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Today, following on from Tuesday’s winning tip of Manchester United to beat Crystal Palace and BTTS in their pre-season friendly, it’s back to the races – and I’m sweet on the chances of Ger Lyons’ SEMANTICS at 11/8f for the opener (5.30) at Leopardstown this evening.
This two-year-old filly boasts what I believe to be smart debut form against 11 rivals, of which only five also have experience on a racecourse – and in my opinion Semantics’ form is the best on offer.
She was just held by Joseph O’Brien’s All Things Nice, who was in receipt of 3lbs from the selection, over 1m at Bellewstown exactly three weeks ago.
Those two had the rest of the field – including Starry Heavens who re-opposes today – over three lengths behind, and the winner has gone on to frank that form by going on to win a handicap off a mark of 85 on Saturday.
Colin Keane had Semantics held up in the rear throughout the race, and gave her plenty to do when things started to get serious. But she showed blistering speed – which is why, as much as she wasn’t stopping at the line, I think she’ll likely appreciate the drop in trip to 7f this evening – to draw alongside the front-runners and go clear with the eventual winner.
With that experience under her belt and likely improvement to follow, I think the standard she sets here is a high one which should be difficult for second and third favourites Ma Belle Artiste and Devore – who are unraced – to reach first time out.
Of those with racecourse experience, only Jim Bolger’s Lan Mara stands out as a threat after she improved greatly from a poor debut over 5f to run a potentially smart one of Joseph O’Brien’s within two lengths when upped to 7f at Leopardstown – today’s course and distance – last time out.
Fingers crossed Semantics can do the business this evening for the in-form Ger Lyons, who saddled three winners at Naas yesterday.
Today’s Horse Racing Odds