David Wachman eyes Group success at Ayr with fast-improving Remember You

Aloof can claim Gowran prize for second year running

Trainer David Wachman will try to initiate a cross-channel Group Three weekend double when Remember You lines up under rider Wayne Lordan at Ayr this afternoon, a meeting which will also be marked by Wachman's champion-apprentice elect Connor King's appearance in the Ayr Gold Cup.

King rides Red Dubawi in the prestigious sprint handicap, the latest step in the meteoric rise of the 17-year-old Leaving Cert student from north Cork who is leading the apprentice table in Ireland after a hugely successful season that memorably included a 14,725 to 1 four-timer at Cork last month.

Red Dubawi is a 33 to 1 outsider in betting, a similar price to the other Irish hope, Joe Eile. But Remember You looks like being a major player in the Group Three Firth Of Clyde Stakes after a twice being placed behind the highly-rated Great White Eagle on her previous two starts.

There will also be Irish interest in Group action at Newbury where Maarek has his second start for trainer Barry Lalor.


Hugely successful for David Nagle last season, Maarek’s first run for his new handler came at the Curragh last week “He didn’t get the best of runs, just had a few traffic problems around the four pole, but ran well enough. My assistant is in Newbury and she said the ground is perhaps not quite as soft as we’d hoped,” said Lalor.

Aloof's chances

Wachman, Lordan and King will switch to Gowran Park tomorrow where the featured Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Stakes has Aloof attempting to win the €70,000 contest for a second year running.

Aloof edged out Beatrice Aurore in this race 12 months ago and is due to face another British hope this time with Sir Michael Stoute sending the Salisbury Listed winner Mango Diva to Co. Kilkenny.

The balance of her form doesn’t look quite up to this and on ratings she faces a real challenge against the 112 rated Scintillula and Caponata who is a 109.

The latter was a beaten favourite in his race last year and has a preference for cut in the ground, something Caponata is unlikely to get judged by the selective watering taking place at Gowran yesterday.

Fast going is ideal for Aloof though whose best form this season, including a good run behind Dank in the Blandford, and when runner up to Say last time, gives her a shout.

Johnny Murtagh teams up with the Stoute runner in the feature, but his best chance could come on Like A Diamond in the seven-furlong maiden.

Aidan O'Brien unveils a couple of Montjeu colts in the opening two-year-old maiden, both of whom hold Derby entries, but it is Joseph O'Brien's pick, John Constable, a brother to Leger hero Leading Light, who also holds entries in the Beresford Stakes and Royal Lodge.

Tony Martin’s winter jumps team has been boosted by the addition of Flemenstar and the trainer takes unwraps another top chaser at the wind-up of Listowel today when Benefficient goes in the festival finale.

It will be interesting to see how sharp he is on his return where Aidan O’Brien runs Marchese Marconi and the front-running Rory O’Moore could present value having won first time out last season.

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor

Brian O'Connor is the racing correspondent of The Irish Times. He also writes the Tipping Point column