Connections of Profound Beauty are praying for better conditions than 12 months ago for the Irish Field St Leger at the Curragh today.
The mare, trained by Dermot Weld, could not handle the soft ground last year and trailed in fourth behind Alandi, but she is reported to be in tip-top shape following her latest success at Leopardstown.
She is having a second crack at the Classic ahead of her arduous trip to Australia for the Melbourne Cup.
“She’ll run provided it doesn’t come up too soft. She ran last year and it was a bog,” said Stan Cosgrove, racing manager for owners the Moyglare Stud.
“She’s in smashing form and cantered up this morning. If we get the ground for her, she’ll have a great chance.”
Aidan O’Brien is expecting a big run from his first string, Flying Cross.
The lightly-raced colt made a late start to the campaign with a promising victory at Tipperary two weeks ago.
“We gave him plenty of time. He won his maiden very easily at Navan and has a super pedigree but you try not to go with them all at the same time – you can leave some of them alone for later,” said the Ballydoyle trainer.
“We always had the Legers in mind and it was great to get a run into him. The Tipperary race came along, he ran there and won nicely. Everything we have asked him to do, he has done nicely.”
Charlie Swan is hoping the exertions of winning three times in the space of a month recently will not take its toll on the progressive Rajik, who was supplemented at a cost of 24,000 euros on Monday.
“He seems in great form, but it’s hard to know when he’s been busy of late – you don’t know until you run them,” said the County Tipperary trainer, who won the ‘Leger Legends’ race at Doncaster on Wednesday.
“As Group Ones go I suppose you can get a lot harder ones and some of them might not go on the ground.
“There’s no reason why he shouldn’t go on it. He was only beaten a neck by Drunken Sailor on soft ground at Galway last year.
“I think he’s got an each-way chance, but I’m not sure if he’s up to winning it.”
Tactic has a two-length defeat of Profound Beauty to his credit over the course and distance in June, but he too would not appreciate soft going.
“Tactic is in top shape and hopefully the ground will not be too soft,” said trainer John Dunlop’s racing secretary Marcus Hosgood.
The Jeremy Noseda-trained Sans Frontieres finally gets his chance in Group One class and goes to Ireland on the back of convincing wins in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket and Newbury’s Geoffrey Freer Stakes.
“He goes there with a realistic chance and we’re looking forward to it. He’s in very good form and has won his last two races,” said Barry Simpson, racing manager to owner Sir Robert Ogden.
“We are happy with his preparation. I just hope it doesn’t rain too much between now and off time. I think he’ll run a great race.
“This has been his objective for some time once he got back into form. His promising run at Royal Ascot sparked things forward.
“The application of headgear helped him as he was dropping himself out in the early part of the race and making life difficult for himself. It’s made a big difference and he’s a lot sharper than he was.”
Kite Wood was second in the Doncaster version 12 months ago and bids to go one better.
“Kite Wood was disappointing at Newbury and didn’t stay the distance of the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot,” trainer Saeed bin Suroor told www.godolphin.com.
“He has been working nicely recently and deserves another chance in a big race. He has the class to run well and I am hoping to see him produce a better performance.”.
Picture: Profound Beauty, with Pat Smullen up, on their way to winning the At The Races Curragh Cup last year (SPORTSFILE).
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