Saturday 27 May 2017

Euphrasia primed to blow Naas rivals away in Blue Wind repeat

Joe Murphy’s 99-rated Euphrasia won this in 2013 and she absolutely loves the mud
Joe Murphy’s 99-rated Euphrasia won this in 2013 and she absolutely loves the mud
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

Zannda will strive to emulate Dermot Weld's 2014 Oaks runner-up Tarfasha when she puts her own Epsom credentials on the line in Naas's Blue Wind Stakes.

The daughter of Azamour was just denied by Off Limits on her Leopardstown debut in the autumn before beating Wedding Vow to get off the mark there on heavy ground on her April return.

Wedding Vow was then second to the subsequent 1,000 Guineas winner Legatissimo at Gowran Park en route to running well to be third at Lingfield on Saturday.

Zannda, meanwhile, found only the leading Oaks fancy Jazzi Top too good at Newmarket on Guineas weekend. She is a pretty smart three-year-old, and she is proven in the sort of testing conditions that she will encounter here tonight.

That being said, it is slightly disconcerting that Zannda is equipped with blinkers now, having worn a visor at Newmarket. Aidan O'Brien uses the €80,000 10-furlong Group Three to introduce Loved, a hooded full-sister to the 2013 Derby fourth, Battle Of Marengo.

Paul Deegan's Avenue Gabriel and Jim Bolger's Pleascach are the top-rated of those with published marks on 101.

Joe Murphy's 99-rated Euphrasia is also on duty. The six-year-old Windsor Knot mare won this in 2013 and she absolutely loves the mud.

A fantastic third to Noble Mission in the Tattersalls Gold Cup last year, she has been outclassed without being disgraced in three runs this term, running her best race of the year when just over four lengths behind the highly-rated Fascinating Rock and Parish Hall at the Curragh last time.

That was a performance that confirmed there is another day in Euphrasia yet, so the game front-runner is fancied to cause a small upset here under Gary Carroll.

Murphy is without a winner since the Turf season began, as is Mick Halford, who trains the day's nap selection, Duchessofflorence. Halford has chosen his runners carefully of late and Duchessofflorence is his only representative tonight.

She should have a big say in what is an open fillies' maiden over a mile.

DISAPPOINTED

David Wachman's Mohini, a 10-length third to Chester heroine Diamondsandrubies at Tipperary, is a threat to the selection, as is Weld's Chinese Light, which has disappointed since finishing second in the same race.

However, Duchessofflorence was a fine fourth to Back On Top at Limerick. The runner-up Kissed By Angels was impressive at Leopardstown on Sunday, while the third, Rivers Of Babylon, was second at Chester.

If Duchessofflorence improves on that level of display, she is going to take a bit of stopping under Shane Foley. In the six-furlong handicap, Sexy Legs could turn the tables on its Cork conqueror, Ohh Lala.

David Wachman's Wayne Lordan-ridden filly is five pounds better off for a half-length defeat.

Irish Independent

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