Pink Dogwood bids for her first Group One success this evening in the Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes at The Curragh.
The Aidan O'Brien-trained filly was only beaten by a neck in the Oaks at Epsom.
There is a strong English challenge at The Curragh in the shape of Wild Illusion trained by Charlie Appleby and Worth Waiting for the David Lanigan yard. Wild Illusion is back against the fillies today having started her season in France in the Prix D'Isphan. She should improve for that run given the way she progressed throughout the season last year, winning the Nassau and Prix De L'Opera.
Worth Waiting won four on the bounce last year progressing through the ranks before finishing fourth in the Group One Prix Vermeille. Although that run secured her valuable 'Black Type' making her an invaluable broodmare when her racing career does finish.
David Lanigan's filly made a winning start to the year in the Dahlia at Newmarket and that form has since been franked with Billesdon Brook winning recently. New sponsors would be happy with a win for Worth Waiting as she is by one of their stallions Bated Breath, who is having a strong season.
Aidan O'Brien looks to win this race this evening for the fifth time. Like Pink Dogwood, all of O'Brien's previous four winners were three-year-olds taking advantage of the weight-for-age allowance. In fact, the Ballydoyle master is the only trainer to have trained a three-year-old winner of the race in the last 15 years, all of the others have been older mares.
English trainers have found this race to be a happy hunting ground, with the prize going across the water seven times since 2007.
There's a strong supporting card with the Group Two Comer Group Curragh Cup going to post at 3.45. Joseph O'Brien won this with Rekindling en-route to Melbourne Cup glory in 2017. Today, the 2018 Irish Derby winner, Latrobe lines up in the same colours and given he is owned by an Aussie, the race that stops a nation at Flemington in November, looks to be his ultimate goal.
Ickworth is on a retrieval mission in the Group Two Airlie stud stakes at 4.15. Willie McCreery's filly refused to race at Ascot after winning impressively in her first two career starts. Peace Charter and Jessica Harrington's Albigna won't make it easy for Ickworth if she does decide to race.
Good to Firm
It could be a good day for Ger Lyons at HQ today with lively chances across the card, but nobody will be more disappointed to see the sun come out. Peace Charter and Mustajeer in both of the Group Two races have great chances.
Giga White and Nikajack Cave could win the closing two handicaps. The star of Glenburnie though is, Who's Steph, a legitimate Group One contender, but only when the ground softens. Ten furlongs is probably her ideal trip. She is in flying form having bolted up at Cork last time out, but she needs rain, so she won't run.
So while you enjoy a beer or an ice cream later spare a brief thought for Ger who has had his latest chance of a maiden domestic Group One taken away by the weather. For now at least.