After a maiden success and two nursery victories, Aidan O'Brien puts blinkers on MEKONG RIVER who came through strongly to beat the useful Hidden Oasis at Listowel last time. There should be more to come and he looks well up to this level. Mandatario scrambled home on his debut at Gowran and though no match for Giovanni Boldini at Dundalk it was still a fine run and he's an obvious threat. The filly Ubiquitous Mantle caught Greanta close home here last time so a big run from the latter earlier in the card should be a pointer. The remaining trio have some improving to do if they are to get involved in the finish.
Aussie Valentine (IRE) 9-10fav (8-13) Made all, travelling well over 2f out, asserted from over 1f out, stayed on well, comfortably, won at Dundalk 1m 2yo mdn auc stks pol in Oct beating Captain Teemo (9-2) by 2l, 9 ran.
Leafcutter (IRE) 9-4fav (9-5) Soon tracked leaders, 4th over 2f out, moderate 6th and no extra from over 1f out, 10th of 13, 16l behind Obliterator (9-5) at Curragh 1m mdn stks gd in Sep.
Mandatario 7-2 (9-3) Led early, joined after a couple of furlongs, pushed along over 2f out, headed and kept on same pace from under 1f out, 2nd of 6, 5l behind Giovanni Boldini (9-3) at Dundalk 7f 2yo Listed stks (1) pol in Oct.
Mekong River (IRE) 9-4 (9-5) Bustled along away from stalls, pushed along in 5th under 4f out, ridden in last approaching straight, switched to inner to get a run from 1f out, stayed on well final furlong to get on top final 50yds, won at Listowel 1m 2yo hcp in Sep beating Hidden Oasis (9-10) by 1l, 6 ran.
Achnaha (IRE) 16-1 (9-0) Tracked leaders and 4th halfway, ridden over 2f out and went 2nd 150 yards out, kept on same pace without troubling winner, 2nd of 14, 3/4l behind Dance With Another (9-0) at Curragh 1m 2yo fll mdn gd in Oct.
Ubiquitous Mantle (IRE) 9-2 (9-2) Tracked leaders in 3rd, pushed along early straight and soon went 2nd, ridden to challenge inside final furlong and kept on under pressure, led on line, won at Leopardstown 1m 2yo hcp sft in Oct beating Greanta (8-4) by shd, 7 ran.