Could There Be Cheltenham Gems Unearthed At Naas?
Naas could unearth a couple of Cheltenham contenders on Sunday with two interesting Grade 3 races.
Espoir D’allen holds a Champion Hurdle entry and albeit in his toughest assignment yet, he should make it seven wins from eight starts for Gavin Cromwell. BoyleSports ambassador Robbie Power may well find himself on a nice novice chaser to look forward to.
Power to be Dreaming at Naas
The three mile Naas Racecourse Business Club Novice Chase looks a hotly contested race but the Henry de Bromhead-trained Chris’s Dream should hold his form.
Chris’s Dream recorded a 64-length victory in a Grade 3 hurdle last season before going to Cheltenham where he disappointed in the Albert Bartlett.
As has been the case with many horses this season, de Bromhead has been forced to keep his power dry with Chris’s Dream and wait for an ease in the ground but it was encouraging to see that he doesn’t need it soft or heavy when winning on yielding ground at Navan last month.
Chris’s Dream was allowed to boss the race on his chasing debut by Power and it was an impressive display considering the runner-up had previous experience over fences and has gone out and won since.
Shady Operator who was third that day has also come out and won since so the form has worked out well but like so many of the de Bromhead horses Chris’s Dream can be expected to make a good leap forward from that first outing of the campaign and it would be a surprise if he didn’t book his trip back to Cheltenham in this hot little race.
Take a chance on Townend in penultimate race
Stowaway Forever has been somewhat frustrating to follow despite the fact that he is rarely out of the frame.
The brother to Champagne Fever was an impressive point-to-point winner a few years ago and despite running well in good company he has just not managed to open his account on the track just yet.
Dropped in last time out by Townend at Fairyhouse, the grey rallied well near the end and was never nearer than he was at the line so shouldn’t be discounted here.
This is a similar heat and he faces a couple of the same rivals again. Things will have to fall right for Stowaway Forever but he ran well in a handicap hurdle at Naas before and earlier this season he was just beaten two and a half lengths in a handicap chase so with the cheek pieces back on today he is worth sticking with.
Local runner can land finale
An Fraoch Mor will have the shortest distance to travel to the races at Naas today and Ross O’Sullivan’s rare bumper runner can build on the promise he showed first time out.
O’Sullivan wouldn’t have a lot of runners in bumpers but An Fraoch Mor really caught the eye at Fairyhouse on debut.
Barry O’Neill looks a significant jockey booking now and while no Naas bumper is ever easy to win, on evidence we do have An Fraoch Mor looks to have solid claims and should be a decent price.
Chris’s Dream 3/1 – 2.20 Naas
Stowaway Forever 6/1 – 3.50 Naas
An Fraoch Mor 13/2 – 4.20 Naas
*Prices correct at time of publication