Katla in familiar company at Naas
Racing:Katla faces some familiar foes as she bids for back-to-back victories in tomorrow’s Dark Angel European Breeders Fund Sweet Mimosa Stakes at Naas. The four-year-old landed the Listed heat for trainer John Grogan last term, holding Empowering by a short head in a thrilling finish.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained runner-up reopposes this time with a handy 3lb pull in the weights, the same advantage as stablemate After and the David Wachman-trained Fire Lily, who finished second and first respectively in the Ballyogan Stakes last month.
Katla was beaten just under six lengths in seventh that day and Grogan said: “Fire Lily is rated 110 and After is on 105 and we’ve got to give weight away, so it will be a big ask. She won it last year and beat Empowering but I think it’s all about being right on the day.
“She’s a once-in-a-lifetime horse and she rarely runs a bad race. We train by ourselves here, so she probably needs a race or two to put her right. She ran a good race last time (third in the Group Three Sapphire Stakes) and I think the first and second, Definightly and Judge ‘n Jury, are both good horses.
“We were pleased to be placed in Group company though, as she’s the first foal of the mare and we have half-brothers and sisters.”
Should Katla make the frame at Naas, Grogan would consider a quick return to action at Goodwood next week. He said: “She’s entered in the Flying Five at the Curragh next month and there’s a five-furlong race at Goodwood (Tanqueray King George Stakes) that we might look at.
“That closes for us on Thursday morning so we’ll see how she runs and comes out of it, but we could go for that Group Two.”
The Ballydoyle pair and Fire Lily form the main opposition at Naas while Lady Wingshot, who was Listed placed last term, makes her reappearance for Jim Bolger. Joseph Murphy’s Rock On Ciara and the Kevin Prendergast-trained Redoubtable finished first and second in a Curragh handicap last month and both switch to Listed company this time.
Colour Of Love was a winner on her most recent start at Fairyhouse while Bogini, Caprella and Brian Meehan’s British raider Miss Complex complete the 11-strong line-up. The Manton handler told www.brianmeehan.co.uk: “(She’s a) lightly-raced filly (who) takes a big step after her maiden win at Thirsk into this fillies’ Listed race, which includes some Group-race regulars from top local stables.
“The daughter of Compton Place always works well, and will make a strong challenge to earn coveted black type for her owner-breeders.”