We’re going to Irish flat racing HQ for our NAP of the Day on Sunday 20 August. A Listed contest at the Curragh, south-west of Dublin; a sweeping canvas dedicated to the thoroughbred in a nation renowned for its prowess in all matters equine.
A 5f Listed juvenile sprint then, with nine slated to face the starter. My selection ALABAMA is by No Nay Never, a very speedy type, and there’s Oasis Dream influence on the dam’s side. ‘Oasis’ won the Nunthorpe at York, one of next week’s features on the Knavesmire at the Ebor Festival.
Alabama appeared at Royal Ascot in the Windsor Castle, running respectably behind Big Evs, who has since gone in at Goodwood and has been supplemented for – the Nunthorpe. 2-yr-olds rarely enter let alone win the Nunthorpe, so Big Evs is held in very high esteem.
Alabama has raced on four occasions and has yet to win, but came very close last time at Tipperary in a contest similar to this. He’s developing nicely, is housed of course with one of the greatest trainers racing has ever encountered (AP O’Brien), and Seamie Heffernan will be doing the pushing.
Storm Miami, for Colin Keane and Ger Lyons, is a filly I respect, and gets that useful allowance from the colts. Several other fillies try their luck too. However – Alabama can step up today and will need to if ambitious autumn targets like the Middle Park are to be realistic.
It’s a lovely contest – relative babies still learning their race craft, but Alabama has been to a couple of searching gigs already and that experience can be put to good use at the Curragh on Sunday afternoon.