Sport Horse Racing

Sunday 18 March 2018

'Rose' has scent of victory for Weld

Dermot Weld’s Eziyra was third in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh last time. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Dermot Weld’s Eziyra was third in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh last time. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

Thomas Kelly

The Group Three Give Thanks Stakes is the highlight on a quality card at Cork and sees a real battle of the generations.

Roscommon one-two Flying Fairies and Glamorous Approach lead the way for the older fillies after their exploits in that Listed contest.

Dermot Weld's Eziyra was third in the Irish Oaks at the Curragh last time, while Aidan O'Brien's Key To My Heart and Puppetshow add further strength in depth to the three-year-old challenge.

O'Brien has a trio of three-year-olds in the Listed Platinum Stakes, with Belmont Derby seventh ­Whitecliffsofdover and Royal Ascot also-ran Sir John Lavery joined by Pavlenko, who opened her account in a Curragh maiden last time.

Weld could trump them all with an older filly, though, as Rose De Pierre followed up a Listed win at Leopardstown with a good second in Group Three company at Naas last time.

Weld's newcomer Shelannga will have to be really smart to stop O'Brien's Magical in the opening Irish Stallion Farms EBF Fillies Maiden.

A full-sister to the high-class Rhododendron, Magical created a favourable impression when second on her debut at the Curragh and could be the answer, though stablemates Hence, a full-sister to Group One winner Alice Springs, and Athena, who is closely related to Irish Oaks winner Bracelet, both have to be considered.

There's a decent pot on offer for the Fillies Handicap, which may be what has prompted Michael Halford to run two in recent Leopardstown scorer Hunaina and the hat-trick-seeking Surrounding. Legitimus, Sorelle Delle Rose and Always Dancing also hold strong claims.

Curragh runner-up St Brelades Bay heads the weights for the Apprentice Handicap, while the Follow Us On Twitter Handicap sees jockey Pat Smullen team up with Willie Mullins to ride Shoulda Lied.

The hat-trick-seeking Hamley heads the field for the Connacht Oaks Fillies Handicap at Roscommon and is sure to prove popular with punters after successive wins at Tipperary and the Curragh.

The Peter Fahey-trained four-year-old has gone up 12lb for those two successes, and is the joint top-weight here with 9st 10lb on her back.

The consistent Sister Blandina - the other one to carry 9st 10lb - finished behind Hamley when they clashed at the Curragh early last month.

The two three-year-olds in the line-up, who both got off the mark last time out, appear to be well treated by the conditions of the race.

Killarney winner She's So Flawless will have just 8st 12lb on her back, while the Jessica Harrington-trained Two For Tea carries a pound less.

Colin Keane will be aboard Jeremy's Girl and he also will be hoping to be in the frame with Cannonball in the Railway Bar Race and Ball Girl in the Auction Fillies Maiden. She was a good second on her debut at Gowran last month.

Galway winner Perfect Solider is turned out again quickly to contest the Paul Byron Shoes Rated Race.

The son of Kodiac will carry just 8st 5lb here, with Sean Davis taking off a valuable 7lb off his back.

Remarkable Lady will be another Galway winner hoping to score again when she lines up in the Class Grass Handicap. Davis also takes the ride on this Harry Rogers-trained four-year-old, who has most to fear from Pincheck, Vastonea, Tipstaff and Onlyhuman.

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