Chinese White camp hoping for ease in Curragh ground
CONNECTIONS of Chinese White are hoping the ground will be suitable to allow her to run in the Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh on Sunday.
The five-year-old mare would be taking on colts and geldings for the first, and probably last, time in her racing career as she is in foal to Cape Cross. Trained by Dermot Weld, Chinese White goes for Group One glory on the back of a victory at Gowran Park earlier this month.
"She's been working fantastically well. The only slight worry is the ground at the moment," said James Kelly, racing manager for owner Lady O'Reilly.
"It's good to firm there. Obviously, she'd need good ground and safe ground before she'd run. They had a bit of rain last night and there's more forecast today.
"What will possibly happen is that she'll be declared and Dermot will make a decision on Sunday morning when he sees what the ground is like, but she's absolutely flying."
"She's in foal to Cape Cross now, she's only got two possible races left. That's this week at the Curragh and the Pretty Polly Stakes on Derby weekend there."
The owner has a second string to her bow in the mile-and-a-quarter feature in Recharge. The four-year-old colt, trained by Kevin Prendergast, was runner-up to another Tattersalls Gold Cup entry, Fame And Glory, over the course and distance earlier this month.
As for Saturday's showpiece, connections of Noll Wallop are hoping that he will prove up to the rise in class when he goes to post in the Abu Dhabi Irish 2,000 Guineas.
Tommy Stack's charge is rated as high as 8/1 for the colts' Classic, and Stack's son and assistant, Fozzy, said yesterday that with such a competitive line-up, it was very much a case of being hopeful rather than confident.
"He won well at Leopardstown and before that we had always viewed him more of a Derby horse, but he quickened up very well in that race so we decided to take our chance in the Guineas," he said.
"You have to respect Canford Cliffs, Xtension and Fencing Master. They all ran well in Newmarket and they'll be tough nuts to crack. You've Steinbeck, which is obviously a promising horse, so it's going to be an interesting race."
Richard Hannon's Canford Cliffs is one of the market leaders and the Newmarket 2,000 Guineas third came through his latest workout in tremendous style.
"He worked this morning and everyone walked away very happy," said Hannon.
Ralph Beckett is looking forward to running Oasis Dancer even though the Oasis Dream colt only opened his account for this season in a Newmarket handicap three weeks ago.
"I think we're going to run. He's worked well and I've been pretty happy with him since his last race," said the trainer.
Racecourse manager at the Curragh Paul Hensey expects the track to be in tip-top condition after some welcome rain.
"We had three millimetres of rain on Tuesday night. It was just what the doctor ordered," he said. "The forecast is good for the next few days, so it's perfect. We should be on good ground or better for the weekend."
Irish 2,000 Guineas betting: 5/2 Steinbeck, 11/4 Canford Cliffs, 5/1 Fencing Master, Xtension, 8/1 Noll Wallop, Keredari, 12/1 Jan Vermeer, 16/1 Shintoh, 20/1 Dynasty, Free Judgement, 25/1 bar.