Stack team confident ahead of Pretty Polly bid

Alive Alive Oh will carry a degree of stable confidence as she puts her Darley Irish Oaks credentials on the line in the Oxigen Environmental Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh on Sunday.

Stack team confident ahead of Pretty Polly bid

Trained by Tommy Stack, the three-year-old has created a strong impression in her two races this season and was set to go off favourite for the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot before connections pulled her out on account of the fast ground.

Stack’s son and assistant, Fozzy, feels Alive Alive Oh has recovered from the exertions of travelling to England and back without a problem.

He said: “She seems well enough after it, anyway.

“That was the first time she’d ever had a journey of any real length but she took it all in her stride, thankfully. It was just a shame she couldn’t run.

“It will be a long time before we scratch a favourite at Ascot again, I can say that.

“But the owners are very understanding and they want her for a long time, not just a good time. The ground was very hard at Ascot so it was the correct decision, we feel, anyway.

“She seems well, she’s taking on the older fillies but she seems well and I don’t think I’d swap her for anything in the race. She should have a very good chance.”

Alive Alive Oh will come up against last year’s Oaks winner Was, trained by Aidan O’Brien, who also runs Say.

Jockey Joseph O’Brien is expecting a much better show from Was stepping back up in trip after her seasonal reappearance where everything appeared to be happening too fast over a mile.

“She ran a nice race at the Curragh earlier on in the year over a mile and that trip is probably a bit short of her best,” O’Brien told At The Races.

“She’s stepping back up to a mile and a quarter here so we’ll be hoping for a good run.”

Princess Highway was an impressive winner of last season’s Ribblesdale for Dermot Weld and was third in the Irish Oaks, although she is without a win since the Royal meeting.

Roger Varian sends over Ambivalent from his Newmarket base and she will be joined by Hughie Morrison’s Shirocco Star, second to Was at Epsom last year.

Morrison would have preferred to have seen more rain for Shirocco Star, who is another stepping back up in distance after a run over a distance short of her optimum.

“Ideally she would have wanted a bit more rain to be seen at her best,” said Morrison.

“I know she has run well on fast ground before, it was quick enough in the Oaks, but I just feel that she’s better with a little bit of ease.

“Her best form entitles her to win this race but people keep telling me that and she hasn’t managed to win one yet.”

Ambivalent has run well in Group company this term but is rising in class.

Varian told his website: “Ambivalent has bags of ability and has run two solid races this season. Judged on her run in the Middleton Stakes, I think the drop back to ten furlongs will suit. We would be delighted if she can run in the first three.”

Mick Channon runs Cruck Realta, while Kevin Prendergast runs La Collina.

John Oxx is represented by Harasiya and Jim Bolger runs Rehn’s Nest, second in the Irish 1,000 Guineas but well beaten in the Coronation Stakes last week.

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