Unexposed Ezanak can score for Dermot Weld at Leopardstown
TWO competitive handicaps feature at Leopardstown on Thursday evening and Dermot Weld has a few interesting runners on the card.
Ezanak is the unexposed quantity in the 10-furlong handicap and there are reasons to believe he can reverse a piece of Naas form in April with the reopposing Aared.
The well-bred son of Sea The Stars was beaten two-and-a-half lengths by Kevin Prendergast's top weight over the same trip on his seasonal reappearance, but is 6lb better off at the weights now and the first-time visor may just sharpen him up for this.
Light in the market on his next start at Tipperary, Ezanak could manage only fourth behind stable companion Tandem, a 20/1 chance.
Another with first-time headgear is Song Of Namibia in cheekpieces and he has a definite chance on his April Limerick win.
He went up 9lb for that and didn’t shine off his new mark when well held behind Glamorous Approach at the Curragh. Duchessofflorence and Keble have chances of sorts but I reckon it could resolve into a duel and give Ezanak the call over Aared.
Weld’s Aljunood left a moderate Naas debut well behind when finishing third at Listowel earlier in the month, improving for the step up in distance, and the Bated Breath gelding is well worth another look in the 3 & 4 y-o median auction maiden.
But I’m happy enough to leave this as a match between two fillies – Kirk’s Dancer and Xenobia.
Halford’s Kirk’s Dancer ran third behind dual 1,000 Guineas winner Winter on her only start at Dundalk last August. Hopefully that absence won’t mitigate against her chance here.
The market should tell us more about Weld’s Luzum on his racecourse introduction in the two-year-old colts' maiden but Somerset Maugham, a stoutly-bred son of Galileo, can show the benefit of his run at the Curragh last month and might prove best of the Aidan O'Brien trio.
Top prize of the night at the Dublin track is the €30k two-year-old auction race over six furlongs.
Only one previous winner in the eight-runner line-up with Mark Johnston’s Pontefract scorer Rufus King conceding between 7lb and 18lb to his opposition.
No O’Brien-trained candidates here and the British challenger might have Red Persian and Hyperlapse to worry about.
A Little Bit Me went up 21lb after winning at Listowel earlier this month, making all and winning by nine lengths.
Can she overcome that reassessment here in the six-furlong three-year-old handicap? More than likely I thought.
Jet Streaming could be well treated, going handicapping for the first time in the apprentice race, while Wood Breizh bids to land the finale, a 15-furlong 45-70 handicap, for Willie Mullins, who won the race 12 months ago with Buzz Off Barroso. Repare Mon and Ard na Carraig are two others of interest in the biggest field of the night,
6.00 Rufus King
6.30 Somerset Maugham
7.00 Kirk’s Dancer
7.30 Jet Streaming
8.00 Ezanak (Nap)
8.30 A Little Bit Me
9.00 Wood Breizh
6.00 Red Persian
7.30 Noble Intention
8.30 Red Sabor
9.00 Repare Mon