Naas Preview: Icon a Cut above Madrid Rivals4 min read
Adrian Keatley looks to have unearthed another pattern-race performer in London Icon, who is my NAP of the day on Sunday at Naas.
14:30 Kildare Post & Kildare Now Maiden
John Oxx’s debutant filly Redhawk is closely related to smart 5f-7f winner Rose Bonheur out of a 7f/ 1m winner, herself a half-sister to smart middle-distance performer Frankies Dream. She has the likes of Crown Leah, Daliyah and Hence to beat, and that trio have form good enough to win a maiden at this stage of the year, but Redhawk is bred to be smart, and her trainer is a past master with late developers. The trio mentioned have not improved significantly on early efforts and look more or less exposed, and perhaps the biggest danger is the once-raced Castletownshend, who showed plenty on his debut over C&D in October, and while he was already gelded when making his debut, he’s still likely to improve on that promising start.
15:05 Naas Racecourse Launches The 2018 Flat Season Handicap
One thing which can be relied upon at the start of the Irish flat season is that Fozzy Stack (or father Tommy before him) will be out of the gates faster than most, and he has excellent prospects of winning this handicap courtesy of deep-ground specialist Son of Rest, who ended 2017 with a neck second of 12 to Texas Rock in a listed race at Navan in October. He’d won twice prior to that, and was especially impressive when scoring in the mud at the Curragh in June. His ability to go well fresh is a plus, and his best form makes him the one to beat here.
15:40 Woodlands 100 Club Madrid Handicap
Joseph O’Brien fields a third of the field here, but they are passed over in favour of the unexposed London Icon, representing Adrian Keatley. The selection has had just the two races, shaping exceptionally well when third on debut over 7f at the Curragh in August, and fulfilling that promise when making most to win easily over a mile here in October. He showed plenty of pace to win that day, and the return to this trip shouldn’t be a major inconvenience, while the handicapper has been more than fair with an opening mark of 91, for all that means lumping a big weight for his handicap bow. He appeals as a likely sort for the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot down the line, but it will be no surprise to see him pitch for black type sooner rather than later.
Son of Rest