British Raiders Target Top Curragh Races
Last year’s Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger winner Brown Panther could be among a strong British challenge coming to the Curragh for day two of Longines Irish Champions Weekend.
The seven-year-old, part-owned by former international soccer star Michael Owen, won at Group One level for the first time when beating Leading Light by six and a half lengths in last year’s renewal and trainer Tom Dascombe is strongly considering a return bid.
“Brown Panther is fit and well and the Palmerstown House Estate Irish St Leger is a definite possibility for him,” Dascombe said. “He’s ready to run and was away to Newmarket last week and we will decide in the next few days whether Sunday’s race is right for him.
“The Curragh was the scene of his Group One win when he won the St Leger there last year and we have spent so long worrying about the horse that now we have to worry about which race to run him in. His weight is good, he is fit and healthy. We brought him to Newmarket just to remind him that he’s going to be alright when he comes off the bridle again and now we’ll just see what the next week brings.”
Also set to line up at the Curragh next weekend is the Brian Meehan-trained Agent Murphy who was an impressive winner at Group Three level last month at Newbury and has been thriving since according to his trainer.
Meehan confirmed; “The Irish St Leger is very much the plan for Agent Murphy. He is in grand form at home, he worked on Thursday morning and worked very well and please God we will be at the Curragh on Sunday week.
“He was very impressive at Newbury and he is improving. This is a Classic and it makes sense to go there next.” he added.
Meehan will also be represented by the high-class two-year-old Blue Bayou in the Moyglare Stud Stakes. The two-time winning daughter of Bahamian Bounty only suffered defeat once when going down by just a short-head and a nose to Royal Ascot winner Illuminate and subsequent two-time winner Besharah.
“The plan is also to send Blue Bayou for the Moyglare on the same day. Her form is good and certainly looks the obvious race for her to step her up to Group One company. Both horses are in good form and couldn’t be better at the moment anyway..”
Trainer William Haggas has enjoyed a terrific season so far and he intends on sending Muthmir for the Derrinstown Stud Flying Five Stakes where he is likely to take on recent York winner Mecca’s Angel and a strong bunch of Irish sprinters.
Haggas said: “Muthmir will run in the Flying Five if the ground is on the quick side of good. He is in good form and the ground was just too slow for him at York the last day.”
The ground at the Curragh is currently being described as ‘good’ by racecourse manager Paul Hensey. “We have good ground at the moment,” Hensey said. “The forecast is very settled until the middle of the week at least so we are in a very good place for the start of the week. We’ll make decisions early next week based on the forecast but at the moment I couldn’t be happier. We have totally fresh ground and a lovely cover of grass so we’ll just monitor the forecast from here on in.
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