Sport Horse Racing

Saturday 17 March 2018

Princess Highway can prove elite class for Weld at Naas

Johnny Murtagh rides Peeping Fawn to victory in The Darley Yorkshire Oaks August 22, 2007 in York, England. Photo: Getty Images
Johnny Murtagh rides Peeping Fawn to victory in The Darley Yorkshire Oaks August 22, 2007 in York, England. Photo: Getty Images
Richard Forristal

Richard Forristal

If recent history is anything to go by, there will be one or two gems to be found at Naas tonight.

Ballydoyle's Peeping Fawn, Maybe and Zoffany all emerged from the fixture's undercard before going on to greater glory, while Jim Bolger took the featured Irish Stallion Farms EBF Blue Wind Stakes with the redoubtable Banimpire 12 months ago.

In this year's Group Three, Bolger relies on Cleofila, a decent maiden winner at the Curragh last year before disappointing slightly when well held in third behind Kissed on its Navan reappearance.

John Oxx's once-raced Limerick victor Shebella also has potential in the €77,000 six-runner contest, as does David Wachman's dual Dundalk scorer Aloof. But the two to concentrate on may be Was and Princess Highway.

On her sole outing at the Curragh last August, Was ran out a ready winner for Aidan and Joseph O'Brien and went into many people's notebooks as a bona fide Classic prospect. If she is primed for this, she will take plenty of beating, but the race-fit Princess Highway might just have the edge.

Dermot Weld's Moyglare Stud-owned daughter of Street Cry impressed in the way in which she outpointed Betterbetterbetter in a maiden at Leopardstown maiden and that form has stood up well, so Princess Highway can further advertise Weld's adept handling of fillies after Yellow Rosebud's win last Sunday.

Bolger might reign with Dawn Approach in the Fishery Lane Race. On his Curragh debut, this New Approach colt stamped his authority over a maiden that threw up subsequent winners Canary Row, Forester and Dylanbaru.

Canary Row and Tennessee Wildcat are the only other two among today's six with a result to their name, though Aidan O'Brien does introduce Parliament Square, a 370,000gns purchase by Acclamation. But if Dawn Approach can be toppled, it will be a surprise.

O'Brien and his son may take the first and last maidens with Delight and Reaching, while Paul Deegan's Srucahan is fancied to reverse April course and distance form with Royal Visit off 17lb better terms in the six-furlong handicap.

The day's nap is Mick Halford's Mizani in the 10-furlong maiden after a decent fourth first time up at Navan last month.

Irish Independent

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