Classy Curvy could be Derby-bound

Curvy put herself in the frame for a crack at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby with a cosy victory in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot yesterday.

Classy Curvy could be Derby-bound

David Wachman’s filly claimed the notable scalp of Irish 1,000 Guineas winner Pleascach in the Group Two as she continued her progression through the ranks.

The Darley Irish Oaks would be the obvious alternative for the talented filly but a clash with the colts could be tempting as she defeated subsequent Investec Derby fourth Giovanni Canaletto in the Gallinule Stakes, a race that gave her an automatic entry in the Irish Derby.

The 9-2 success was a seventh for Ryan Moore of the meeting as she took her 100 per cent record this season to four.

Entertainment set the pace for a long way, but Pleascach took over in the straight under Kevin Manning and looked set to deliver.

To her outside there was some scrimmaging for position, with Curvy barging her way through the smallest of gaps, causing Pamona and Wedding Vow to edge left.

Once in the clear, however, she picked up well and found plenty in the final furlong to beat Pleascach by a length. Pamona was four lengths away in third.

Wachman said: “This has been a steady improver. She’s a big, scopey filly and keeps stepping up and every time we ask her a question she seems to answer it. She’ll level off somewhere, I’m sure.

“They went no gallop and it was a very messy race. She did well to win the way the race was run.

“She will probably step up to Group One class now and we will just keep her separate from Legatissimo (1000 Guineas winner and Oaks runner-up).

“She got a free entry in the Irish Derby for winning the Gallinule Stakes the last day. That was kind of my plan, to come here and then the Irish Derby, but we’ll see what suits (the owners).

“That’s a possible and we’ve got the Irish Oaks. We’ve got all those mile and a quarter, mile and a half races.”

Moore said: “It was a very steadily-run race and I thought she was going to win nicely, but a furlong out Kevin (Manning) got a bump and she just fell into me and I had to regather her then. It was harder than it should have been in the end.

“She got the mile and a half well and we’ll have to see what the race produces.

“She doesn’t do a lot when she gets to the front and hopefully there’ll be a bit more in the tank.”

Jim Bolger said of the beaten favourite: ”We think she stayed. It just didn’t happen today.

“We now have options for her as she is very versatile, but we wouldn’t envisage going beyond a mile and a half.

“I was a good run but the winner is improving every day of the week.”

Harry Herbert, racing manager for owners Highclere Thoroughbred Racing, was delighted with the performance of the Luca Cumani-trained Pamona.

He said: “Pamona has run a terrific race and we are absolutely thrilled.

“Se was trapped wide but that was not the end of the world. Considering she was given such a bump in the straight by the winner she stayed on well. I don’t think it would have made any difference to the result.

“It is just whether we stick at a mile and a half or go back to a mile and a quarter as she quickened up well when she was asked.

“The Irish Oaks is being discussed.”

War Envoy powered home to land the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot under Ryan Moore.

Remarkably an eighth winner of the week and the third on the afternoon for the jockey, Aidan O’Brien’s charge was enjoying a significant drop in class having had his last three runs in the Craven Stakes, the French 2000 Guineas and the French Derby.

The War Front colt (10-1) was held up for a late run in the smaller group racing on the far side of the track and Moore timed his run to perfection, getting up to beat Udododontu by a neck.

Sacrificial fared best of those that raced against the stands rail in third, with Carry On Deryck fourth.

Moore, who had a luckless run in the Gold Cup on Kingfisher, said: “It was a bit tricky. I was hoping they wouldn’t split as uneven as that and there wasn’t as many horses as I would have liked (on the far side).

“They got well strung out, but fortunately we had the speed on our side, they got racing a long way out and I just kept waiting and fortunately didn’t find traffic this time.

“He’s a miler and loves fast ground and loves a strong pace. When he’s running in those Group races it doesn’t always unfold that way, but he’s got plenty of ability.

O’Brien and Moore had also struck earlier when Waterloo Bridge came home best to cause a minor upset in the Norfolk Stakes. The betting was all about Richard Hannon runners, with the champion trainer responsible for 11-8 favourite King Of Rooks and his main market rival Log Out Island (13-8).

The market principals were both smartly away in the five-furlong Group Two and threatened to control it from the front, but the more patiently-ridden Waterloo Bridge, a 12-1 shot for Aidan O’Brien, swooped by in the final furlong and was well on top at the finish.

Log Out Island was half a length away in second, with the same distance back to his stable companion in third.

Moore, riding his sixth winner of the week, said: “The strong pace suited us, but to be fair to this horse, he’d probably never run on quick ground and it’s brought about improvement. He’s been running on soft ground and not enjoying it.

“This horse looked magnificent, every one of Aidan’s this week has run great and you can never discount them.”

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