Trainer Jim Bolger has been hitting the high spots recently and he should be on the mark with Reiteration in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial at Leopardstown tomorrow.
A decent two-year-old, Reitieration started this season in March when scoring at the Curragh before impressing in the Classic trial at Gowran Park.
Admittedly he has the inevitable big guns of Aidan O’Brien to contend with and, clearly, O’Brien has a major chance with At First Sight who was second last time out in the Ballysax Stakes at Leopardstown.
O’Brien’s Rocket Man ran a stinker in the Chester Vase this week and this followed on the disappointment surrounding St Nicholas Abbey when sixth in last week’s 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket. However, he remains the market leader for the Epsom Derby.
O’Brien is a trainer you can never write off and At First Sight, who is one of two O’Brien runners in the race, appears to be better value than Midas Touch the choice of Johnny Murtagh.
However, all things being equal the Bolger team are set to continue in a winning role which is their forte at this time of the season.
I believe Reiteration will follow up on his Gowran Park effort and make it three wins in a row.
Meanwhile Dermot Weld looks like being on the mark in the Amethyst Stakes with Famous Name who was succesful at the most recent Leopardstown meeting when winning the Listed Heritage Stakes from Recharge.
He drifted in price that day from 4-7 to 11-10 but coasted home and afterwards Kris Weld, son of the trainer, said: “That was a very good performance from a very good horse.
“We were taking a bit of a chance because the ground was quicker than he really likes.”
Pat Smullen said: “He's in good form and I was very impressed by his comeback win in Leopardstown a couple of weeks ago.
“He's in great shape and I'm looking forward to riding him again this weekend.
“I just got beaten on him in the French Derby as a three-year-old and he's not far off Group One level. I would say the aim would be for him to win a Group One somewhere this year.”
Famous Name faces just four rivals — Duff, Big Robert, King Jock and Rose Hip — in opposition.
The Irish 1000 Guineas trial should see Bolger back in the winner’s enclosure with Atasari while he also has an excellent chance with Carraiglawn in the Join the Tote Go Racing Maiden.
Over at Killarney, on the first day of the festival, the one to watch out for is Jim Lambe’s Natal who goes in the Leanes Tool Hire & Scaffolding Chase.
Killarney also sees other potential winners in Lethal Weapon for Christie Roche in the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle.
l TOP trainer Noel Meade ended a baron spell of two months without a winner when he landed a double at Downpatrick last night.
Meade began his lucky evening in the opening race this Sea Graham Bookmakers maiden hurdle when Accord and then Aris were successful and he followed up with Byeforthepresent in the Heart of Down maiden hurdle.
Mina Carberry continued her high strike rate at the course when riding Byeforthepresent.