Thursday 19 April 2018

Zaralabad can step up to Plate

Thomas Kelly

Down Royal hosts a seven-race card today and Charlie Swan, fresh from his victory in the Leger Legends race at Doncaster on Wednesday, saddles Zaralabad in the feature Her Majesty's Plate.

The six-year-old has to concede weight all round but appeared to win with a bit up his sleeve at Bellewstown last month and might be hard to beat again.

Fellow last-time-out scorers Myrine and Knight Eagle must be feared, especially Myrine, which hacked up in a two-mile race at Wexford a fortnight ago and remains open to considerable further improvement.

In the opening race, John Oxx's Natalisa has a chance to prove her Naas flop in July was an anomaly. That followed a highly promising debut second at Fairyhouse and the daughter of Green Desert is worth another chance here, with the likes of Catalpa Sail and Eastern Light looking relatively exposed.

The betting market will inevitably provide significant clues in the Lunn's The Jewellers Diamond Nursery Handicap, with the vast majority of the field having their first try in a race of this nature. Blue Cannon, Port Elizabeth and Bleuker are three to note closely.

Great Realief is the obvious one in the Cruise Handicap following a pleasing third behind Ultra Cool at Roscommon last time, while the Derrinstown Stud Apprentice Handicap looks a reasonable opportunity for Champion Boy to supplement last month's Curragh triumph over the reopposing Shahrafi.

My Blue Heaven has been holding her form really well in recent months and seems sure to be involved in the finish of the concluding Victoria Square Irresistible Handicap, but don't rule out improvement from the lightly raced filly Viennese Whirl, which steps up markedly in trip.

Irish Independent

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