However, on her seasonal bow here over a mile last month, she ran out a straightforward winner, drawing a couple of lengths clear of the useful Catalyst. Without doubt, she needs to do better still now, but the suspicion is that she can, with the longer trip sure to suit.
Weld and Pat Smullen are trusted with the night's nap vote. The firm's Alveena contests the concluding mile maiden, having run nicely to be third on last week's Leopardstown initiation.
If the Medicean filly progresses for that experience, she is the one to beat. Eddie Lynam's Dream Craft is among the threats, and the Co Meath-based sprint king is tipped to take the earlier five-furlong equivalent with Captain Power. Robbie Downey's mount has gone close in his last two starts over the minimum trip.