Ballydoyle filly Palace to take chance in Cairn Rouge Stakes
Fastnet Rock filly to be joined by stable-mates Terrific and Beyond Brilliance
Dermot Weld: Saddles Sparkle Factor in the Cairn Rouge Stakes. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho
Original expectations for Palace probably didn’t include the Listed feature on the opening session of Killarney’s July festival but Aidan O’Brien’s filly gets punters off to a flying start ahead of four days in Kerry.
Palace is joined by her stable-mates Terrific and Beyond Brilliance among 13 for the Cairn Rouge Stakes and it will be a sixth start of a season that hasn’t delivered to date on a lot early promise.
The Fastnet Rock filly was Joseph O’Brien’s pick in the Irish Guineas only for soft ground to ruin her chance while Ryan Moore could only get her into seventh in the Oaks at Epsom.
If anything Palace’s last defeat behind Carla Bianca in a Listed contest at Naas was most disappointing of all but she could be worth another shout now that she drops slightly in trip. Seamus Heffernan rides her for the first time.
Carla Bianca’s trainer Dermot Weld should know where he stands with Palace and runs Sparkle Factor here. But preference is for the Ballydoyle filly who holds several Group One entries later in the season.
A wind operation looked to have a major impact on Ronava when he won easily at Wexford a month ago and an 11lb
hike may not stop tonight’s handicap hurdle contender.
Orgilgo Bay was runner-up in a Beresford in his juvenile days and was placed in last season’s Fred Winter at Cheltenham. On the back of an encouraging run behind El Salvador on the flat at Bellewstown last week he should be hard to beat at Downpatrick this afternoon.
IC Gold easily won a point-to-point on his last start and could be ahead of the handicapper in the second of this afternoon’s handicap hurdles.