We're set for a top class weekend of racing at the Curragh and Joseph O'Brien has six runners on Saturday, including a lively outsider in the Irish Oaks...
"This is obviously a huge step up in class, but the race has cut up a bit and we're happy to throw her in at the deep end. She has very little to lose and
- Joseph O'Brien on Mariesque
Been showing ability at home
Almanera is a horse that was bought at the Craven Breeze-Up Sale at Tattersalls in April. He is by an exciting first-season sire in Almanzor and has been showing ability at home. We won't be burdening him with big expectations on his debut, but we hope he'll show plenty of promise for the future.
Needs to improve but nurseries might help
Swift One has been a bit disappointing so far, but should find it a bit easily in nursery company. The hope is that the firmer surface will help bring about some improvement, as he'll need to progress to be competitive.
Solid chance for Andreas while Hadman can also run well
Andreas Vesalius improved for the step up to six furlongs as we had hoped he would when finishing a good sixth in the Railway Stakes last time. That was a particularly strong race and he would have finished even closer but for suffering interference inside the final furlong. This race isn't quite as deep and we think there could well be more improvement in him, so he looks to have a solid chance.
Hadman has improved with each of his four starts, winning a maiden at Gowran Park and a winner's race at Naas last time. He still looked a bit raw at Naas and I'd be hopeful that he can improve again. This trip seems fine for him and I'm hopeful that he can run a good race.
Tough task in Irish Oaks but she has a lot to gain
Mariesque is a lovely filly that we always hoped would make up into a stakes performer. She made a winning return to action in a maiden at Gowran Park and then acquitted herself very well when fifth in the Naas Oaks Trial last month. She was still notably green at Naas and shaped as though this longer trip is what she wants. This is obviously a huge step up in class, but the race has cut up a bit and we're happy to throw her in at the deep end. She has very little to lose and an awful lot to gain, so hopefully she'll acquit herself well.
Blinkers and handicap company could help
Speak In Colours has been a legend of a horse for us over the years. Unfortunately, he hasn't quite sparked into top form thus far this season, but he has slipped in the ratings as a result and we thought he might appreciate dropping back into a handicap. We've put blinkers on him to try and get a positive reaction and his good record at this track is well established, so hopefully he can get back on track and run well.
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