Eziyra can make winning re-appearance at Leopardstown
EZIYRA starts off her three-year-old campaign in the mile-and-a-half King George V Cup at Leopardstown this evening. Dermot Weld's 107-rated Teofilo filly showed considerable potential as a juvenile considering her stout pedigree, beating Hydrangea at Galway before finishing second behind Sea Of Grace in the Flame Of Tara Stakes and then going one better at Group Three level at the Curragh in September.
She doesn't pick up a penalty for that Curragh success and with her 5lb fillies' allowance is best treated at the weights by some way. She takes on six match-fit opponents in this three-year-old contest including Ballydoyle's Finn McCool, who was an honourable third in the Gallinule Stakes 12 days ago.
He was behind Brutal in last year's Racing Post Trophy, though, and while Ger Lyons' charge hasn't come up to scratch this term, he has been gelded since his last appearance.
The Weld filly, who showed tendency to swish her tail last year, seems to have plenty in her favour here and this should prove a useful stepping stone to better things.
Lyons' grand servant Brendan Brackan must concede weight all round in the other Listed affair at the meeting, the mile Glencairn Stakes.
Twice placed in this same race previously, Brendan Bracken has to concede weight to all. After landing the Irish Lincolnshire, the eight-year-old was far from disgraced in third behind Minding in the Mooresbridge Stakes, although he must give 16lb to Weld's highly-promising filly Making Light.
Last season's Killavullan Stakes winner here missed an intended reappearance in the Irish 1,000 Guineas due to unsuitable conditions but she could make her mark at a high level this campaign. Struthan and Smash Williams could also run well here.
Kevin Prendergast's Trevanna won both her starts as a two-year-old and makes her reappearance in the seven-furlong rated race. Little to choose between the eight here on official ratings but Johnny Feane's Groundfrost is interesting off his 84 mark.
The Bolger stable rider Kevin Manning leaves the mount on Oh Grace to one of the yard's 10lb claimers and rides Groundfrost here, due to go up 1lb after running the Bolger-trained Constant Comment to a neck on 1,000 Guineas afternoon.
The opening seven-furlong fillies' maiden is the only juvenile race on the card and while Lyons' Shapes sets the standard following a couple of thirds to our top two-year-old filly Alpha Centauri, the race is perhaps dominated by a Ballydoyle quartet of runners, undoubtedly most interesting of which will be debutante Happily, who is a full-sister to Classic winners Gleneagles and Marvellous.
Last week's Bolger-trained Fairyhouse victor Pirolo tries to continue on his upward curve in the one-mile handicap, against such as Ligeti and in-form hurdler Dodgybingo while Auckland, Thomas O'Malley and Wild Shot might be the trio to focus on in the concluding 10f handicap.
6.20 Groundfrost (Dbl)
6.50 Making Light
7.25 Eziyra (Nap)
9.00 Thomas O'Malley
7.55 So Sensible