O’Brien Commanding More Winners At Naas
Naas is the only show in town today and the latest reports on Friday evening suggest that British racing could be locked down until next weekend at the earliest which has to be a huge concern this close to the Cheltenham Festival.
The ITV Racing cameras will be showing Naas for the first time and that is a great boost to the Kildare track but a Cheltenham Festival candidate may be running before the terrestrial television coverage starts. City Island should win the first and book his place in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle but we won’t get rich backing him at 1/4.
O’Regan Can Get A Tune Out Of Murphy’s Leading Boy
There’s a few short priced runners at Naas today but in the O’Driscoll O’Neill Handicap Chase the top weight Velocity Boy is picked to see off his younger rivals.
Velocity Boy has only managed to win once over fences but is still rated 130 and must concede weight all around in this two and a half miler.
Tried over 3m5f in the Porterstown at Fairyhouse last time out, that marathon trip was probably just a shade too far for the 10-year-old and having won over two miles and two and a half miles on the track, this trip at Naas should be more to his comfort.
Denis O’Regan might opt to make the running on the four-time winner as all his wins have come when he raced prominently and his penultimate start in the Cork National saw him still holding a chance when crashing out at the second last fence.
Close Shave was second in this race last year and market moves should be watched there, while Scoir Mear in the same colours has threatened to win a race of this nature.
However, Velocity Boy has a bit of class when on song and can defy his weight carrying burden here.
O’Brien Commanding More Winners
Fresh from another treble at Dundalk last night Joseph O’Brien will go in search of more winners at Naas today and has strong claims for a JP McManus-owned double with promising juvenile Konitho and the four-year-old bumper horse Front View.
However at a big price Commandant should be considered in the Adare Manor Handicap Hurdle.
This opportunity race is for 7lbs claimers only and Commandant will be ridden by Hugh Morgan but…
possibly shouldn’t be a 10/1 shot in a wide open heat.
A winner on his first start for Joseph O’Brien, Commandant won nicely on quick ground at Thurles over two miles and tried to win again at the same track under a penalty the following week.
Commandant unseated Rachael Blackmore on that occasion when badly hampered and then ran the following day at Limerick but pulled up.
That was back in November and, freshened up now since then, Commandant might be able to prove that he is capable of overcoming the 9lbs hike he got for that Thurles win on similarly nice ground.
Velocity Boy (5/1) – 3.10 Naas
Commandant (10/1) – 3.40 Naas
*Prices correct at time of publication.