Irish Eyes: Eba hopeful

  • By: Irish Eyes
  • Last Updated: June 29 2014, 11:16 BST

Ebanoran is the confident nap choice today in the Group 3 Friarstown Stud International Stakes this afternoon.

Ambivalent is a strong fancy for the Pretty Polly
Ambivalent is a strong fancy for the Pretty Polly

Forget the form line when he beat Fascinating Rock and Geoffrey Chaucer when first past the post in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial – he is a better horse than that bare result and far superior to either of that pair. 

Additionally, although he was disqualified in that Group 3 event, it actually works to his advantage there today as he avoids a three pound penalty as a result. 

Ebanoran next ran respectably in the Epsom Derby to finish ninth, despite not seeing out the trip and he has since sparkled in two pieces of work, proving he came out of the race very well. 

On handicap ratings, he is the joint-highest rated horse in the field with Parish Hall at 112 and the Bolger-trained colt takes a big drop in class here, having contested the Prince of Wales’s at Royal Ascot last time out. 

However, Ebanoran receives a stone from Parish Hall today who therefore looks up against it, which could see the third choice in the market, Mekong River, filling the runner-up spot. 

In any event, Ebanoran returns to his favoured 10 furlongs trip today and he should take this Group 3 with ease before tackling stronger company in future. Take advantage of Sky Bet's Price Boost.

Ambivalent gets the next best vote to record her second consecutive victory in the Group 1 Newbridge Silverware Pretty Polly Stakes. 

Irish 1000 Guineas winner Marvellous takes the eye as the highest rated filly in the race and in receipt of the 3yo allowance today she comes out clear best at the weights. However there is the suspicion that she is better with an ease in the ground and given there has been no overnight rain, she is passed over (and perhaps may not even be chanced on today’s good to firm?). 

That brings us back to Ambivalent. 

Having taken this last year she went from strength to strength and her best performance by a country mile came in Dubai in March where she ran a two-length third to Gentildonna and Cirrus Des Aigles in the Sheema Classic. 

If either of those stars turned up in this event, they would be long odds-on which makes the current 11/4 available about Ambivalent looks like one of the best value prices seen for some time – take the prices and get on early. 

Following her stint in Dubai, Ambivalent then reverted to fillies and mare company when taking the Group 2 Middleton Stakes at York prior to taking on the boys again in the Coronation Stakes at Epsom, where she finished third behind Cirrus Des Aigles and Flintshire. 

Today she returns to the scene of her only Group 1 win and although she is not always the most straightforward in preliminaries (she is after all by Authorized!), Ambivalent thankfully has yet to display any of those wayward tendencies whilst she is racing and in fact, looks nothing but a model of toughness and class. 

It is very difficult to envisage anything other than a second Group 1 win for her here today.

Nap: Ebanoran, 3.45 The Curragh

Next Best: Ambivalent, 4.20 The Curragh