Plenty of punters will be pinning their hopes on Eziyra in the 7f fillies maiden (6.15) today and I hope they’re right! She does look be our best chance of the day but I would be far more confident had she secured a better draw as stall 11 of 15 is obviously not ideal.
The draw at Galway is more important than anywhere else, especially over 7f, and it won’t be easy for Pat [Smullen] to find cover. I have to be honest with you all and let you know that she is a very excitable filly and she gets very nervous. She did run a nice race first time out at Tipperary but, if I’m being completely honest, I am not sure it was a particularly good maiden. It wasn’t a bad one but I doubt it was a great one either.
It is not all bad news, though, as I feel Eziyra is a really progressive filly who should have plenty to offer going forward. She has certainly progressed since Tipperary and learned from the experience. She is a filly I like and hopefully she can follow in the footsteps of some lovely fillies like Tarfasha, Zaminast, Rare Ransom, Campfire Glow and Supposition who have won this maiden for us in the last decade.
We have not got much luck with Sikandarabad on the draw front either as he has been boxed in stall nine of ten in the 7f maiden (6.50). He is no star and will need everything to go his way so I certainly wasn’t thrilled when I saw where he was drawn. He has been slow to come to hand, hence why you have not seen him for over a year. He is an idle type of horse and I have a feeling that a visor will give him more confidence.
While the draw was not kind to us in the aforementioned maidens, we have got lucky in the feature Colm Quinn BMW Mile (7.20) as Ashraf will come out of one and Karalara has got stall three.
The rain has come in the nick of time for Ashraf who will definitely appreciate an ease in the ground. I thought the handicapper was very harsh for putting him up 5lb for winning a small four-runner contest at Gowran Park. Forget his run at Leopardstown the last day as nothing went right. He was bottled up on the inner the whole way up the home straight and never got out.
He has plenty of weight, though, and it looks a really hot renewal of the race with Group winners and Listed winners everywhere you look so it is hard to know whether the negatives outweigh the positives.
Karalara is a nice filly who won an average maiden at Navan and she looks to have it all to do. It is a tough race for a three-year-old filly but she is progressive and Leigh Roche should enjoy a nice spin off her.
We have won the 2m handicap (8.20) five times in the last seven years but I have a confession to make. The only reason why Monocle runs here is because we have absolutely nothing else for the race. That is the long and the short of it.
He is no Voleuse De Coeurs [won the race in 2012] anyway, that’s for sure. The problem is that we have had such a wonderful spring and early summer so far that we have used up all of our ammunition for races like this. To be fair to Monocle, he has shown glimpses of promise in maidens and I have a feeling he will enjoy himself stepping up to two miles. There is lots of stamina in his pedigree so two miles might just be the making of him. Let’s hope so, but I can assure you that him turning up in this race is no grand masterplan.
The 7f handicap (7.50) looks a very competitive and trappy contest for the grade and I think the handicapper has probably got Malinka spot on. She won on deplorable ground at Limerick but that was a desperate maiden and, while she has a degree of ability, I would suggest that she has an each-way chance at best.
Originally Published in the Racing Post