Now Or Never, Custom Cut and Shogun set to star at Leopardstown
David Metcalf | May 7, 2016
Now Or Never can pass 1000 Guineas Trial test
Now Or Never ran a cracker when runner-up on seasonal reappearance and can go one better to land the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud 1000 Guineas Trial at Leopardstown (15:00).
The Michael O’Callaghan trained filly had some very useful form to her name as a juvenile, winning at the second time of asking before posting an excellent effort against the boys when a 1 1/4 length runner-up to Herald The Dawn in the Group 2 Futurity Stakes at the Curragh.
Now Or Never then failed to fire when last of nine behind the brilliant Minding in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes at the same venue, but showed that run to be all wrong when chasing home Jet Setting in a Group 3 at this track last month.
The three-year-old stuck to the task well to be beaten three lengths, and finished 2 3/4 lengths of the third home Alice Springs, who has since gone on to finish a fine third to Minding in the English 1000 Guineas.
That form sets a strong standard in this line-up and, with Kieren Fallon in the saddle, it looks a nice opportunity for Now Or Never to get back on the scoresheet.
Custom Cut an Amethyst gem
Trainer David O’Meara has his team in flying form and Custom Cut can provide him with another winner in the Group 3 Amethyst Stakes (14:25).
This gelding has thrived since joining the Yorkshire handler and enjoyed another profitable campaign last season when bagging two Group 2 contests.
Custom Cut also ran very well when beaten just a length by the highly-regarded Tim Test in a Group 2 at Newmarket, and was far from disgraced on seasonal reappearance at Doncaster when third to Bellardo.
The seven-year-old has since gone on to finish a solid fourth to the progressive Mahsoob in the Group 3 Earl Of Sefton Stakes and should now be spot on to do himself justice.
Custom Cut is also a dual course and distance winner and, in what looks a weak renewal, is going to be tough to beat on the pick of his form.
Shogun the pick of O’Brien’s Derby Trial team
Leading Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien saddles four of the eight runners in the Group 3 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial Stakes (15:35), and Shogun looks the pick of the quartet.
This colt won on his second start as a juvenile and went on to finish a fine 1 3/4 length sixth behind Ultra in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp on his penultimate start of 2015.
That is strong form in relation to this contest, and there was lost to like about Shogun’s return to action at Newmarket last month when third to Stormy Antarctic in the Group 3 Craven Stakes over 1m.
The three-year-old got outpaced a furlong from home before rallying well to be beaten four lengths, and the step up to 1m 2f in this looks sure to suit.
Shogun has also been chosen by jockey Ryan Moore over his three stable companions, and that further suggests he is the number one hope for team Ballydoyle.
13.55: Dapper Man
14.25: Custom Cut (NB)
15.00: Now Or Never (NAP)
16.40: Botany Bay
17.10: Sea Of Mystery