Johnny Murtagh excited as Know It All returns to action at the Curragh
Lancaster House returns to defend his crown for Aidan O’Brien in the Gladness Stakes
Johnny Murtagh’s filly Know It All gets her season under way at the Curragh on Saturday. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho
Johnny Murtagh is excited to get Know It All’s season under way in the TRI Equestrian Gladness Stakes at the Curragh.
A winner over the course and distance as a juvenile two seasons ago, the Qatar Racing-owned filly is bidding to double her Group Three tally on her return to action on Saturday following victory in the Derrinstown Stud Fillies’ Stakes last summer.
Know It All went on to perform with credit at Group One level on her next two appearances, finishing a close-up third in the Prix Rothschild at Deauville and then fourth behind stablemate Champers Elysees in the Matron Stakes at Leopardstown.
“We’re looking forward to getting her season started,” said Co Kildare trainer Murtagh. “She’s ready to start off, and we’re hopeful of a big year ahead. We’re excited to get her out.”
Know It All is one of 12 horses declared for the seven-furlong contest, with last year’s winner Lancaster House returning to defend his crown for Aidan O’Brien.
Other hopefuls include Joseph O’Brien’s Speak In Colours, Tom Dascombe’s British raider Brad The Brief and and the Ado McGuinness-trained Current Option, who is expected to improve from his comeback run when fourth at Dundalk last month.
“I think Current Option will run a big race in the Gladness,” said McGuinness.
“I knew he was a bit short going to Dundalk, and he’s always a bit gassy starting off. He likes to have a run, and it’s good to get that under his belt.
“He’s done a few bits of work, and I’m happy with him.”
Group Three honours are also up for grabs in the Holden Plant Rentals Alleged Stakes, in which McGuinness saddles the high-class Bowerman.
Winner of the Diamond Stakes at Dundalk last autumn, the seven-year-old made a successful start to 2021 when landing a valuable prize in Qatar in February.
McGuinness added: “Bowerman has his first run back since his trip away. Hopefully the ground won’t be too dead.
“He’s up against it, but it’s great to have horses that are capable of running in these races.
“We are looking at a race at Belmont in June that we have got an invitation to, but it’s such a hassle with the Covid and you could end up having a member of staff away for a month.
“It’s very expensive for one horse, and we are doing a costing on the whole thing at the moment.
“It’s a 700,000 race, and I’d love to go, but it’s such a hassle.”
The one to beat in the Alleged Stakes is Aidan O’Brien’s Broome, who impressed with victory on his seasonal debut in the Listed Devoy Stakes at Naas three weeks ago.
The Ballydoyle handler’s son Joseph has a trio of contenders in Numerian, Pondus and Thundering Nights.