Outsider to note
Invincible Ash returns to Group company at The Curragh tomorrow. Notwithstanding that Mick Halford's mare appeared out of her depth when a pair of attempts yielded no return earlier in the summer, if the forecast double-figure odds prove accurate, the layers may be in danger of underestimated her.
The five-furlong Group Three is decent renewal, but Invincible Ash is entitled to her place in the line-up. In her last three outings, the daughter of Invincible Spirit has progressed massively, and has shown herself to be a very difficult horse to pass.
While a furlong further might suit her ideally, the form of her win over five at Tipperary three weeks ago reads well. The third home, Luisant, went on to be a good second under a big weight at Dundalk, and the fifth, Sole Power, beat the best around in the Nunthorpe. That, at least, gives Invincible Ash a chance of a place.
Galway 2.30 -- Gentleman Jeff
Galway 3.30 -- St Devote
Galway 5.00 -- King Ali
Curragh 3.45 -- Invincible Ash
10 The resurgent John Murphy's tally for the month of August. The Upton-based handler, who has no more entries before next Friday, completed the haul when The Buck scored at Wexford yesterday.
1 The number of rides Cathy Gannon has at The Curragh tomorrow, her first in this country since May 2007.
0 No admission fee for ladies and U-16s at The Curragh tomorrow. Men aged between 25 and 65 will pay €10, while 16 to 24-year-old and senior men pay €5.
Quote of the week
"He's in good form. He was going to have to do a bit of fast work next Tuesday anyway so we thought we'd bring it forward and get paid for it." -- Jim Bolger in typically bullish form ahead of Glor Na Mara's bid to get off the mark at the fourth attempt in the Go And Go Round Tower Stakes at The Curragh tomorrow.
Three things we
learned this week
1 Sole Power's triumph in the Nunthorpe is noteworthy for a bit more than its shock value. Firstly, the result confirmed that, having waited nine years for one decent Irish-trained sprinter, we now have two. Before Starspangledbanner's pair of wins earlier in the summer, the last Group One sprinter to hail from these shores was Mozart in 2001. Secondly, the win offered some reprieve for our embattled three-year-olds, of which no other has looked nearly capable of winning an all-age Group One. Finally, and somewhat cruelly given the lack of potential top-quality sires among his peers, the fallout also revealed that Sole Power has been gelded.
2 Henry de Bromhead is going to give Sizing Europe the chance to prove himself a contender for the 2011 Cheltenham Gold Cup. It seems early to be talking about the jumpers, but De Bromhead revealed this week that he intends to start his stable star's campaign over two miles and six furlongs at Punchestown in October. It was a seemingly minor disclosure that generated few ante-post tremors, but it was music to the ears of those of us who fancy Sizing Europe as being best placed to follow in the footsteps of recent heroes War Of Attrition and Kicking King.
3 Gary Carroll won't surrender his apprentices' crown easily. Having trailed the pace-setting Ben Curtis by eight a month ago, Carroll is now just three behind, with fortune seemingly favouring him. He went into Thursday's meeting at Tipperary with just two booked rides, yet came away with three winners, picking up a pair of plum spares due to the enforced absence of Shane Foley and Johnny Murtagh.
Monday: Downpatrick, Galway*, Bath, Cartmel, Epsom, Huntingdon, Newcastle, Ripon, Warwick
Tuesday: Folkestone*, Leicester, Newton Abbot, Ripon, Southwell* (AW)
Wednesday: Brighton, Hereford, Kempton* (AW), Lingfield
Thursday: Clonmel*, Epsom, Redcar, Salisbury, Wolverhampton* (AW)
Friday: Kilbeggan*, Chepstow, Kempton* (AW), Lingfield (AW), Musselburgh
Saturday: Leopardstown, Haydock, Kempton (AW), Stratford, Thirsk, Wolverhampton* (AW)
Sunday: Dundalk, Fontwell, Worcester, York