Cavallo Pazzo can get a deserved win at Down Royal

Trainer Joseph O�Brien looks on after The Franchise wins the J.J. Mahon & Sons Handicap during day one of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby Festival at Curragh Racecourse, County Kildare. Picture date: Friday June 30, 2023.
Gary Carson

THE going looks set to be testing at Down Royal today so finding horses that handle soft ground could be key.

Joseph O'Brien looks to have a few good chances on the card and Cavallo Pazzo will get through the mud in the seven-furlong handicap.

The Starspangledbanner gelding has been runner-up twice since joining O'Brien and was unlucky on his other outing when getting hampered in Navan.

He flew home when second over six furlongs at Fairyhouse on his last outing so it's no surprise to see him stepping back up in trip now.

The four-year-old has been beaten favourite on all three starts for O'Brien and deserves to get his head in front now.

His sole previous win came on heavy ground at Naas last November so the forecast rain isn't a worry.

The trip would be a slight concern as the only time he tried it he didn't get home at Leopardstown in April of this year.

He looks worth another chance at the distance though given the way he finished off last time and when he did win at Naas that was a stiff six and he wasn't stopping at the line that day.

This looks an ordinary enough contest now and the consistent Queenie St Clair may prove a danger.

Noel Meade's charge was just three-parts-of-a-length behind the selection in Fairyhouse last time and is a pound better off now.

O'Brien also looks to have leading contenders in the first and last races on the card.

Gold Coast Galleon heads the weights in the opening nursery and O'Brien gives talented claimer Conor Stone-Walsh the leg up to take off 7lb.

This Magna Grecia gelding ran well when third in a similar contest over six furlongs at Fairyhouse last time and a drop in trip looks like it should suit.

In the concluding mile-and-a-half handicap Rapparee Champ still looks fairly unexposed and could be nicely treated in just his second handicap.

The Churchill colt won at Fairyhouse back in June and was far from disgraced on his 'handicap debut' when third to Waltham in a hot rated race at Leopardstown the following month.

He has been eased a pound since that run, which came on soft ground, and there looks scope for further improvement.

Stamina looks to be his forte and on a big galloping track with a dig in the ground it should play to his strengths.

1.50 Gold Coast Galleon (Si Senior)

2.25 Polar Bear (Smullen's Pride)

3.00 Sluice (Tachos)

3.35 Go Sioux Me (Muhaarar's Girl)

4.10 Cavallo Pazzo (nap) (Queenie St Clair)

4.45 Chica Linda (Red Trail)

5.20 Rapparee Champ (Eastern Legend)