Thursday 19th July 2018
The Meld Stakes takes centre stage this evening over at Leopardstown and it’s a Group 3 affair that’s ridden over a distance of a mile and a furlong.
Unfortunately the field has now been broken down to just the four runners following the withdrawal of Brendan Brackan and we’re now left with what looks like a two horse race on paper by Dermot Weld’s Hazapour and Deauville for Aiden O’Brien.
We last saw Hazapour when finishing fifth in the Derby behind the likes of Masar, Dee Ex Bee, Roaring Lion and Saxon Warrior. He ran a solid race that day and hit the front in the straight before just failing to see out the trip. On his penultimate start he went on to claim the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Stakes when lowering the colours of the likes of The Pentagon and Delano Roosevelt. Frankie Dettori reunites his partnership with the Dermot Weld charge and he’s a general 4/6 chance.
What looks to be his main rival on paper is Deauville representing the conquering Ballydoyle. This is a horse that has taken his place in some of the hottest contests all around the world and is a tough nut to crack when on a going day. He’s been poor on his last few starts and was last seen when finishing down the field in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot. He’s not won in a while, since winning the Huxley at Chester in May 2017 to be precise but this is an ease in Grade this evening and with Donnacha O’Brien on board he could well bounce back to winning ways.
Curly and Turret Rocks make up the field, Curly also representing Aiden O’Brien and Turret Rocks for Jim Bolger respectively. Curly won a Gowran Park maiden when last seen and will need to step up markedly whereas Turret Rocks has dined in top contests before but hasn’t been the most frequent of winners of late.
Due to not quite knowing which Deauville you going to get I think the progressive HAZAPOUR is more than good enough to win this. Back down in trip it would be very disappointing if he can’t put in a bold showing for his powerful connections.
Hazapour – (4/6)
6.05 – Channel Stuffer (7/4)
6.40 – Tush (13/2) (E/W)
7.15 – Hazapour (4/6)
7.50 – Waikuku (5/4)
8.25 – Premier League (5/1)