Monday 18 February 2019

Could It Be Love to deliver

Out in front: Could it be Love, with Donnacha O’Brien up, during the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas in May
Out in front: Could it be Love, with Donnacha O’Brien up, during the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas in May

Aidan O'Brien has had to settle for the runner-up spot in each of the four Irish Classics this season and one of those was with COULD IT BE LOVE (7.15) in the Irish 1,000 Guineas.

In every race that Alpha Centauri has won no horse has come any closer to her than Could It Be Love who tried to steal the Guineas at the Curragh from the front but in the end the star three-year-old of the season was a length and three quarters too good.

Worryingly for those who are going to go in on Could It Be Love at a short price in the feature Yeomanstown Stud Stakes this evening at Naas, the favourite is without a win in three starts since and comes to Naas on the back of her worst effort.

O'Brien himself admitted his disappointed with her performance at Haydock last time but we know his skills at being able to get fillies to bounce back appear to be better than anyone else and she just gets the nod over Johnny Murtagh's Golden Spell who is fitted with cheek-pieces for the first time and could give the favourite all to do.

Donnacha O'Brien will get back on Could It Be Love this evening and while Naas has its own way of making life hard for favourites, there is no doubt that the leading jockey in the country at the moment has an incredible book to look forward to later.

With over a half century of winners to his name already for the campaign, O'Brien leads reigning champion Colin Keane by three but it would be something of a surprise if that isn't extended at this fixture.

Focus Of Attention (5.40) returns to action in the opening Bunoscionn Perform At Naas Handicap after her victory at Fairyhouse last week where she still proved too good over a trip that was questionable and in a race where not everything went right.

The following two maidens may have their layers as both North Wind (6.10) for Aidan and then National Glory (6.40) for Joseph have both had five chances each to get their head in front and not managed it but there have been stronger maidens run at the track and connections will be disappointed if both can't get their heads in front here.

The last race will be worth hanging around for despite the fact there is only four runners declared.

Theobald was once a Classic contender for Jim Bolger, Kerineya is a course and distance winner on her only start for Mick Halford and First Response is a first timer for Ger Lyons in the Abdullah colours. That said, it looks a drop in class for Threeandfourpence (8.50) and a good opportunity for him to get a second win on the board on what could be a very memorable evening for the O'Brien clan.

Naas today

5.40 Focus Of Attention

6.10 North Wind

6.40 National Glory

7.15 Could It Be Love

7.50 Nisior Donn

8.20 Ice Cold In Alex

8.50 Threeandfourpence

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