Martinstown returns at Naas on Sunday
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Martinstown will make his eagerly awaited second start of his career in Sunday’s Plusvital Devoy Stakes at Naas.
A field of eight runners will go to post for the listed contest which O’Brien won with subsequent Group 1 winner Broome back in 2021.
Martinstown was a winner of his only start in a maiden last May but faces stiff opposition for his reappearance with the 107-rated Self Belief and the 105-rated Visualisation both declared.
Andrew Slattery’s Sunchart, who was second in this race to Broome has been running over hurdles in recent months and is another interesting contender.
Course and distance winner Zola Sakura represents Ger Lyons with the field completed by Hotter Than Hades, Joupe and Venice Biennale.
Willie McCreery is looking forward to getting Self Belief’s season underway on the opening weekend of the new Irish season.
“We are going to Naas with Self Belief and it is a good starting point for him,” McCreery said.
“He is a horse that is still learning his trade having had just three runs last year but this is the perfect race for him because it is a small field. There’s only eight runners and he is drawn in stall three so he’ll learn plenty.
“The ground is going to be testing but it is the same for all of us and Self Belief won on soft ground at The Curragh so I don’t think he will mind it.”
A total of 10 three-year-olds have been declared for the Irish Racing Writers Carmel Kirwan and Loretta O’Hanlon Memorial Madrid Handicap.
Aidan O’Brien’s representatives Londoner and Paddington hold entries for both the English and Irish Derby amongst other big races, while the weights are headed by the Joseph O’Brien-trained Basil Martini who was a Group 3 winner at The Curragh last season.
Course and distance winner Panic Alarm returns to Naas having won the Irish EBF Auction Series Race Final last October, while Michael Halford and Tracey Collins saddle Imadpour in a fascinating renewal.
Compas Stallions sponsor five races on the Naas card this Sunday and among a number of incentives for winning connections they will also be offering a free nomination to a Compas Stallion to the winning breeder of each of their five sponsored races.
To celebrating the return of the Flat season this weekend, The Curragh and Naas Racecourse have teamed up to offer racegoers a weekend ticket which is available for just €25 at www.naasracecourse.com.
Before racing on Sunday at Naas, the track will host the “The Gain Flat is Back Flat Preview” in the Circle Bar at 12.15pm. Brendan McArdle will chat to Kate Harrington, Denis Hogan, Phillip Gilligan and Dylan Browne McMonagle about the build-up chat about the build-up to the flat season and preview the card. GAIN have also kindly sponsored some complimentary tea, coffee and treats for racegoers on the day.
Kids activities include face painting, magic show and a free creche on site and playground. The first on an eight race card is 1.25pm.