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July 10, 2014


10th July 2014

TAGHROODA and Tarfasha, first and second respectively in the Epsom Oaks, remain on course to clash again in the Group One Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh on Saturday 19th July. Taghrooda had three and a half lengths to spare over Tarfasha on that occasion, but the latter, despite receiving a hefty bump just over a furlong out, was doing her best work at the finish and is likely to be well suited to the Curragh’s stiffer mile and a half trip.

John Gosden has committed his Epsom heroine to the Curragh Classic and the Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned filly is again likely to be ridden by Paul Hanagan. Tarfasha also carries the colours of Hamdan Al Maktoum and her trainer, Dermot Weld, stated on Thursday that “the filly is a possible runner and a decision on her participation will be taken next week.”

Champion trainer Aidan O’Brien bids for his fourth success in the race following the victories of Alexandra (2006), Peeping Fawn (2007) and Moonstone (2008) and has 11 fillies remaining in the race. Speaking at Naas last Wednesday, O’Brien said; “The horses under consideration for Saturday’s race are Bracelet, Dazzling, Marvellous and Tapestry. They are all in terrific form and a final decision on which of them runs will be taken after they do their final pieces of work next week.”

O’Brien has eight entries in the Group Three Minstrel Stakes on the same afternoon, including the highly regarded Darwin and recent Naas scorer CougarMountain. “We have always liked CougarMountain but it took us a while to get the colt to the racecourse,” commented the Ballydoyle-based trainer. “He had a couple of niggling problems but he is back on track now and, along with Darwin, Peace Burg, Great White Eagle and Michaelmas, he is up for consideration in Saturday’s race.” Other notable entries for this race include Producer, Custom Cut, Penitent, Viztoria, Big Break, Sudirman and Along Came Casey.

The Group Two Kilboy Estate Stakes is the feature event on Sunday, 20th July and there are 38 horses remaining in the race, including nine from the Aidan O’Brien stable. “At the moment we are looking to choose between Peace Burg, Palace and Terrific,” commented O’Brien. “The three horses will be left in at Tuesday’s final entry stage and a final decision will be taken after they work in mid-week.” There is a very strong entry for this race with recent Newbridge Silverware Pretty Polly Stakes winner Thistle Bird in the line-up along with Secret Gesture, Afternoon Sunlight, Amazing Maria, Carla Bianca and My Titania.

John Oxx, who trains My Titania, reported his filly “in fine form and ready to take up the challenge.” The Curragh-based trainer also gave an upbeat bulletin on Ponfeigh who will tackle the 10 furlong Group Three Meld Stakes on the same afternoon. “Ponfeigh has recovered well from his run in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby when he clearly did not see out the mile and a half trip,” commented Oxx on Wednesday. “Ten furlongs is his trip and we look forward to a big run from him.” Aidan O’Brien, who has seven of the 25 horses remaining in the race, has put forward Geoffrey Chaucer and Table Rock as his two likely candidates for the race. “Both horses are in good form and one or both of them are likely to run in the race, commented O’Brien.

The Olly Stephens-trained Extortionist has been allotted top weight of 10st 2lbs in the Rockingham Handicap for which there are 36 entries. Great White Eagle and Masai will represent Aidan O’Brien in the race, while Dermot Weld has nominated the highly progressive Sailors Swan as his likely challenger.


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