Five pointers at Naas for the first flat meeting of the season

We're on the flat at Naas on Monday
We're on the flat at Naas on Monday

Racing continues in Ireland with the curtain raiser on the flat at Naas races on Monday...

1. All eyes on Aidan's in the opener.

It might be behind closed doors but today represents the opening meeting of the Irish Flat courtesy of a seven race card at Naas. Action at the Kildare venue gets underway at 14.00 with a five furlong sprint maiden, one which Aidan O'Brien has historically used to unleash some of his better ammunition. He relies on just one entry on this occasion, American bred colt Lipizzaner.

2. Course specialist can give Keane a win.

Previous course form figures of 1,1,4 point the way to the chances of the Damian English-trained Mokhalad in the 15.00 Naas. The experienced seven year old, winner of five of his 41 starts overall, has dropped back to his last winning mark and has the services of ace pilot Colin Keane. He has run well fresh so a 141-day absence needn't be viewed as a negative.

3. Proven contender King can pick up valuable prize.

Classic-winning trainer Ken Condon has a potentially interesting runner on his hands for the 15.30 Naas, preparing Elusive King for the valuable Madrid Handicap. Worth a handy €29,500 to the winner, this seven furlong heat features plenty of quality, but few make more appeal than Niall McCullagh's mount, especially given he's proven on Heavy ground at this track. The gelding stuck his neck out bravely to win a 22 runner maiden at this track back in November.

4. Classic runner Sir Dragonet looking to get season off to a winning start.

Race of the day! The 16.00 Naas may not be the most valuable or the most prestigious race on the card, but it does include Sir Dragonet, the Aidan O'Brien inmate sent off 11/4 favourite for last season's Epsom Derby. Fifth in the English Classic, he also went on to be fourth in the St Leger, so this drop into listed company in the mile and a quarter Devoy Stakes should help on his first outing for 191 days. 

5. Halford's Hamariyna geared for Group success.

The 16.30 Naas is the crown jewel on an excellent card, with €45,725 up for grabs to the winner of the Group 3 Park Express Stakes. Open to fillies and mares, this valuable season opening mile contest looks a good opportunity at each way prices for the Mick Halford-trained Hamariyna to try and assert her authority as the top rated horse in the field. A disappointment when last seen at this track back in June, she had previously shown immense promise when landing a Tipperary maiden before going on to take a spring Group 3 at Leopardstown. 

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