Teaplanter looks at two races on the evening card at Leopardstown on Thursday and has selections in the Group 3 Silver Flash Stakes and the closing maiden.
Leopardstown 6:25 - Cocoon
This is a race that Aidan O'Brien has won in 4 of the last 5 years, with some very useful fillies including Wonderfully, Maybe and Together. He may not have such a talented young horse in this year's renewal, but there was enough promise in the performance of Cocoon on her debut at the Curragh last month to suggest that she could take a lot of beating in this Group 3 contest.
That Curragh maiden was won by the very exciting Words and it was the Mick Halford trained Raydara that chased her home in second place. The form has been boosted on a number of occasions since with the 5th placed Bobbi Grace winning next time and Raydara herself going one better herself last week at this venue.
Based on a strict reading of this form, Raydara should confirm placings with those behind her on the same terms, which include Qualify in 4th and Cocoon in 5th. However Cocoon was the real eye catcher in that maiden and could improve past the two fillies that finished in front of her. She was a 14/1 shot and was ridden by Ana O'Brien. She was settled in the rear and was still towards the end of the field when the pace quickened inside the 2 furlong marker. At first she did not seem to be making much progress, but she really began to understand what was required in the final furlong and under a hands and heels ride, she made up quite a lot of ground to be nearest at the finish.
Cocoon has all the hallmarks of a Ballydoyle filly that will improve significantly on her debut effort and with Joseph now taking over for this valuable contest, she looks the value in the race at 6/1 with William Hill.
Leopardstown 8:35 - Hudson's Bay
The closing maiden on the Leopardstown card on Thursday looks a pretty weak affair despite the presence of 3 horses rated 80+ in the field.
Annus Mirabilis (brings back memories of the Celtic Swing romp in the 1994 Racing Post Trophy) has raced three times now and does not look to be progressing. He looks slow and his attitude is questionable and is readily opposed.
Unrequited has no such problems with his appetite for racing, but although he has run some solid races on his last two outings, his mark of 82 looks to flatter him. He was behind the 69 rated Lady Clitico last time at Bellewstown when he enjoyed the run of the race and he will have to improve on this to win here.
Our selection is the Jim Bolger trained Hudson's Bay. This son of Teofilo has yet to produce on the track, what was expected of him, but he was very keen as a 3 year old, most notably when he was 4th at evens favourite behind subsequent Derby winner, Ruler of the World on his only start last year.
He seemed to be much more of a man on his reappearance at Cork in May and he ran a reasonable race when he was 2nd to Tango Time, who has boosted the form since. That trip of 1 mile would have been on the short side for him and we would expect that he can improve significantly on that effort now that he steps up to 12 furlongs. His price of 9/4 looks fair and in a contest that may not be anything like as strong as the official ratings suggest, he is worth supporting at these odds.