22nd September 2020
The Curragh stage their two day Autumn Racing Festival this Saturday and Sunday 26th and 27th September and although behind closed doors, owners will be permitted to attend for the first time.
The Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes is the feature race on Saturday. First run in 1875, the Group 2 contest boasts an impressive roll of honour with previous winners including Sea The Stars, Japan, Saxon Warrior, St Nicholas Abbey, Sadler’s Wells and Nijinsky. The race is also part of the prestigious “Road to the Kentucky Derby” initiative.
22 entries remain in the race following today’s forfeit stage. Impressive Curragh Maiden winner High Definition is one of 9 entries for Aidan O’Brien who has won the race a remarkable 19 times, while also among his entries is Galway maiden winner Kyprios, who carries the colours of leading owner Moyglare Stud.
Dermot Weld will attempt to win the race with Wuqood, an eye catching winner of a Maiden at Gowran Park recently. The son of Dubawi carries the colours of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who also owned Ahkaam, Weld’s previous winner of the race in 1995.
The Jessica Harrington trained Ace Aussie, Reve De Vol and Ides of August trained by Ger Lyons, Monaasib trained by Kevin Prendergast, Jack Duggan trained by Jim Bolger and Trusted Ally trained by Michael O’Callaghan are other notable entries, while Joseph O’Brien is responsible for three contenders including Toshizou and Vafortino, while Southern Cape is set to represent his brother Donnacha.
The ultra consistent Speak In Colours is one of 19 entries in the Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club Renaissance Stakes, also taking place on Saturday and will look to win the race for the second successive year. Make A Challenge, Urban Beat, Millisle, Forever In Dreams and Sonaiyla, who finished third in the recent Derrinstown Stud Flying Five will make this a mouth watering sprint. There are three British trained entries Summerghand (David O’Meara), Brad The Brief (Tom Dascombe) and Ventura Rebel (Richard Fahey).
Other races featuring on the eight race programme include the Tipperary Crystal Ladies Trophy, Equisoftlive Maiden, Clark Recruitment Nursery, Foran Equine IEBF Auction Race and Manguard Plus Handicap.
The Weld Park Stakes is one of the feature races on Sunday and the Group 3 contest for two year old fillies has attracted 16 entries. Trainer Jessica Harrington is strongly represented with Oodnadatta, No Speak Alexander and Malaysian, while other notable entries include Angel Palm trained by Ger Lyons, Aunty Bridy trained by Jim Bolger and Monday trained by Aidan O’Brien. Joseph O’Brien, who landed the race last year with New York Girl, has entered Limerick Maiden winner Thinking of You and recent Naas winner Sense of Style, while A Ma Chere is set to represent the sponsor Dermot Weld.
Kastasa, Dawn Patrol, Raa Atoll, Baron Samedi and Prose are among the 15 entries in the Group 3 Comer Group International Loughbrown Stakes over two miles
Other races on the eight race programme include the valuable Heffernan Tyres Joe McGrath Handicap with 20 entries including the Kieran Cotter trained A Step Too Far who will seeking his 6th successive win this season, while the Mongey Communications Nursery, Sycamore Lodge Equine Hospital Race and extra.ie Apprentice Handicap have all attracted a large number of entries.
Straight course: good
Round course: good to firm
Forecast: unsettled over the coming days with possibility of heavy rain.
Track: racing on far side in straight. Stalls in centre for all sprints.
How to watch the races
Racing TV - Live coverage of all races
ITV3 – live coverage of the Alan Smurfit Memorial Beresford Stakes