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Free admission, a Centenary Celebration and quality racing for Royal Ascot Trial

Naas racecourse offer free entry to their trials day on Sunday afternoon. Naas racecourse offer free entry to their trials day on Sunday afternoon.
© Photo Healy Racing

Naas Racecourse will celebrate 100 years of racing heritage in some style this Sunday with free entry for all racegoers, a number of crucial trial races for Royal Ascot and one of Ireland’s highest rated horses.

Three runners from this flagship Flat fixture last year went on to win at Royal Ascot and Sunday’s card once again promises to provide some real insight for a number of the major Flat races this summer.

Only Auguste Rodin and City Of Troy are rated higher than the Adrian Murray-trained Group 1 winner Bucanero Fuerte who will begin his season in the Group 3 Goffs Lacken Stakes.

Murray’s 120-rated colt faces six runners including stable companion Majestic Beauty in what looks a fascinating contest. Aidan O’Brien has Ryan Moore booked to ride course and distance winner Military on Sunday, while Wayne Lordan partners Alabama

The Jessica Harrington-trained Givemethebeatboys was sold for £1.1m at the Goffs London Sale on the eve of Royal Ascot last year and will attempt to follow up his recent Navan win here in a hot looking race. Jakajaro who was runner-up to King Cuan in the Goffs Sportsman’s Challenge at Naas returns to tackle this Group 3 contest, while My Mate Alfie will represent Ger Lyons and Colin Keane.

Adrian Murray is excited to unleash some of his Royal Ascot candidates at Naas this Sunday.

“We’ve been very happy with Bucanero Fuerte and I’m looking forward to getting him started,” the trainer said. “He’s in good form and the ground won’t be an issue for him. The aim is to go back to Royal Ascot and Sunday will hopefully leave him spot on.

“To have a horse like this is a bit nerve-racking," Murray admitted. "It’s an exciting day for the yard and this is a meeting we’ve been looking forward to for a long time to get him back out.

“Majestic Beauty has come out of Cork well and is in good form so hopefully she can run a nice race as well.”

A field of six runners will face the starter for the Coolmore Stud Irish EBF Fillies Sprint Stakes. This Group 3 contest was won last year by Porta Fortuna before going on to win the Albany Stakes.

The same connections will be represented again on Sunday with Usdi Atohi representing Donnacha O’Brien, Gavin Ryan and owners Barry Fowler and Steven Weston. The Dundalk winner will once again face Murray’s California Dreamer who was second in that maiden.

“California Dreamer ran a good race on debut at Dundalk and has come out of the race well and I’d be hoping she will come on for that run,” Murray said.

Ger Lyons is represented by a pair of winners as course and distance winner Sparkling Sea and Dundalk winner Proudly Yours while the Jessica Harrington-trained Curragh winner Barnavara is another intriguing inclusion. Aidan O’Brien will saddle Fairy Godmother who was second to the aforementioned Sparkling Sea.

Aesop’s Fables, third in both the Prix de l’Abbaye and the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, heads the field for the Sole Power Sprint Stakes. Betson, Dun Na Sead and Ano Syra also feature in the €50,000 contest in which the Adrian Murray stable is represented by Crispy Cat

“The ground drying out should be a big plus for Crispy Cat and he’s another I think will have come on for his run here at Naas last month,” the Westmeath trainer said.

The opening Coolmore Stud Calyx Race was won by River Tiber last year before his Royal Ascot triumph. Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore will this time try to repeat the feat with Treasure Isle who was second on debut.

All four of Treasure Isle’s rivals are making their racecourse debut with Murray unleashing Queens Fury a daughter of Blue Point.

“This is a good starting point for her,” Murray said. “She is in good order at home and this run will be a good trial for her to see if she is going to go to Royal Ascot next.”

Sunday’s top class racing action will see five races televised on RTÉ television as well as three races shown on ITV. There will be live jazz music throughout the day as well as barbecue’s and free kids activities including face painting.

Niamh Byrne, Marketing Manager at Naas Racecourse commented: “We are delighted to offer our Royal Ascot Trials Day free to racegoers to mark our Centenary Celebration and to share in this historic milestone with us. Last year, we saw two winners from the day go on to success at Royal Ascot, and looking at the declarations, I think we might see some more on Sunday!”

The first of eight races is at 1.50pm with the last race at 5.30pm and all racegoers go racing for free.