Domestically, it’s an extremely busy domestic weekend with a two-day fixture at Cork. Naas race on Saturday whilst Leopardstown stage a flat meeting on Sunday.
At Cork’s Saturday fixture, East Beach looks the part in the three-mile Glantane Maiden Hurdle.
This Terence O’Brien-trained gelding, a dual point-to-point winner last season, has finished third on his two most recent starts and he ran a race rich in promise when occupying that position behind The Breathalyser on his most recent start in a three-mile Gowran Park maiden hurdle earlier this month. A sure stayer, East Beach also possesses plenty of speed and he’s selected to open his track account here at the expense of Limestone Cowboy.
The Shane Broderick-trained Premier Hero could prove worthy of support in the Mallow Hurdle over two miles. A former course and distance winner, Premier Hero was only beaten three and a half lengths into second spot in a Gowran Park handicap hurdle on April 2nd and he should go one better here by beating Save The Bacon.
Mystical Breeze and Monahullan Prince are a likely pair in the Killeagh Handicap Hurdle and Citizen Vic can conclude the afternoon on a profitable note for punters by disposing of City Meaning in the Killetra (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.
At Naas, the featured race is the Woodlands Stakes, a listed race over five furlongs, and Snaefell surely give an excellent account of himself here.
On his most recent start, Michael Halford’s grey won a six-furlong handicap at The Curragh on March 30th. Snaefell seems to have genuinely improved from last season and the four-year-old should have most to fear from Eric Alston’s British challenger Reverence.
Cuilaphuca could spring a mild surprise in the Summer Barbeque Evenings Handicap. On her most recent start, Cuilaphuca was beaten a length into third place off top-weight in a seven-furlong handicap at Leopardstown earlier this month. Whilst this race reflects a step-up in class, Cuilaphuca looks likely to see off Aidan O’Brien’s Port Of Spain, a three-year-old winner last term.
Meanwhile, Dermot Weld can continue his terrific start to the campaign by saddling Unwritten Rule to triumph in the Group 3 P.W. McGrath Memorial Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown. Unwritten Rule, a juvenile winner last season, valiantly rose his effort to beat Aidan O’Brien’s Classic aspirant Washington Irving by a short head in a three-year-old conditions race over 10 furlongs at this same venue on April 6th. Raised three lbs to a new mark of 100 for that effort, Unwritten Rule looks likely to have most to fear from Moiqen here.
Crooked Throw has been a magnificent servant to Charlie Swan and perhaps the Anshan-sired gelding can return to the coveted number one spot in the Heritage Stakes, a listed race over a mile. Crooked Throw made the best possible start to the campaign by winning the Irish Lincolnshire handicap over a mile at The Curragh in late March and the nine-year-old should continue on his merry way here at the expense of Tian Shan.
Dual purpose performer Jubilant Note should beat Raise A Row in the Pinewood Handicap and Trikirk has Balakan to contend with in the closing Oakfield Handicap.
Back at Cork, Carrigeen King is put forward as the solution to the Kanturk Maiden Hurdle. The Dick Lalor-trained homebred Carrigeen King went down fighting when beaten a length and a quarter into second place by Front Man in a two and a half mile maiden hurdle at Thurles on March 27th. A reproduction of that effort should see Carrigeen King disposing of Shady Willow here.
War Of The World is the most likely winner of the O’Flynn Construction Novice Handicap Chase. War Of The World, trained by ‘Mouse’ Morris, has been mixing it with quite good company of late and on his most recent start, he was only beaten three and a half lengths into third place by the vastly more-experienced The Joker in a two and a half mile novice handicap chase at Fairyhouse over the Easter period. War Of The World was raised two lbs for that display to a new mark of 112 and the six-year-old should prove capable of mastering Outlaw Princess.
For Real can continue trainer Adrian Maguire’s excellent run by dismissing All Heart in the Newmarket Handicap Hurdle whilst the same handler could complete a double courtesy of his Bandon maiden point-to-point winner Mr Warbucks in the Mitchelstown (Pro/Am) INH Flat Race.
Guineas trials at Newbury
This Saturday is a quite important one in Britain with the Guineas trials scheduled to take place at Newbury.
The Group 3 Bathwick Tyres Greenham Stakes is the colts’ trial and Sir Gerry could possibly provide the solution to this extremely-competitive looking seven furlong contest. Sir Gerry won the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes at York for trainer James Fanshawe last season and the Carson City-sired colt is recommended to excel from Red Alert Day.
Trainer John Gosden and jockey Jimmy Fortune are a formidable combination and perhaps the duo can collect the Group 3 Dubai Duty Free Fred Darlings Stakes (the fillies’ trial) with Michita. The American-bred daughter of Barbaro’s sire Dynaformer won her sole start last season and she looks likely to see off Mick Channon’s seasonal debutante Nahoodh.
Alan Swinbank can continue his excellent run by saddling Alfie Flits to triumph from Red Rocks in the Group 3 Dubai Tennis Championship John Porter Stakes whilst Cape Hawk and Sound Of Nature are a likely pair in the Bloor Homes Spring Cup.
The British jumps season is fast winding down and the Coral Scottish National, the penultimate big race of the jumps campaign, takes place on Saturday at Ayr. The French-bred Miko de Beauchene has been a huge credit to Robert and Sally Alner all season winning two out of his four starts including the Welsh National and the eight-year-old should prove capable of staying the extended four mile trip here. Therefore, Miko de Beauchene looks likely to dispose of Old Benny.
Noland possible found the two miles of the Grade 1 Arkle Chase too short for him at Cheltenham when finishing third to Tidal Bay. Noland however should be ideally suited by the two and a half miles of the Grade 2 Ashleybank Investments Future champions’ Novice Chase and the son of Exit To Nowhere should have most to fear from Blaeberry. Meanwhile, Khachaturian can continue trainer Donald McCain’s excellent season by beating top-weight Straw Bear in the Grade 2 Samsung Electronics Scottish Champion Hurdle.