Irish Eyes: Go on My girl
Our Irish expert has three selections ahead of Sunday's action at the Curragh, including the "strongest nap from this column for some time."
My Titania gets the nap vote in the Group 2 Kilboy Estate Stakes and not only that, but she appeals as the strongest nap from this column for some time.
John Oxx’s daughter of the imperious Sea The Stars missed both the English and Irish 1000 Guineas and when she finally lined up for her seasonal debut in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot, she ran far to freely and gave herself absolutely no chance.
Amazingly, she did not stop pulling until just under two furlongs from home and the fact that she still managed to finish fourth when she looked set to be swallowed up by the rest of the pack says plenty about her class and courage.
My Titania had Sandiva back in 5th and Tapestry (second in the Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks yesterday) behind her that day, so that form is as solid as you could hope to find.
With the benefit of that run under her belt, she should settle much better today and Oxx appears to have found the ideal opportunity for her to get off the mark for the season before reverting to Group 1 company where the Matron Stakes on Irish Champions weekend is her main target.
Aidan O’Brien is aiming to win the opening fillies maiden for the third time in five years and whereas he can sometime be mob handed in races (five representatives in yesterday’s Darley Irish Oaks for example) he relies on just on representative today.
As her name suggests, she is no ordinary filly however for Toogoodtobetrue is just about as well-bred a filly as you will ever find.
She is by Oasis Dream out of a granddaughter of All Too Beautiful, who is a half-sister to Sea The Stars and a full-sister to Galileo!
She was given a fantastic introduction at Naas under Seamie Heffernan recently.
Sent off an 8/1 shot, her owners also had the strongly fancied favourite in the race, but when it became obvious that Sexy Legs was not going to win, Seamie pushed a slightly green Toogoodtobetrue home to finish one place in front of her more fancied rival in second place.
That run marked her down as a certain future winner and a potential black-type filly that we will be hearing much more about in future.
Her main market rival on paper is likely to be the Aga Khan-owned Sidra, an unraced filly from the Dermot Weld stable but there is little doubt that her connections will have one eye on Galway, as they often do with their maidens at this time of year.
Last year’s winning trainer, owner and rider combination supply a decent opponent in the shape of Gussy Goose whilst Jim Bolger’s New Alliance is very well thought of on her homework.
Should she be fully wound up, she might give Toogoodtobetrue a battle but with the benefit of experience under her belt, Aidan O’Brien’s charge should get the job done.
Incidentally, we mentioned earlier that O’Brien is chasing a third winner in this over the past five years – his 2010 winner Misty For Me went on to win four Group 1 races whilst last year’s winner Tapestry also won at Group 1 level.
Tim Pitt’s Sir Maximilian gets the each-way vote in the €100,000 Rockingham Handicap.
His trainer had been making good noises about the horse prior to the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, where he failed by one to make the cut.
Some trainers have a habit of talking the talk but Pitt has walked the walk too having transformed the former handicapper (and failed hurdler!) Les Arcs, into a dual Group 1 winning sprinter, courtesy of victories’ in Royal Ascot’s Golden Jubilee (now Diamond Jubilee) and the July Cup.
Therefore, Pitt clearly knows a good sprinter when he trains one and there were valid reason for a couple of recent disappointing runs.
At a double figure price and with a neutral draw in 8, he gets the each-way vote today.
As an added bonus, the Pitt stable is in great from too, having saddle a winner and second at Haydock and Nottingham respectively last Friday, with his last two runners.