Today’s action: Spencer looking for Purr-fect homecoming
TIPPERARY: COOLMORE STUD FAIRY BRIDGE STAKES (Group 3)
Last week Jamie Spencer shocked the racing World with news of his imminent retirement but today he returns home to Ireland to take part in the Group 3 Fairy Bridge Stakes at Tipperary. Spencer will get the leg up on Johnny Murtagh’s Purr Along for the 7 furlong contest for his employers Qatar Racing, who he will be taking a managerial role with come next season.
Murtagh will be looking to continue his stables’ fine form after last weekend’s big win in the Ebor and his 4yo daughter of Mount Nelson will line up alongside nine talented fillies in an attempt to record the third Group 3 victory of her career. Formerly trained by William Muir, Purr Along made a winning debut for Murtagh in the Lanwades Stud Stakes at the Curragh in May and has since returned to Britain to put in two fine performances in the Duke OF Cambridge and the Falmouth.
Her main rival today should come in the form of the Dermot Weld trained Tested. The 3yo has had just five starts to date but three of those ended in victory, with a fine effort in the Irish 1000 Guineas on unsuitable soft ground also thrown into the mix. She was very well backed at Galway last time where she bumped into an improving sort from the Murtagh stable but looks a main player again here on this sounder surface.
Weld also saddles the consistent Big Break who was behind Purr Along at the Curragh back in May. The consistent 4yo was a Group 3 winner in her juvenile campaign but has failed to hit the target since, although she was only beaten two lengths in the Irish Guineas last year. She has had just two starts this season including a decent effort at Leopardstown last time in first time blinkers which are discarded here.
The in form Ed Lynam stable will be represented by the lightly raced Witches Brew who will be making just her fifth start. A maiden winner at the Curragh two starts ago, Lynam’s charge put in a good display in Listed company at Cork last time on testing ground but the way she stayed that day over a mile suggests that this trip may be on the sharp side.
Of the bigger priced runners, Booker and Some Spirit catch the eye having had just three starts apiece. The former, a Curragh maiden winner was not beaten far in a Guineas Trial last time but hasn’t been seen for over 100 days which will not help her cause. The latter is the really interesting one having blitzed the field at Leopardstown in the first time hood on her debut for trainer Ger Lyons and must surely have more to come.
By Kevin Walsh / Pat Healy/PA Wire
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