Epsom Oaks winner Anapurna has not raced since that early June triumph and is not declared to participate in the Irish version, but beaten fillies Pink Dogwood, Fleeting and Manuela De Vega are likely to contest this Group 1 event at the Curragh. There will be several other challengers especially from the Aidan O’Brien stable and the relative merits of the main favourites are discussed below.
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After starting as second favourite for the Epsom Oaks, Pink Dogwood finished a narrow second behind Anapurna and was then a well-beaten third in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh when racing over the shorter 1m2f distance. A return to this longer 1m4f trip might benefit this Frankel filly but she has won just twice in seven starts and may just lack that necessary turn of foot at the end of races.
After finishing a fast-finishing placed horse in both the Epsom Oaks and the Ribblesdale Stakes, it could be argued that Fleeting has been one of the more unfortunate fillies this season. She has travelled off the pace in her two latest starts but did prove her capabilities last season when winning the Group 2 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster. It may be unwise to ignore this Aidan O’Brien filly especially if ridden with more enterprising tactics.
This Joseph O’Brien filly was a surprise winner of the Pretty Polly Stakes last month when racing over further than one mile for the first time. Iridessa can be inconsistent, having won just three times in an eight-race career, but she may prove to be a better horse over these longer distances. Her sire is 2013 Epsom Derby winner Ruler Of the World.
John Gosden has opted to send over 2019 Ribblesdale winner Star Catcher for this event after his filly raced over 1m4f for the first time when winning that Royal Ascot contest. Having previously raced in two low-key Newbury events prior to that race, it may be that she could thrive over this longer trip especially having been sired by ‘Arc’ winner Sea The Stars.
Trained by Ralph Beckett, this filly won her only two starts as a two-year-old before finishing second in the Cheshire Oaks and a creditable fourth in the Epsom equivalent. However, there is just a suggestion that she lacks the necessary class to win a race at Group 1 level.
The second of the Ralph Beckett runners has been beaten just once in four starts and won her only race this term when a clear winner of a 1m2f Listed contest at Newbury last month. She may benefit from having experienced a light campaign to date but she was well beaten in a Newmarket Group 1 event at the end of last season.
Unraced as a two-year-old, this Galileo filly won at Fairyhouse on her racecourse debut before following home Trethias in the Oaks Trial at Naas. Travelling well at the front much of the race, she gave the impression of not finding much off the bridle when asked a serious question, and there are doubts regarding her attitude.
When winning the Oaks Trial at Naas, Trethias displayed much admirable battling qualities as she claimed a first victory in five starts. This race will be a much tougher contest but she could benefit even more from racing over this extra distance and could be an each-way contender.
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