Monday 21 October 2019

Appleby hopes 'Illusion' can spoil O'Brien's Pretty Polly party

Charlie Appleby. Photo: Edward Whitaker
Charlie Appleby. Photo: Edward Whitaker
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

Aidan O'Brien could saddle more than half of the field in Friday evening's Group One Juddmonte Pretty Polly Stakes with Epsom Oaks runner-up Pink Dogwood set to lead the Ballydoyle charge at the Curragh.

O'Brien chases a fifth success in the €300,000 feature with several fillies which ran at Ascot - the likes of Fleeting, Magic Wand and I Can Fly - also possible contenders in the 1m2f contest which has an English flavour.

The raiding party have landed five of the last seven editions and Charlie Appleby holds leading claims with multiple Group One-winning filly Wild Illusion bidding to build on her reappearance effort when sixth in last month's Group One Prix d'Ispahan.

"I was pleased with her first run against the colts at Longchamp. She was coming back to nine furlongs for that race as well and that race has really brought her forward," Appleby said yesterday.

"Preparations for the Curragh have gone well and she is back to her ideal trip as a stiff ten furlongs at the Curragh will really suit her really well. If she brings the best of her form then she can be right there with a chance."

Further English interest is supplied by David Lanigan's Worth Waiting, which is highly progressive and comes here off a career-best effort when taking the Group Two Dahlia Stakes at Newmarket last month.

The Pretty Polly eluded Joseph O'Brien during his riding career but he saddles a live contender in Iridessa, which is hoping to build on her Irish 1,000 Guineas fourth last month.

"Iridessa is in good shape. She ran well in both the English 1,000 Guineas and the Irish 1,000 Guineas so hopefully the step up in trip can bring about a little more improvement in her. We are looking forward to running her," O'Brien said.

Meanwhile, Ken Condon has high hopes for Romanised with the Prix Jacques Le Marois at Deauville the next target for last year's Irish 2,000 Guineas winner after pleasing efforts in the Lockinge and last week's Queen Anne Stakes

"He looked a shade unlucky the last day, the gaps didn't come but that's racing. He's put two good runs together now. He needed to do that. The wheels fell off a little bit last season. He's back now and it's great," Condon said.

Elsewhere, Appleby's Blue Point has been retired to stud after completing a rare Royal Ascot Group One sprint double having plundered the King's Stand Stakes on Tuesday before following up in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes on Saturday.

"To do what he did within five days was the pinnacle of his career and he couldn't have done any more," Appleby said of the five-year-old which accumulated a whopping €3million in career prize-money.

Irish Independent

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