Sea Siren to prove potent force on debut for O'Brien
SEA SIREN, a three-time Group One-winning sprinter in her native Australia, makes her debut for Aidan O'Brien in the Listed Belgrave Stakes over six furlongs at Fairyhouse tomorrow.
Coolmore's exciting Fastnet Rock five-year-old shaped with plenty of encouragement when eighth to Lethal Force in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes for her former trainer at Royal Ascot, racing prominently until inside the final furlong.
Although there are a number of capable sorts among her seven opponents for this €40,000 showpiece, it's fair to say that few of them would be up to competing so well at that level, so Joseph O'Brien's mount should win.
Nocturnal Affair and Boston Rocker are two of the better rivals Sea Siren faces, but Russian Soul is her chief danger. Mick Halford's son of Invincible Spirit ran Slade Power – last year's winner of this – to a half a length at the Curragh last time.
That form gives him a chance on the basis that Slade Power was a neck ahead of Sea Siren when conceding 3lb at Ascot. If the form were to translate literally, Russian Soul could shade this now that he receives 2lb from Sea Siren.
However, the suspicion is that Sea Siren will prove a more potent force now that she lines out for O'Brien with the benefit of an outing in this part of the world.
The elite Ballydoyle father-son axis is also trusted to deliver tomorrow's nap courtesy of Kingdom in the concluding 12-furlong maiden.
On his return to the Flat, Dermot Weld's hitherto out-of-sorts hurdler Hisaabaat is especially interesting ahead of the impending Galway Festival, but the six-runner affair otherwise lacks real depth.
Kingdom, a full and three-parts Montjeu brother to Group One winners Jan Vermeer and Together respectively, is the one with scope to eventually rise above this grade.
The Curragh maiden winner has finished second in both his starts this term, latterly going down by a head to Weld's useful Pay Day Kitten in heavy ground at Tipperary in early May. He reappears now off a 5lb higher mark in first-time blinkers, and is fancied to make short work of his opposition.
In the opening juvenile maiden, Johnny Murtagh's Pillow will be popular now that she drops back to six furlongs after just running out of puff here over seven last time, but Willie McCreery's Colour Blue is preferred under Gary Carroll.
Chinned by Wonderfully over course and distance on its second start, McCreery's filly ran a blinder to be fourth in the Group Three that Bye Bye Birdie won at the Curragh on Irish Derby weekend. If she replicates the standard of those two performances now, she will surely forfeit her eligibility for this type of race.
At Sligo, Weld and Ruby Walsh can take the novices' hurdle with Diplomat, while Millie Le Bach is the chief fancy on what is another busy jumps card.
Trained in Waterford by Thomas Cummins, Andrew Lynch's partner has already won a point-to-point and bumper on a quick surface, and she is one of the few with proven ability in the mares' maiden hurdle.