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Angel out to shine on first start for O'Brien in hot sprint

Easton Angel: chance to prove she has what it takes to contest the top sprints
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5.25 Navan
Woodlands Stakes | 5f | Listed | 3yo+ | ATR

Having spent the first two years of her racing career in the care of Michael Dods, Easton Angel makes her debut for Aidan O'Brien on Monday evening in what is the hottest sprint of the Flat season so far.

Easton Angel was one of the best juvenile fillies in 2015, winning her first two starts before chasing home the awesome Acapulco in the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot.

She won twice as a three-year-old too, while her most recent appearance was in the Nunthorpe Stakes at York, where she could not live with Mecca's Angel.

With a new season and a new stable, Easton Angel has the chance to prove she has what it takes to contest the top sprints this season and a win here would surely set her up for another crack at Group 1 level.

Victory will not be easily achieved, however, as she faces a good field, including stablemate Washington DC and the Ger Lyons-trained Ardhoomey, who is the highest-rated runner in the line-up with a mark of 112.

Plenty of eyes will be on Downforce following his remarkable return to action at Cork this month. To win any Flat race by 12 lengths is unusual; to win a sprint by that margin is almost unheard of.

Here we may well find out if that was just a fluke or the stepping stone to a season in the top sprints.


What they say

Willie McCreery, trainer of Downforce
There's some rain expected, and as long as the ground doesn't get any faster than it is I'll be happy to run him. He's in great form.

Evanna McCutcheon, trainer of Maarek
He's in good order and came out of his run at Naas well. I was very happy with that run, although he was probably fitter than I gave him credit for there. Hopefully the ground will be fine for him and he has won on good before. The sprint track at Navan suits him as it's quite stiff; he had his first win there.

Ger O'Leary, trainer of Primo Uomo
He's in good form after Cork. The going will suit him, as long as it's safe. The draw is fine and we'll try to tuck him in and strike late. It's a hot race and this will tell us where we stand with him.

Michael Halford, trainer of Yulong Baobei
It looks a very hot race but we have to start somewhere and we're keen to get her going. I'm sure we'll know where we stand with her afterwards. I've been very happy with her homework.

There's some rain expected and as long as the ground doesn't get any faster than it is I'll be happy to run him. He's in great form
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