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Watching Brief

Tarfasha powered home for an authoritative triumph in Sunday's Blandford Stakes at the Curragh.

It was a performance befitting Irish Champions Weekend, and it was equally as exciting to hear Dermot Weld nominate glamorous end-of-season targets like the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf and the Prix de l'Opera. However, it is also worth noting the effort of the runner-up, Chicquita, on her Ballydoyle bow.

Having been bought out of Alain de Royer-Dupre's yard for €6m, the Montjeu four-year-old is probably never going to live up to her price tag. Nonetheless, after 14 months off, she ran with tremendous credit.

Joseph O'Brien dropped Chicquita out, and she travelled easily through to challenge two furlongs down. From there, she quickened all the way home, getting closest to Tarfasha at the line under a hands-and-heels ride.

As a mare with established quirks, it was maybe no surprise to see her ostensibly ridden for another day after her absence. Moreover, as an Irish Oaks victor, the 10-furlong trip was clearly on the short side.

All told, it was an immensely encouraging display, so it will be fascinating to see where she goes now.

Irish Independent