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Hibaayib flying for Oaks fight

Royal Ascot heroine Hibaayeb is reported to be in the form of her life as she bids to give the Godolphin team their first taste of success in tomorrow's Darley Irish Oaks at the Curragh.

The daughter of Singspiel was a hugely impressive winner of the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot and tests the water in Classic company on Sunday.

Her trainer Saeed bin Suroor has been thrilled with his filly's subsequent progress and is confident of a bold show providing conditions at the Curragh do not become too testing.

"She ran a huge race last time and came out of the race really well," said bin Suroor.

"Her condition is very good and she looks better than ever at the moment.

"It's a very tough race but the filly is really happy and working very well.

"Good ground would be fine for her so I hope it is not too soft."

The Godolphin team are double-handed in the race with the Mahmood Al Zarooni-trained Miss Jean Brodie taking a big jump in class following success in a Doncaster maiden.

Michael Stoute's Eldalil chased Hibaayeb home at Royal Ascot and Angus Gold, racing manager for the owner Hamdan Al Maktoum, is hopeful of further improvement.

"We hope she has improved since Ascot and she will need to as she is jumping up a grade," said Gold.

"They say the ground is going to be good or possibly a little bit easier and I just hope it doesn't go too soft.

"She's taking on the top mile-and-a-half fillies around so I can't say she'll win it, but I thought if she'd broken better at Ascot, then she'd have finished an awful lot closer to the winner.

"She proved that day that she stayed the trip so hopefully she'll run a decent race on Sunday."

Epsom Oaks form is well represented with Ed Dunlop's winner Snow Fairy renewing rivalries with the runner-up Meeznah and the third home Remember When.

As she was at Epsom, Snow Fairy has once again had to be supplemented for the Group One prize and Dunlop has been pleased with her subsequent homework.

"This has been the plan since Epsom," said Dunlop.

"I'm happy enough being in stall nine as we're in the middle but I have to say I didn't expect 16 runners.

"I'm sure there'll be a good pace and now we know how many runners there are and where we're drawn, we can start to talk about what we're going to do.

"It's good ground and good to soft in the straight.

"They had quite a lot of rain on Thursday night but they apparently needed that and we'll just keep our fingers crossed they don't get a great deal more.

"We've had our day at Epsom and if we get another one it would be great."

Meeznah has just a neck to make up on Snow Fairy, but trainer David Lanigan is under no illusions about the task in hand.

"She's flying out to Ireland today and she seems in good form, so we'll see how we get on," he said.

"I don't think anyone would want much more rain than we've already had. We just hope it's good Flat racing ground so it's fair for everybody.

"Hopefully our filly has improved since Epsom and has learnt from the experience she got there.

"She's very straightforward to train and we'll know a lot more after the race, so hopefully she goes there and puts up a good performance."

Remember When is one of five runners for Aidan O'Brien along with Awe Inspiring, Dance On By, Ice Empress and Lady Lupus.

French raider Rosanara is still without a win in 2010 but she was beaten just a length in the French 1000 Guineas and then chased home smart stablemate Sarafina in the French Oaks.

Georges Rimaud, racing manager for owner the Aga Khan, said: "We know it will not be an easy race but she is in very good form and has worked very well, so we should expect a good run from her.

"She is stepping up in distance and it seems a long extra distance at the Curragh, but she should stay no problem."

Ralph Beckett's Desert Sage is another interesting British contender, while Akdarena, Brazilian Beauty, Crystal Gal and King's Vintage complete the line-up.


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