There looks actually a few potentially looking types that have landed entries for the Listed event. On paper Dermet Weld’s Embiran sets the standard after finishing behind Irish Guineas winner and third in Atwaad and Blue De Vega. On his sole juvenile run he was seen finishing second to Moonlight Magic who has since landed the Group 3 Derby trial.
Despite the form jumping out of the page here with Embiran, and am forced to look elsewhere with the likes of two nice looking types that should be involved here in Johnny Murtagh’s Yuften and Marc Halford’s ANAMBA. Out of the two fillies I would probably be with preference towards the Marc Halford runner, Anamba looked a useful juvenile when running behind Coolmore on both starts which included an half a length defeat in the Group 3 Weld Park Stakes. The fact he is a late foal by Shamardal I would be disappointing to not see more from her this year.
Yuften on the other hand has most recently joined Johnny Murtagh’s outfit at Co’Kildare and has shown a new lease of life from the new surroundings. The ex-William Haggas trained juvenile who was denied a runners up spot in the Group 1 Jean Prat last year and seemed to lose his way from that day. With two runs around the all weather at Dundalk has seemed to of done him good, and was a convincing winner by just under five lengths just over a month ago. Yuften was competing off marks of around 116 last year and has declined to a mark of just 104 for this Listed race, I think she will need time to come back in this kind of fold, but he is potentially a nice type on old form.
A good looking renewal here, and the strong vote goes to WASHINGTON DC, you could probably make excuses for the son of Zoffany who never really got his ground on most occasions as a juvenile, with both his wins coming on good – good to firm which included the Listed Windsor Castle Stakes last year at the Royal Meeting, he should be landing this on the bare form of his win in the Listed Power Stakes last time at Navan.
Jim Bolger’s Smash Williams looks the likely danger after his third in the Criterium in France at the back end of last season, the runner up was denied yesterday in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock when beaten by a useful type in Quiet Reflection, but I feel a benefit of a run will bring him on. Acclaim was impressive on his transition run when winning at Newmarket last month when beating Consulting Stakes placed Monteverdi, but I do have strong concerns over the quicker ground this afternoon.
This should be going to Ballydoyle this afternoon, with the two mentioned giving him more to do than his recent win, but if now fully wound up Washington DC should be thriving on this quicker surface.
Washington DC (WIN)
I would like to think that Ger Lyons TOCCATO BLUE can leave his seasons third well and truly behind him this afternoon. With spells around Dundalk over the winter which saw him finish in the frame on two occasions, his seasons re-appearance and first run back on turf since landing a good handicap at Leopardstown last June.
He is a 1lb lighter in the ratings for this which really should be exploited, his third to Don’t Bother Me at Leopardstown over a furlong less showed that this time around the cobwebs can seriously be blown away. Plough Boy was two and a quarter lengths ahead of the selection last time at Leopardstown when in receipt of 13lb, with a 6lb turn around in the favour of Toccato Blue this time the pair should be a lot closer and the form reversed.
Jessican Harrington’s yard is in fine form around both codes, and her representative here us Unyielding. The four year old got off the mark at the fourth attempt for the seasons when just holding on from Elusive Approach at Limerick last month. The runner up has recently been beaten at Tipperary and slight concerns on this quicker surface today.
Overall Toccato Blue should be coming on from his first run, steps back up to a mile and gets his quicker ground and should be exploiting his current mark, Unyielding has been consistent for a yard that has been going well over the past few months, but the main danger could come form once more Plough Boy.
TOCCATO BLUE (E/W)