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Curragh joust is option for Maarek

TRAINER David Nagle has given Maarek an option of Sunday's Mick Ramsey Lifetime In Racing Achievement Waterford Testimonial Stakes at the Curragh in case conditions are not in his favour at Ascot.

THERE is a bigger prize available in the following week's Qipco British Champions Sprint Stakes, but Maarek needs to have some give in the ground.

The five-year-old has graduated from handicap company this season by winning Group races at Newcastle and the Curragh but reverted for the Ayr Gold Cup, finishing third under a big weight.

"I'm not ruling out running this weekend - nothing is set in stone - but I will probably wait until the end of the week so I can look at the forecast for Ascot," said County Tipperary-based Nagle.

"I want it to be soft there, and Ascot can change day by day.

"He's very well, but there aren't many races for him in Ireland, so we'll wait and see."

My Special J's is to be given a break after her ordinary run in France on Sunday, with trainer Pat Shanahan planning to prepare the juvenile for a spell in Dubai early next year.

After having reversed form with Harasiya in the Group Two Debutante Stakes, Shanahan's filly has now flopped twice in top-level attempts, finishing last in the Moyglare Stud Stakes and the Prix Marcel Boussac.

My Special J's is part-owned by Thistle Bloodstock, the operation of Dubai-based businessman Jimmy Long, which influences the decision.

"I'd say it was a combination of a few things at the weekend," said County Kilkenny-based Shanahan.

"We were coming to the end of a long season and it was a very long way by road from Ireland to France.

"She probably didn't quite stay a mile in very heavy ground.

"In Ireland, our heavy ground is wet through, but this was very deep ground.

"She has come back and is tired, so that's it for her.

"The owner is based out in Dubai so she will go there first, probably to run in something like the UAE 1000 Guineas."