Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 20 January 2018

Bolger to finalise Pretty Polly plans

Thomas Kelly

JIM Bolger says he will wait until tomorrow morning before deciding on his plans for Saturday's Audi Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh.

The Coolcullen trainer has three possibles for the 10-furlong Group One race, with Epsom Oaks sixth Akdarena, Coronation Stakes second Gile Na Greine and Gold Bubbles, who was runner-up in the Musidora Stakes, all entered.

"Akdarena came out of Epsom a little on the light side and it's taking her time to get the weight back on," Bolger said.

"We're getting there slowly, but whether we make it or not, I wasn't going to decide until Friday. They are all in the same boat really, they are all going to be late decisions.

"Gile Na Greine is very hardy and didn't lose a lot of weight, so she's in the mix. We have had a bit of luck running fillies in the Coronation and then coming back for the Pretty Polly. It's probably not a bad indicator."

Meanwhile, Deauville Flyer has hardened as favourite for Saturday's John Smith's Northumberland Plate, as his chances of making the cut at Newcastle increased.

Tim Easterby's progressive young stayer was number 29 in the handicap following the five-day stage, but the final field is restricted to a maximum of 20 and at least two above him in the weights -- Opinion Poll and Elyaadi -- have been ruled out by connections.

That has helped maintain the gamble on Deauville Flyer, which was priced up at 8/1 on Monday but is now 5/1 with totesport.

"There's been a second wave of support for Deauville Flyer after the initial rush and Tim Easterby's runner looks set to go off favourite for the Pitmen's Derby, should he sneak into the race," said totesport spokesman George Primarolo.

Elyaadi would have been a major fancy after she finished second in the Ascot Stakes, but her trainer John Queally felt that the race is coming too soon after Royal Ascot.

"She's not running as it's a bit close," said the County Waterford handler. "We'll possibly look at a race like the Goodwood Stakes."

Another likely absentee is Opinion Poll, with Michael Jarvis not keen on risking his charge on quick going.

The four-year-old, which has a preference for soft ground, has hit the target twice in Listed company this season and was due to carry top-weight in this weekend's feature contest. He also has an entry in the At The Races Curragh Cup, but that is doubtful at this stage, too.

"He probably isn't going to run anywhere unless the weather changes in the next 24 hours, which looks highly unlikely," said Jarvis.

"It's just down to the ground and this horse is well worth waiting for. The rain will come eventually."

Jane Chapple-Hyam will run at least one of her entries, Macarthur and Tyrrells Wood, at Newcastle. Both were in action at Royal Ascot, with Macarthur unplaced in the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap and Tyrrells Wood down the field in the Ascot Stakes.

"I haven't made my mind up yet, although I'm swinging towards running Macarthur and we've got to make a decision about Tyrrells Wood," said the Newmarket trainer.

Watering has continued with 10 millimetres applied to the round course today. The going is described as good to firm.

Irish Independent

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