Part of the undercard to the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday features the Group 2 Greenland Stakes won by Merchant Navy last year for Coolmore.
O’Brien enters St. Patricks Day for his first start of the season having failed to improve as a three-year-old. He isn’t the most appealing despite the strength of his connections who have kept him in training this season.
Joseph O’Brien has perennial top-level contender Speak Of Colours also making his seasonal reappearance and could be a cut above these if running to his current handicap mark.
Urban Beat also represents solid form having defeated the improving sprinting filly Soffia on his last start. The son of Red Jazz has looked babyish at times, but has got talent and is open to further progress at this grade. Mr. Lupton is an obvious danger if able to get off the mark on his first attempt of the season, but he has generally stripped fitter for a run and is not the most solid of favourites.
So it might just be worth taking a chance on CHESSMAN here, who came from dead last to finish a close neck second to Sergei Prokofiev in a 5.5f sprint at Navan on his penultimate start. Urban Beat was three lengths down on the selection that day and is racing on the same terms here.
That was Chessman’s first start since a gelding operation and he showed much improved form on what was his second start for the small yard of Richard O’Brien. Chessman began his career with John Gosden with some smart form in two-year-old company including good performances on fast ground, which is a major plus, given the current going conditions.
The son of Acclamation lost his way a bit for Archie Watson as a three-year-old. But Chessman currently looks to be bang in-form having put in two consecutive career-best performances, the latest of which was last week off a 51-day break.
The harsh reality is that Chessman hasn’t won since his maiden in November 2016. But he’s lightly-raced for his age and at 8/1, Chessman is well worth a try in this relatively weak-looking Group 2.
1pt each-way Chessman @8/1, 15:00 Saturday, Curragh (1,2,3 places, 1/5 odds)Leave a comment