Gary O'Brien: My weekend picks for Navan and Fairyhouse
In his weekly Betway blog, the Irish racing broadcaster previews the racing at Navan on Saturday and Fairyhouse on Sunday.
Fairyhouse on Sunday
The feature race of the day is the Group 3 Brownstown Stakes (16:15), where you’d have to be very respectful of Affagato, who is on a hat-trick.
However, the percentage call is for Henry de Bromhead’s STAR GIRLS AALMAL who, although not far beaten in the Jersey at Royal Ascot, was still slightly disappointing. This looks like a good opportunity for her to get back to winning ways, though, and I expect she’ll be tough to beat.
AREILLE is a course-and-distance winner who might appreciate being back at this track in the 15:40. She was a shade disappointing last time where the ground may have ended up a little easier than ideal.
Billy Lee rides her who is having a great season so far. He would have had the choice of a couple in this, so him choosing her is positive affirmation.
Navan on Saturday
TIR TAIRNGIRE ran well on his debut in a strong race at Cork. He showed up well for a large part of the race and wasn’t knocked about in the final furlong.
I’d say he’ll come on plenty for that and would be unlucky to run into something of the calibre of Badb this time. He was nibbled at in the betting on his debut and can get off the mark here (13:37).
Jessie Harrington had a great time of it on so Thursday night. Her horses are in great form and FUMATA is another who can continue that good run (15:57).
He was a real eye-catcher on his debut when he only got the message late on and went into plenty of notebooks. On his second start – and only one since – he beat the well-touted Waterville. He was due to run at Roscommon last week, but the ground turned against him.
While the drop back in trip wouldn’t be overly ideal, doing it on a stiff track like Navan might not be too bad. He could be another good one for the yard.
There are a few in the 17:07 who have the potential to be better than their marks – especially Arriba, who is trained by Willie Mullins. He’s well-related to plenty of winners and could obviously be a handicap blot, but I’m going to side with Dermot Weld’s GOLDFINCH .
She’s very well-bred – you don’t see many of Frankel’s running off a mark off 55 in a handicap! She ran well on her debut and it’s fair to say she hasn’t run up to that since but, in a first-time handicap with first-time blinkers and with the promising young rider Jake Coen booked to take 7lb off, I think she’s the one I’d take a chance on.
One for the notebook
I’ve had Emily Dickinson in my notebook for a little while now and I think her performance at Leopardstown on Thursday night was very good. She was actually a little unlucky not to win, but the eventual winner Roscarbery got rolling before her.
She’s still in the Irish Oaks and, if she pitches up in that – albeit against Emily Upjohn who will be tough to beat – I wouldn’t be in any rush to dismiss her. We really haven’t seen the best of her yet.