NAAS Sat: We’re on the Flat from Naas this Saturday, where there’s a competitive seven-race card.
⭕ Racing begins with a fillies’ maiden (2:10pm) over 5f. Heavenly Being is a newcomer of particular note, being a half-sister to Group 1 winner No Speak Alexander and it will be interesting to see how Jessica Harrington’s runner goes on debut. Ger Lyon’s Storm Miami, a daughter of Blue Point, is also worth monitoring for signs of support in the market. However, experience might prove vital and Gavin Cromwell’s Clarita showed a high level of ability when bumping into useful rival Mysteries at Cork on debut. With that run behind her, she might now prove up to the task of going one better.
⭕ The second race is a median sires’ race (2:45pm) for two-year-olds whose sire’s yearlings had a median sales price of no more than €75,000. A field of 12 are set to go to post over 6f, and it should be an interesting contest with plenty of newcomers in the line-up. It’s hard to get away from the claims of Buyin Buyin though. Willie Browne’s runner was an impressive winner on debut at Dundalk over 5f in March and stepped up significantly on that when finishing a close fourth in the Group 3 Marble Hill stakes at the Curragh. That form has worked out well and, if running to that level again, he’ll prove hard to beat.
⭕ Next up is an apprentices’ handicap (3:20pm) over 6f. This is highly competitive stuff and it might pay to chance one of the handicap debutants in At Long Last. This daughter of Kodi Bear caught the eye on her first two starts when finishing fourth at Sligo over 5½f and fifth at Gowran over 7f. Both those races have thrown up winners that are rated considerably higher than her opening mark of 60, suggesting she could be well-treated. Conor Stone-Walsh takes off a handy seven pounds and she also has a good draw in stall three.
⭕ The 6f fillies’ and mares’ handicap (3:55pm) looks a chance for Natalia Lupini’s Talia to continue her progression after an impressive win last time out on handicap debut. This Zoustar filly travelled notably well throughout that contest and comfortably went clear of a big field to win by three lengths. That came over 7f, but she certainly looks to have the speed for this drop back in trip and, despite a 12lb rise in the weights, could be capable of winning again.
⭕ A field of only six are set to line up in the 7f maiden (4:30pm) and it may pay to concentrate on the four newcomers. Aidan O’Brien won this race last year with a certain Auguste Rodin, so his runner Henry Adams must be of strong interest. However, there may be more value to be had with Jessica Harrington’s Siyouni colt Versatile, who is closely related to Dewhurst winner Intense Focus and fetched €525,000 as a yearling.
⭕ The 5:05pm is a rated race over 7f. Red Letter Bray has to be forgiven a poor run last time and carries more weight than most of his five rivals, so that could leave the door open for the Joseph O’Brien-trained Vernet. This daughter of Caravaggio returned this season with a six-placed finish in a big handicap in May and built upon that when gamely making all to win in a small field at Fairyhouse last month. That success came under today’s rider Hugh Morgan, and it wouldn’t be a surprise were similar riding tactics to prevail once again.
⭕ The finale is a 1m2½f handicap (5:40pm) and looks a tough event to weigh up with many of the field’s 16 runners having struggled to get their heads in front. Katonah is more lightly raced than most and showed significant promise on handicap debut when staying on into fifth over a mile at Leopardstown last month. This daughter of Dark Angel looks to have stamina on her dam side, so should handle this step up in trip. Colin Keane is a notable booking for the Noel Meade yard.