Andromeda Galaxy revives Cecil link to Wildenstein family with Gowran Park run
THE once-powerful association of Sir Henry Cecil and the Wildenstein family is revived this weekend as Andromeda Galaxy makes her debut for the trainer at Gowran Park on Sunday.
Cecil enjoyed a successful time training for the late Daniel Wildenstein in the late 1970s and early 1980s, with such horses as Doncaster Cup winner Buckskin and multiple Group One winner Belmont Bay flying the flag.
The partnership effectively came to end due to a disagreement between Cecil and Wildenstein regarding stable jockey Lester Piggott, although Rolly Polly did win for the old team in the 2001 Fred Darling Stakes at Newbury.
It was announced in July that the Wildenstein family would send two horses to the master of Warren Place, with Andromeda Galaxy joined by the more high-profile Beauty Parlour, who has already won the French 1000 Guineas this season and gone down narrowly in the French Oaks.
Andromeda Galaxy was a Listed-race winner in France last year when trained by Elie Lellouche and was last seen finishing a close fourth in the Group Two Prix Corrida at Saint-Cloud in May.
She heads to Ireland this weekend and faces nine rivals in the Group Three Denny Cordell Lavarack & Lanwades Stud Fillies Stakes.
Andromeda Galaxy is joined on the trip from Britain by John Dunlop's Beatrice Aurore and Momentary from Michael Bell's yard.
Momentary beat the talented Shirocco Star in the Swettenham Stud Fillies' Trial at Newbury in May, but has since disappointed in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot and in a Listed event at York.
"We're putting the blinkers on her as we just feel she's been keeping a little bit up her sleeve and saving a bit for herself," said Bell.
"She did a nice piece of work in them the other day, so we made a team decision to put them on in a race.
"It's quite a warm little contest but she has a Listed penalty and hopefully this is an opportunity for her to gain a bit more black type.
"It's a Group Three and they tend to get a little bit warmer at this time of year as all the Listed winners converge on these various races."
Joseph O'Brien is an eyecatching jockey booking on Her Majesty's filly.
Bell said: "He rode Tactician for the Queen in the Ebor, when we just got beaten. Obviously he's got local knowledge and he's a very talented rider."
Jim Bolger saddles recent Group Three winner Alla Speranza, while the Dermot Weld-trained Caponata is a major contender off the back of a short-head defeat to Up in the Blandford Stakes.
Aidan O'Brien is represented by Devotion and Soon, while David Wachman is also double-handed with both Esentepe and Aloof in the mix.
Shebella from John Oxx's yard completes the line-up.