A very interesting renewal of this Listed race, with Group 1 winner G Force putting in an improved performance last time out for Adrian Keatley who will be hoping he can get him back to his Group 1 winning form of old. Last year’s winner Fort Del Oro carries a 3lb penalty for winning a Listed race at Naas in July and hasn’t been in the last form as last year. Our tip for the race IN SALUTEM struggled on Heavy last time out (unsuitable ground) and will find conditions much more to his liking today. He won a valuable handicap at Ascot in August off 98 and has previously run well at the Curragh and could make this his first Listed success having placed here over 5f in a Group 2 less than a month ago.
1 NAMEITWHATYOULIKE – The second highest rated horse in the field but top weight because of a 3lb penalty for a Listed success at York last month, he ran well in the Ayr Gold Cup off 106 last time out and is in fine form. A rare Irish runner for Bryan Smart who has unlocked some extra ability this season from this 7 year old, he likes to lead or be up with the pace and could be able to snatch it from the front if Connor Beasley can time it right.
2 FLIGHT RISK – Has only managed to win twice in his 28 starts, but has been highly tried (25 starts in Stakes races) and has 7 seconds including in a Group 2. Likes cut in the ground and both wins have come in similar conditions. If replicating his Curragh Group 3 second from last month should win this but this is his 5th start since 3rd September.
3 G FORCE – Jet Setting has been Adrian Keatley’s stable star this season but he seems to be starting to get the best out of G Force with a 4th in the Ayr Gold Cup off 102 the best performance he’s put in for a considerable amount of time. Winner of the Betfred Sprint Cup back in September 2014 – receiving a BHA mark of 118 for that win – he’s struggled ever since but clearly still retains a lot of ability and could be a class above if his trainer has got him back to the force of old.
4 IN SALUTEM – One of only three Course & Distance winners in the field, his Shergar Cup Dash victory was a career best for this 6 year old and he followed that up with a good second at Navan ahead of some of the others who he faces again today. His run last time out on Heavy can be forgiven – 3 runs, no places on that ground – and he comes here in promising form having also finished 2nd here in June off 94. With question marks over a number of those ahead of him in the market and conditions to suit he is our tip at an Each Way price.
5 MASTER SPEAKER – Another Course & Distance winner, he’s rated considerably lower a number of others and has managed just two wins in his 41 starts (1 for 32 on the turf). A likeable handicapper who finished 2nd in a good handicap at Tipperary last time out, the trip should suit but he’s never managed to acquire a rating over 100 and will find a number too classy today.
6 TRIBAL PATH – Behind Master Speaker at Tipperary last time out off a mark of 88 despite carrying nearly a stone less and having to carry equal weights today, this 87 handicapper is towards the bottom of the official ratings and is out his depth here.
7 SHANGHAI GLORY – Just Charles Hills’ 10th Irish runner in the last 5 seasons, gets a 1lb allowance as a 3 year old over the older horses and has ben progressive through his 11 starts. Now rated 94, he was 4th in a messy race last time out at Doncaster having struggled on Good to Firm ground before that. If running to his Epsom form could grab a place at a big price but will find this company much tougher even if he does like softer ground (10th in his only attempt at a Class 1 race previously)
8 TIME TO REASON – Promising 3 year old rated 97 and with 2 wins to his name already in 8 starts, but only 5th in a conditions race at Dundalk getting a significant amount of weight off horses rated in the mid 90s. Had looked progressive until his last two starts and back at Curragh may be able to run into a place at a big price.
9 FORT DEL ORO – Filly who won this race last year for Edward Lynam, she’s struggled in better company at this race track on her last two starts including when 4th, over 4 lengths behind Flight Risk 2 weeks ago. Seems best suited by Good ground so won’t want too much cut but if getting that ground could have a say, having also won a Listed race here over 6 furlongs last October.
10 BYZANTIUM – 4 year old rated 88 (92 on the All Weather) but was rated 101 following a close 2nd in a Listed race at Naas last July on Good to Firm. Has been badly out of form since then, beating just 9 horses home in 5 starts this season. Blinkers and hood have both been tried and discarded and hopes are now pinned on first time visor but would want to see more before backing.
11 PEACEHAVEN – Transferred from Madame Brandt in France to Johnny Murtagh in July, won back to back races in summer at Naas off marks of 76 and 75 but has since been beaten in two races off a mark of 79 and will struggle in this company.
12 BEBHINN – Lightly raced 3 year old trained by Kevin Prendergast and ridden every start (including this) by Chris Hayes, she escapes a penalty as her Listed win was last year and races off joint bottom weight of 9 stone. Only had two starts this season, including a 5th here on Heavy behind Flight Risk and Fort Del Oro in a Group 3, but the ground will suit better today.
13 MISS ELIZABETH – Another for Edward Lynam, who has won this race three times in a row, she hasn’t seen the track since May and has generally found Graded company too competitive both at the end of last season and in his runs this spring. Another who needs to show more before being competitive at this level.
14 PETICOATGOVERNMENT – Rated 84 after 12 starts, beaten off marks of 87 and 85 on her last 3 starts and even off bottom weight holds no attraction in the betting at this level.