Stellar line up at The Curragh
The Curragh is set to play host to a stellar cast of household names over the weekend as aside from the feature Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby on Saturday, Classic winners Legatissimo and Pleascach and the Dermot Weld-trained Forgotten Rules have also been declared for Sunday’s racing.
Sunday’s Group 1 Sea The Stars Pretty Polly Stakes has attracted a high-class field of nine and sees David Wachman’s English 1,000 Guineas winner Legatissimo clash with Jim Bolger’s Pleascach, who landed the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh last month.
Also declared in the €250,000 event is the unbeaten Brooch who will represent local trainer Dermot Weld and his stable jockey Pat Smullen is relishing the prospect of riding her in Sunday’s feature race.
Smullen said: “She’s a filly that has done really well and has come up steadily in the ranks and she’s now stepping up from a very good Group 2 win at the Curragh to Group 1 class. The step up to a mile and a quarter should suit and she is progressing and we think a lot of her.”
Also on Sunday is the Group 3 At The Races Curragh Cup in which Forgotten Rules is the headline act. Dermot Weld’s five-year-old suffered the only defeat of his career when finishing a gallant third in the Ascot Gold Cup and he bids to bounce back when meeting six rivals including the Andy Oliver-trained Panama Hat. Forgotten Rules is owned by Moyglare Stud Farm and the owners will be donating a percentage of the horse’s prize-money for the season to the Irish Injured Jockeys Fund.
Saturday’s chief supporting race to the 150th running of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby is the Group 2 GAIN Railway Stakes in which five will go to post. Dual winner Argentero represents the in-form Ger Lyons stable, while Richard Hannon will look to win the race for a second year in-a-row as he sends over Norfolk Stakes runner-up Log Out Island. Aidan O’Brien will look to win the race for the first time since 2009 with his recent Leopardstown scorer Painted Cliffs and Jessica Harrington will run her impressive Curragh maiden winner Rockaway Valley.
Speaking of her course and distance winner Harrington said: “We knew he was pretty smart the first day but the penny just didn’t drop but the second day he was really professional. Saturday’s race is a really good renewal and they are all hard to win but I hope he has improved a bit. He is a very laid back horse which is brilliant because he only does what he has to do at home.”
Tom Hogan’s well travelled stable star Gordon Lord Byron heads the six runners for the Dubai Duty Free Dash on Saturday’s card and racing gets underway at 3pm on day two of the Irish Derby Festival.
Sunday’s racing begins at 2.15pm and all live sport will be shown throughout the enclosures.
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