The leading Irish pundit has two fancies on today’s high-class card at Leopardstown – check out his tips.
1pt e.w. Safari Quest in 2.35 Leopardstown at 4/1 (General 1/5 1,2,3)
1pt e.w. Shamayan in 3.10 Leopardstown at 17/2 (Sky Bet 1/5 1,2,3,4,5)
A very interesting Wednesday afternoon card at Leopardstown and the first two maidens tend to have produced some decent horses in the corresponding races over the year.
I’m not sure the first has an Oaks-type candidate in the line-up but it’ll be a race to watch with interest either way.
The second looks really good and Southern Lights almost made my 30 to follow list given his eyecatching debut run for Joseph O’Brien last season. He and King Of The Castle hold Derby entries are merit close consideration in this company.
King Of The Castle is probably worth forgiving his second run which came quite quickly on the back of his debut fourth but with one or two of Aidan’s three-year-olds improving for the run I’m going to take on the top two in the betting.
SAFARI QUEST shaped quite well on debut here last year despite finishing a long way behind recent Ballysax winner Bolshoi Ballet, and Ger Lyons’ horses have really hit the ground running this time around.
He was green first time out but stayed on to be beaten eight and a half lengths. He’s from a good family which includes a few that Ger knows well. At each-way odds he’s worth a play.
There’s a wide open handicap at 3.10 but I’m very interested in SHAMIYAN, who was last seen winning at Dundalk over a mile and a half. He beat two subsequent winners quite snugly despite the neck winning margin suggesting he didn’t have anything to spare.
He’s only gone up 4lb for that. Given he’s only had seven career starts to date and he’s yet to encounter good ground, there could be more improvement to come.
The way he travels over a mile and a half, always seemingly in his comfort zone, I don’t expect the drop in trip to be an issue at all here, while the stable having another handicap winner recently can’t be a bad sign.
There are five places on offer with a few firms and that’s the way to play it.
In opposition, Meliferous might just need a bit further and Jessie Harrington’s lightly-raced Forbearance is drawn out wide in stall 18.
Lope Y Fernandez is the main attraction in the feature Heritage Stakes. He’s first time back over a mile in Europe since the Irish Guineas, having run a superb race to be third in Keeneland when last seen. He was held up by Frankie Dettori and finished up well despite some traffic problems in the run.
He’s very interesting as a four-year-old but might just be worth opposing over the mile around this track first time out.
If Ancient Spirit – he hung his chance away here last August – comes around the bend well and runs straight it could be the right race for him to get back on track.
Mr Wendell is also worthy of interest if you’re looking to take on the favourite but for me it’s probably a no-bet race at current odds.
Published at 1040 BST on 14/04/21
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