O’Brien assembles formidable team for Pretty Polly bid

Royal Ascot winner South Pacific among 19 entrants for Curragh Cup

  I Can Fly, one of Aidan O’Brien’s seven-strong team for Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

I Can Fly, one of Aidan O’Brien’s seven-strong team for Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Aidan O’Brien is responsible for seven of the 12 remaining contenders after the confirmation stage for the Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

His main chance on Friday appears to lie with Pink Dogwood, who finished second to Anapurna in the Oaks at Epsom. She could well be suited by the drop to 10 furlongs.

The Ballydoyle trainer has left in several fillies who ran at Ascot last week, including Ribblesdale second Fleeting.

Magic Wand and I Can Fly – who were both also placed at Ascot – along with Happen, Just Wonderful and Peach Tree are also in the mix.

Joseph O’Brien may run last year’s Fillies’ Mile scorer Iridessa, while Ger Lyons could step Who’s Steph back up in class.

Dermot Weld may be represented by Search For A Song, closely related to Free Eagle, who was an impressive winner of her only race to date at Fairyhouse.

The British-based raiders – who have a good recent record in this race, having won five of the last seven editions – comprise Charlie Appleby’s Wild Illusion and David Lanigan’s Worth Waiting this year.

Wild Illusion was a Group One winner last year in the Nassau Stakes and Prix de l’Opera, and finished a close sixth on her return in the Prix d’Ispahan.

“I’m pretty relaxed about the ground, because she is very versatile and she has done plenty of travelling, so that isn’t a worry with her,” said Appleby.

“I think if she brings the best of her form she can be right there with a chance on Friday.”

Meanwhile, Royal Ascot winner South Pacific is among 19 possibles in the Comer Group International Curragh Cup. The three-year-old led home stablemates Constantinople and Eminence in the King George V Stakes, and could turn out again quickly on Friday.

Aidan O’Brien has several others in the mix – including 2017 Irish Derby winner Capri, Barbados, who was second in the Queen’s Vase and also has the option of running at Newcastle in the Northumberland Plate this weekend and Southern France, who finished sixth in the Hardwicke. Joseph O’Brien has the choice of running last year’s Irish Derby winner Latrobe, Cimeara and Eminent Authority.

Good attitude

Dermot Weld last won the prize with Profound Beauty in 2009 and may run the promising Falcon Eight, from the family of Free Eagle. Stablemate Masaff could also run.

Jim Bolger’s Twilight Payment, Ger Lyons’ Mustajeer and Jessica Harrington’s The King are also in the mix as is Raa Atoll, trained by Luke Comer, whose family sponsor the race.

Harrington’s very promising Albigna is among 14 possibles for the Airlie Stud Stakes. The Zoffany filly showed a good attitude to win first time out at the Curragh.

Other previous winners engaged include stable companion Between Hills, Lyons’ Peace Charter and Joseph O’Brien’s Royal Affair.

Perhaps the most intriguing entry is Willie McCreery’s Ickworth, who failed to come out of the stalls when well fancied for the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot. McCreery could also let Windham Belle take her chance, having finished close behind the highly-regarded Pistoletto last time out.

Aidan O’Brien has four entered including Tango, fourth in the Queen Mary, while Michael O’Callaghan could run Lorelei Rock, seventh in the Albany last week.

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