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Saturday, July 21, 2012
Princess Highway is fancied to continue her rapid rise up the ladder by landing the Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh tomorrow.
On all known form she is the best filly in the race and the more the surface dries out the more confident we can be will do the business.
The fact the selection is by Street Cry is a major worry, but the plus side is that her dam, Irresistible Jewel, was very much at home on a soft surface.
Prior to Royal Ascot, the selection looked a useful sort, no more than that. But her display in the Ribblesdale Stakes was far in advance of anything which had gone before.
Partnered with plenty of patience by Pat Smullen, Princess Highway exploded in the straight to beat The Fugue and Shirocco Star by six lengths and a short head.
That performance is put in perspective when you consider Shirocco Star and The Fugue had previously finished a close second and third respectively behind Was in the Epsom Oaks.
John Gosden’s horses are flying and his Great Heavens rates the biggest danger. This sister to Nathaniel handled heavy ground with ease last time when winning the Group 2 Lancashire Oaks at Haydock by five lengths.
Dermot Weld trains Princess Highway and his Caponata gets the nap in the Group 3 Kilboy Estate Stakes.
She easily won a modest maiden at Gowran Park and then stepped into Listed company to produce a decent effort when slamming Shebella at Naas subsequently.
Cristoforo Colombo, beaten into second by Probably on this track last month, is hard to oppose in the Anglesey Stakes.
There are some interesting newcomers in the Darley EBF Maiden, but the one they all have to beat is Michael Halford’s Dibayani, who made a really good start when a head second to Aidan O’Brien’s The United States here earlier in the month.
At the Curragh this afternoon, Halford’s Slipper Orchid is the nap choice in the Irish Field Fillies Maiden. She came home well when third behind Encrypted Message and Unanimous at Fairyhouse last Sunday and Unanimous boosted the form when scoring at Leopardstown on Thursday night.
John Oxx’s Takar has 12lbs in hand of Singing Bird and 13lbs on Among Equals and faces a simple task in the Minstrel Stakes.
Oxx’s Ebazan, absent since chasing home stable companion Aklan at the Curragh three months ago, can take the Discover Ireland Dublin Horse Show Maiden.
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