Thursday 16th August 2018
The Desmond Stakes takes which is a Group Three affair contested over a mile takes centre stage on another top drawer Thursday evening of racing in Ireland at Leopardstown.
This year’s renewal see’s quite a strong presence from the UK with a couple of English raiders sitting prominently in the betting, these of course come in the form of Masaarr for Roger Varian and Escobar for David O’Meara who has a good record in the race. Masaarr comes in here in good form and off the back of a Listed success in France when beating the smart First Contact, he’s generally a consistent sort at this type of level and this is reflected in his position in the betting. He can be found trading at a general 7/2 and is the mount of Colin Keane. Escobar has also been in good form since going to David O’Meara, he’s been plying his trade in Handicap company for this yard and will need to step up when it comes to ratings but he’s a more than capable sort on his day. He can be found in the betting around the 6/1 mark and is the mount of Danny Tudhope.
The Ballydoyle representatives here come in the form of St Patrick’s Day and Threeandfourpence. St Patrick’s Day appears to be the first string here, the brother of American Pharoah has yet to really shine for Aiden O’Brien but if getting his temperament right here he could well be involved at the business end of things. He can be found trading at a general 9/2 and is the mount of Donnacha O’Brien. Threeandfourpence is looking to bounce back after a fairly flat performance when favourite in Group 3 company at Goodwood the last day, however he is a smart type on his day and can’t be ruled out. He’s around the 8/1 mark and is the mount of Seamie Heffernan.
Other ones to note here look to be firstly Zihba (6/1) who won three on the bounce including a Group 3 contest over course and distance before being slightly outclassed the Irish 2,000 Guineas. Xenobia (7/1) comes here off the back of a victory in Group Three company when beating Could It Be Love and is a live player on that form whereas other notable representatives look to come in the form of Pincheck for Jessica Harrington and the Godolphin charge Zorion. All in all, a very competitive renewal of which a case could be made for the most. Certainly looks to be a hot Group Three.
I’m going to side with the consistent MASAARR for Roger Varian. I still don’t think we’ve quite seen the best of this one and I think he can once again get involved and play a part here with the very talented Colin Keane on board.
1st: MASAAR (7/2)
2nd: ZIHBA (6/1)
3rd: THREEANDFOURPENCE (8/1)
5.15: Fire Fly (9/4)
(Sets the standard and should be going close here, well related sort.)
5.45: Ducky Mallon (11/2) (E/W)
(Won this race off considerably lower last year, talented claimer on too taking off seven today, player from good draw.)
6.15: Castle Guest (10/1) (E/W)
(On a decent mark and generally likes it around here, drawn well and could bounce back.)
7.20: Masaar (7/2)
(Consistent sort at today’s kind of level and every chance of going close today.)