Four to focus on at Leopardstown

Four to focus on at Leopardstown

After a tricky Punchestown tipping-wise, it was good to be back amongst the winners in this column on Monday, where he had a hat-trick of winning selections back on the flat at the Curragh.

Maintaining the flat racing theme, Sunday’s racing in Ireland comes from Leopardstown, where we have a classy card and should get some clues towards the Derby and Royal Ascot, with some blue-blooded individuals on display.

Waterville should have learned from debut

Putting this column together before the majority of races are priced up is always a little speculative, but I’m hoping that our first selection will be a backable price in the 1m 4f maiden at 15:00.

Waterville went into his debut at the Curragh last month with a tall reputation but ultimately shaped as if the experience would bring him on when third to Glory Daze having been sent off odds-on.

Ryan Moore’s mount was a little unlucky not to finish closer to the winner, getting trapped in a pocket a couple of furlongs from home before staying on when the race was all but over.

On paper, First Emperor looks almost as promising as the selection and I’m hoping his presence in the race will make the market for Waterville, who holds some fancy entries and will need to be taking this well to justify the hopes connections clearly harbour for him.

Dermot Weld charge to go one better

The 1m 4f handicap at 15:35 has an interesting shape to it and I’m very keen to be with Enthrallment, who showed plenty of promise when second in a similar race over 1m2f here last time.

Dermot Weld’s son of Fastnet Rock didn’t get the best of runs that day but finished to good effect to be beaten juts a next be a very well-bred filly of Donnacha O’Brien’s, and just a little improvement from that effort should see him go very close under top weight.

He also promises to be well suited by the extra couple of furlongs here, his pedigree on the dam’s side containing plenty of stamina (related to a couple of 2m-winning hurdlers), while Enthrallment should have derived plenty of benefit from that comeback run where he was returning from six months off.

Keep on the right side of History

There won’t be many more expensively purchased horses on show this season than History in the 1m Group 3 at 16:05, who cost no less than 2.8m guineas as a yearling and now steps up in grade having broken her maiden at Gowran in September.

While the bare form of that run is nothing special, she’s clearly open to any amount of improvement and expectations are rightly high at Ballydoyle given how much this filly fetched at auction.

With an official rating of 96, she’ll need to take a big step forward, but when dealing with these connections in particular, we know that that sort of progression is far from out of the question.

The standard setter is clearly Agartha, who ran a good race to be second to Homeless Songs in the 1000 Guineas Trial here last month, and a win for her would be a big boost to that one’s chances in the French Guineas next weekend.

However, she’s going to be a tight enough price and the level she’s at now is pretty much well established with this being her tenth career starts.

While a smart filly, she’s likely vulnerable to something less exposed, and I’m hoping that History has enough progression in her on just her fourth start to improve past Agartha.

Entropy to take the nightcap

Our final selection comes in the 1m 2f handicap that close the card at 17:35, where the 1-2 from a similar C&D race last month renew their rivalry.

Moracana got the better of Entropy by a length that day but I’m hopeful that the runner-up can turn the tables this time, particularly as he’s 4lb better off at the weights.

Entropy really caught the eye with how well he travelled in that contest but ultimately was just run out of things late on by the strong finishing Moracana, who was played late and rather mugged Joseph O’Brien’s colt.

Although both were returning from layoffs there, I got the distinct impression that Entropy would improve markedly for the run, while Moracana was probably tuned to the minute for that race.

I’m confident that form will be reversed this time, and while Entropy has a slightly tricky draw to overcome, he looks open to plenty of improvement on what will be just his second start for the yard having joined from France.