Sunday 17 December 2017

'Remember' to repeat trick

Damien McElroy

English Oaks third-place finisher Remember When attempts to emulate former stable companion Peeping Fawn's feat of belatedly opening her account in 2007 in the Pretty Polly Stakes, which is the traditional feature of this afternoon's Curragh programme.

Maidens tackling Group One company and succeeding are rarities indeed, and not only did Peeping Fawn take that step up in class in her stride, Aidan O'Brien's charge went on to taste Classic glory in the following month's Darley Irish Oaks.

Remember When, as a daughter of Danehill Dancer, seemed to be found wanting for stamina after looking a winner of the Epsom Classic earlier this month when leading over a furlong out before weakening in the closing stages.

Pedigree-wise, that was understandable and a return to a mile and a quarter today should suit Johnny Murtagh's mount much better as she bids to reverse early May placings at Gowran Park over a similar trip with the older Chinese White.


A fine servant for Dermot Weld, Pat Smullen and Lady O'Reilly, Chinese White is nearing the end of her career, and a Group One triumph would be the icing on the cake for the connections of this in-foal Dalakhani mare.

Sharing a rating of 113 with Jim Bolger's English Oaks sixth-place finisher Akdarena, Smullen's mount is bound to figure prominently along with Godolphin's Flying Cloud, which took the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot last season.

Third on her return to action at York behind Sariska and Midday, Flying Cloud should be primed to do herself justice and she appears a much greater threat to the home team than fellow English raiders Kinky Afro and Saphira's Fire. Habitual front-runner Akdarena is almost guaranteed to ensure there will be no loitering, and a proper pace over this distance could bring out the best in Remember When, which quickened up well when asked for maximum effort at Epsom.

Whatever their fate with Chinese White, the Weld-Smullen combination should make no mistake in the Curragh Cup when last year's classy winner Profound Beauty has a mere four rivals to contend with on this occasion.

Too good close to home for Ascot Gold Cup runner-up Age Of Aquarius at Leopardstown, Moyglare Stud's Danehill mare may have more to fear from English pair Saptapadi and Tactic than Navan winner Roses For The Lady and Popmurphy.

Supplemented by John Dunlop, Tactic romped to victory at a lesser level in York, while Saptapadi gave Ryan Moore a torrid time before and during the Henry 11 Stakes at Sandown before finishing as runner-up to Akmal.

Kevin Prendergast and Chris Hayes likewise must be hopeful of Recharge augmenting his Glencairn Stakes earnings at Leopardstown earlier this month when going back up in trip for the Ballymacoll Stud International Stakes.

This mile and a quarter at his home course seems the ideal journey for Recharge, which divided easy winner Fame And Glory and Chinese White in the Tattersalls Gold Cup on the sound surface the Cape Cross colt relishes.

Precious Gem won't be any pushover, however, after her game Limerick success over Recharge's stable companion Choose Me and it would be unwise to underestimate Shintoh, despite his Leopardstown defeat by Rose Hip.

Irish Independent

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