This is the first flat maiden at Cork this year, see our betting tips and the full race preview below.
IN SUMMARY: The Aidan O’Brien trained Venezuela should be a short price in this but there’s a question mark regarding this drop back in trip and it could pay to take a chance on SHAMAD. He shouldn’t be too inconvenienced by the step back in trip to 7 furlongs and his trainer is very capable of having one ready first time out. He’s a more attractive price in this and there should be more to come from him now starting his 3yo career.
1 FOR THREE – Was picked up for a decent 20,000GNS as a yearling but he’s struggled badly in two Dundalk maidens and looks up against it here. He’s been tried over 6 furlongs and a mile and on both starts he looked all at sea (sent off 66/1 twice) and it would be a major surprise to see him win this. Trainer has a 3% strike rate here and others readily preferred.
2 KINGWILLIAMSTOWN – Has transferred hands plenty of times already and he was beaten out of sight on his sole start at Cork last year. He was sent off at 80/1 and ran like that price suggested, finishing last of fourteen beaten 30 lengths. He’s related to a couple of modest performers but he would be another surprise winner of this for a trainer without a win in 6 attempts here.
3 MAXIMUS DAIA – Half-brother to a nice sort who achieved an official rating of 100. He’s by Holy Roman Emperor so he’s going to enjoy trips further than this and he’s unlikely to be seen to best effect on today’s Heavy ground. He’s run twice over the distance finishing 18 and 13 lengths behind the winner on each occasion and he’s one for handicaps later in the season.
4 MUJAAFY – Picked up for a very cheap 2,500GNS as a 2yo and this Hard Spun gelding is tricky to make a case for on racecourse debut. He’s out of an un-raced mare and his sire was a dirt performer so it’s difficult to know what to expect from him on this Heavy ground at Cork today. Best avoided here for a horse that may want further.
5 PECHEURS DE PERLES – Henry De Bromhead is not renowned for flat runners and it’s interesting he trains this son of Pour Moi. He showed clear improvement last time out in December when he finished fourth in a fourteen-strong field, beaten just over 3 lengths. That showed ability, but most importantly improvement and it’ll be interesting to see if that translates to the turf now back in trip. One of the more likelier winners in this.
6 SHAMAD – Dermot Weld has an excellent 24% strike rate here at Cork from 85 runners and he fields this interesting colt. He made a nice introduction to racing on Good to Firm ground at the Curragh back in October of last year and he finished behind some nice types. There should be more to come now he’s making his 3yo debut although he’s by Shamardal and a drop back in trip wouldn’t be the most ideal move. Interesting.
7 VENEZUELA – Finished 1/2 a length behind Eagle Spirit back in June of last year on Good ground and that rival has gone on to be an average runner rated 90. The form itself is more than enough to see him win this although it’s interesting he’s been off the track since that run. He’s by Galileo and is obviously very well-bred although he’s another that steps down in trip which wouldn’t have been the most obvious move. Likely to be very popular. Hood is applied today.
8 VOCAL RESPONSE – Half-brother to some average types over further and he ran a below average race on debut. He finished eighth of ten, beaten 16 1/2 lengths having been sent off 22/1 and there should be more to come this season although this ground is a slight question mark having run poorly in similar conditions before. Interesting if there’s market support but others preferred for a trainer without a win from eleven runners in the last 14 days.
9 WEE JOCK – Half-brother to a mare that won over 1m 1f on her second start on Soft ground. He went unsold as a yearling and he’s another in this field sired by Pour Moi. He’ll want further than this in time and is best watched with that in mind for a yard that have sent out one winner from 15 runners here at Cork.