Naas Preview - 23/03/20

14:00 - Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden

The opening race of the day sees eight go to post for arguably the trickiest race of the day with not one run under the belt for any of the horses declared so our pick is firmly going off breeding.

We're taking a real liking to Dawn Approach Colt POETIC FLARE.

His Dam was out of the impressive Group 1 winner Rock Of Gibraltar and with AP O'Brien having a fairly poor record with his debut runners, we've taken a punt on the Jim Bolger trained colt.

There is no hiding that this race is very much the unknown but here's hoping we'll see something half decent come out of it.

14:30 - Naas Nursery Of Champions Maiden

The biggest field of the day comes in the second race on the card as 21 maidens head to post for the Naas Nursery Of Champions Maiden and we've gone for the AP O'Brien trained KNIGHT OF MALTA.

4th of 15 over this C&D back in October, some decent form has come out of that race since with third winning by two lengths next time out at Navan.

Also taking into consideration AP O'Brien's decent record with second time out runners, Knight Of Malta will certainly take all of the beating here on his first run of 2020.

15:00 - Naas Racecourse Launches The 2020 Irish Flat Season Handicap

Handicaps are notorious for being difficult to pick a winner from but we think we've found a gem in the shape of the Damian English trained MOKHALAD.

He had a fairly busy 2019 running on 13 occasions and it saw his mark rise to 81 from 67 so it was a decent enough year for the gelding.

Now on his seasonal reappearance, he's back running over a C&D in which he's unbeaten over in two runs and he's only 5lbs higher from his last win over the C&D.

This is the perfect opportunity for him to bounce back to winning ways and at lovely E/W odds of 9/1, he should be well in the mix here.

15:30 - Naas Racecourse Business Club Madrid Handicap

The 15:30 Naas Racecourse Business Club Madrid Handicap may well turn out to be race of the day with seven of the 14 declared winning one of their last two races.

We've had a deeper look into the race and we've taken a real liking to the Michael Mulvany trained KING OF THE KELLS.

The gelding recorded back to back victories in his last two runs of 2019 and then impressed when one length third of six on his seasonal reappearance at Dundalk 10 days ago finishing behind the highly rated handicapper Dark Vader.

That looked a fairly strong race and he's now up 6lbs from that run but now back up in trip to 7f, he's got outstanding each way chances.

16:00 - Devoy Stakes (Listed)

Now for the first of the two main races on the card at Naas and we're taking a look at the Listed Devoy Stakes.

On paper, it looks a two horse race between Epsom Derby 5th SIR DRAGONET and Frankel colt BROGUE and we find it hard to disagree but on this occasion, we're going for the experience of the AP O'Brien trained SIR DRAGONET.

After bolting up in he Cheshire Vase last year making it two wins from two runs, he was sent off 11/4 favourite in the Epsom Derby but failed to match expectations. He followed that up with back to back fourth placed finishes in the Group 3 Royal Whip Stakes and then the St Leger at Doncaster but despite decent form coming from Brogue's debut run, Sir Dragonet should just have too much class and experience in the bag here and at 4/5, he still looks a huge price.

16:30 - Lodge Park Stud Irish EBF Park Express Stakes (Group 3)

The Group 3 Lodge Park Stud Irish EBF Park Express Stakes sees nine go to post in the first Group race on the flat of the year and there's no surprise to see AP O'Brien and Ger Lyons at the top of the market however we really like the look of 15/2 shot RAVEN'S CRY.

Second on debut at Bellewstown in July, the filly then recorded back to back victories over 7f and then a mlle but seemed to come unstuck when dropped back in trip in Listed in company at Leopardstown in September.

Now back up in trip to a mile, for us she's the one to beat in a competitive field here.

17:00 - Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden

Our final pick of the day comes in the shape of AP O'Briens once run colt RUSSIAN EMPEROR.

Third on debut at The Curragh in July, the form to come out of that race is pretty decent with 12th on the day placing in Group company since.

He looked the type to appreciate a step up in trip and now up to a mile on his second racecourse appearance here, he's our NAP of the day on an action packed card.

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