Moore can Wonderfully upset the Moyglare odds

Casey to land Dance Design

Tapestry ridden by Joseph O’Brien wins The Friarstown Stud Debutante Stakes during the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes Day at the Curragh. Photograph Niall Carson/PA Wire

Tapestry ridden by Joseph O’Brien wins The Friarstown Stud Debutante Stakes during the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes Day at the Curragh. Photograph Niall Carson/PA Wire


It’s only 220 yards but the seventh and final furlong of tomorrow’s Moyglare Stud Stakes at the Curragh could be crucial to Wonderfully upsetting the odds in Ireland’s most prestigious race of the year for juvenile fillies.

Just seven hopefuls line up for the €225,000 Group One highlight but they include Kiyoshi, already antepost favourite for next year’s 1,000 Guineas, her cross-channel compatriot Rizeena, mount of new kid on the jockey-block, James Doyle, and €22,500 supplementary entry Tapestry who heads a Ballydoyle trio. Aidan O’Brien chases a seventh win in the race.

The fact that big-race sponsor Moyglare, who’ve never won their own race, have a legitimate contender in Carla Bianca means Touch Of Snow will be regarded as the sole no-hoper. But her trainer John Murphy has a history of surprising sceptics at HQ, so this is a race to relish.

Whether it is a race to indulge in short odds about either Kiyoshi or Tapestry is another matter though.

The Charlie Hills trained Kiyoshi displayed raw brilliance to win the six-furlong Albany at Royal Ascot in June despite hanging dramatically right in the closing stages and leaving Jamie Spencer more or less a passenger. The fact that the form of that race has been boosted since has reinforced the impression of quality.

Long-term plan
“It’s been the plan since Ascot to run here,” said Hills yesterday. “It’s an ideal stepping stone . . . but she needs to prove it again.”

Wonderfully was out of the money in that Albany. But subsequently given a seven furlong task, she reversed places with Heart Focus (fourth at Ascot) in the Silver Flash at Leopardstown, showing an admirable attitude in the process, unlike the waywardness that characterised Kiyoshi who now tackles seven for the first time.

Tapestry is the undoubted Ballydoyle No 1 and she’s impossible to crib having comfortably beaten Perhaps over the course and distance in the Group Two Debutante last time. Joseph O’Brien is again on board, leaving Ryan Moore to partner Wonderfully which is hardly a negative to the second string.

Tapestry has been faultless in two starts but her form comprises beating Perhaps, something Wonderfully also has to her credit. And yet the latter is at much longer odds. It’s also not like the Ballydoyle No 2 hasn’t won the Moyglare before. Misty For Me managed it in style three years ago.

That was part of a decade of local victories in the race, something brought to an end by Sky Lantern last season. Kiyoshi could yet emerge in that class.

Fast ground concerns
However, it was noticeable how connections yesterday were voicing concerns about the going becoming too fast. The English filly is very short in the betting for that to be factor. And in the circumstances, Wonderfully looks a value alternative.

Moore rides three others for Ballydoyle, including Expedition who is very much the second-string in the Group Three Round Tower Stakes to his stable companion Great White Eagle. This 760,000 Gns breeze-up purchase was immediately placed towards the top of next year’s classic betting after an impressive Naas debut. It will be a major blow to such hopes if the Elusive Quality colt can’t follow up.

Hanky Panky is Moore’s mount in the Dance Design Stakes where Say tries to reverse Gowran form with Along Came Casey. Trip and quick going though look perfect for the Weld filly.

The strength of Aidan O’Brien’s juvenile team is notable in a triple-challenge on the opening fillies maiden which consists of Joseph O’Brien on a 925,000 Gns sister to Irish Guineas winner Roderic O’Connor, Moore on another €260,000 daughter of Galileo and Sparrow, from the family of Sea The Stakes, only an apparent No 3. Moyglare’s Sparkle Factor boasts a promising Naas debut but faces a real task here against the might of Ballydoyle.

Francis Of Assisi could emerge as a handicap blot in the Irish Cambridgeshire but each-way backers could opt for the Moran Gra. Tonabrocky’s 80 rating looks enough to win a three-year-old maiden.