Sport Horse Racing

Monday 19 March 2018

Riviera Poet the safest option

Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Having gone the way of high-class colts such as Teofilo, New Approach and Cape Blanco in the past five years, this afternoon's Galileo EBF Futurity Stakes at The Curragh should be an informative affair.

Aidan O'Brien, who has won the Group Two on seven occasions, is responsible for three of this year's eight runners, while Jessica Harrington, successful in 2010 with Pathfork, is represented by the Leopardstown winner Dragon Pulse.

Of the remaining quartet, the Dermot Weld-trained Riviera Poet may be the pick. A promising third in the hot maiden that was won by Power at the Kildare track back in May, Riviera Poet confirmed his potential by impressively quickening a length clear of Learn at Galway last month. With the Ballydoyle runner-up since easing to a five-length triumph at Leopardstown, that form has a solid look to it.

Of O'Brien's trio here, the Seamie Heffernan-ridden David Livingston is the one to focus on. Well held on his debut, he collected in the style of a nice horse over today's course and distance in June, with Learn, makings its debut then, four lengths behind.

Taking the form literally, David Livingston should have Riviera Poet's measure, but it would also be fair to assume that Learn improved from his first run to his second. If that is the case, then it may be Weld and Pat Smullen who come out on top now.

Earlier, O'Brien and Heffernan ought to have little trouble securing The Irish Field St Leger Trial with Fame And Glory. A brilliant winner of the Ascot Gold Cup in June, the five-time Group One hero doesn't appear to face any legitimate threat here.

The preceding juvenile fillies' race might also go their way. Soon, which has come out on top the last two times that she has met today's rival Redoubtable, is probably the one to beat based on her sixth to Maybe in the Debutante Stakes a fortnight ago.

In the concluding fillies' maiden, it will be fascinating to see how the reappearing Puttore fares against a few useful race-fit rivals. Alabelle and Dreams And Desires have both shown some promise this term, but neither has displayed the level of performance that Puttore did in two starts last year.

On her Leopardstown debut, Kevin Prendergast's charge had five subsequent winners behind when she came up a length shy of Together. At The Curragh next time, she finished two short heads behind by the classy pair Wild Wind and Laughing Lashes.

Again, there were five winners of 11 later races trailing in her wake on that occasion, including none other than the four-time Group One scorer Misty For Me. With that in mind, Puttore is deserving of nap status to defy her 420-day lay-off.

Irish Independent

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