Naas top racing tip: Ailie Rose set to excel in stiff stamina test

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According to sources close to the track, there could be tough conditions at Naas on Sunday and that would be perfect for Ailie Rose, a progressive mare who is attractively treated based on the form of her two handicap runs so far.

The first of them came on her seasonal debut when she contested a valuable 0-146 event over two and a half miles on heavy ground at Carlisle at the end of last October. She was strong up the finishing hill and crossed the line third of eight, missing second place by just a neck with a big 15-length gap back to fourth. The winner, Good Risk At All, is prominent in the market for the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival next Wednesday, while the runner-up, Wholestone, has since finished fourth of 13 in the Grade 3 Stayers' Handicap at Haydock. Ailie Rose was also in that Haydock field and appeared capable reversing that Carlisle form with both of the front pair when unluckily falling at the last when still in third place in a tight front group.

That run confirmed that Ailie Rose not only has more than enough stamina for a test like this but that she also relishes testing conditions on a left-handed track. Having run so well in those two valuable handicaps for which she was taken over to the UK, and then having been highly-tried in a Grade 3 at Punchestown last time (on ground that was too lively), Ailie Rose looks a good bet back under ideal conditions, with the stiff uphill finish over the last half-mile at Naas playing very much to her stamina strengths over this distance.

Next best bet: Carnfunnock

Of the others, Crawford's other runner, Carnfunnock, also has plenty going for him. He returned from a short break to run a career-best fourth of 18 in a handicap at this venue in late February. Another who loves testing ground, and already proven on this track, Carnfunnock looks a likely type and should go very well off an unchanged mark.

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