Weld's promising Pale Mimosa to prove cream of Vintage Crop
DERMOT WELD'S Pale Mimosa can add to her stable's whirlwind opening to the Flat season by foiling last year's St Leger hero Leading Light on its return at Navan tomorrow.
The classy Ballydoyle colt's prolific run came to an end in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, but he remains a cracking individual.
Despite the yard suffering from a bug early on, Aidan O'Brien managed to get the likes of Australia, Orchestra and Kingfisher in pretty mean order for their seasonal bows, so Leading Light could well be sufficiently fit to do himself justice.
However, for all that, the Group Three Vintage Crop Stakes is a valuable prize in its own right and it would be no surprise were a bit to be left on him ahead of a busy campaign. With that in mind, Pale Mimosa appeals as a viable alternative.
Johnny Murtagh's Royal Diamond, which had the filly back in fourth at Ascot in October, is another obvious danger, likewise Saddler's Rock, with Wayne Lordan replacing Declan McDonogh on John Oxx's gelding. However, Pale Mimosa is massively unexposed.
Successful over this mile-and-six-furlong trip in Listed company at Leopardstown in June, having won at the same level over 12 furlongs at York, she emerged from her Ascot defeat with tremendous credit.
On ground that was probably plenty soft for her, she came from stone-last late on off a steady early pace to be beaten less than two lengths.
Pale Mimosa is three pounds better off with Royal Diamond now, so Pat Smullen's mount is fancied to claim another significant triumph.
The same duo can take the card's first two maidens with Sailors Swan and Araner.
Sailors Swan is dropping back to five furlongs for the opener, having finished fourth in a decent event over seven on its only previous start at the Curragh in October.
Ebanoran, first past the post in the Derrinstown Stud Derby trial last Sunday, edged out Table Rock on that occasion, so there is every reason to believe that it was an above average contest.
Whether dropping down to the minimum trip will be a problem for Sailors Swan now is hard to say, as he appeared to stay perfectly well. If he has sufficient early toe, though, he could take a bit of stopping, and his pedigree isn't without more than a hint of pace.
O'Brien's Household Cavalry switches back after tiring on its recent Curragh bow over six, so he could be the main threat. Having swerved the Dante with Table Rock, the Rosegreen firm turn out the son of Fastnet Rock in a first-time visor in the concluding mile maiden here.
He should improve for his re-appearance second at Limerick to collect, while Dance With Another also isn't without a chance under Seamie Heffernan in the preceding handicap. Weld's stylish Gowran scorer Sereza is the danger, but Dance With Another is potentially well treated now that it drops markedly in class.
The day's nap vote goes to Tony Martin's The Plan Man at Limerick. Davy Russell's mount steps up in trip in the novice hurdle after finishing fourth to Arctic Fire in a decent contest at Punchestown. He travelled like a proper horse until proving one-paced at the death that day, so he should be good enough in this more modest affair.