Gesture Best Kept Secret In Pretty Polly
Pretty Polly Stakes
Sunday’s Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh (4.30) has once again attracted a top-class line-up featuring both the 1,000 Guineas winners in Legatissimo (7/4) and Pleascach (11/2).
Guineas Winners Do Battle!
David Wachman’s 1,000 Guineas winner subsequently went off as 5/2 favourite at Epsom and almost justified favoritism when just getting collared on the line by Qualify (who runs in the Irish Derby). A repeat of that would see Legatissimo in the frame once more, especially as two Epsom Oaks runners-up went onto win the Irish equivalent in the last eight years, namely Moonstone (2008) and Peeping Fawn (2007).
The flip side of that shows that the aforementioned pair were the only two 3yo’s to land the Irish Oaks during the last 10 years (from 34 runners of that age-group), as the older fillies and mares came out on top…
Of the last 10 Pretty Polly winners…
10 were officially rated 113+ or had no rating (non-Irish)
10 had a 21 day or longer rest period
9 returned 6/1 or shorter
9 either ran over 1m2f or further last time
9 had 6 career runs or more
9 arrived via the Curragh, Epsom or York
9 made the top three last time
8 were 4-6yo’s – 3yo’s were just 2-34
J Bolger, J Gosden & A O’Brien won it twice apiece
Jim Bolger’s Irish Guineas winner also has to overcome the age trend, but deserves to take her chance following a subsequent 1l second in a Group 2 at Royal Ascot last week (1m4f, good to firm).
Weld’s Unbeaten Star
As for the older runners, then Dermot Weld’s 4yo, Brooch (5/1), arrives protecting an unbeaten record of 4-4, which included a Group 2 here the Curragh last month (1m, yielding). A winner on firm ground previously over 1m1.5f, this half-sister to a 1m2f winner should enjoy the galloping 1m2f on Sunday.
Ribbons Wants Rain
Ribbons (7/1) also represents the older brigade as a 5yo; a Group 1 winner in France last summer (1m2f, soft), who returned in decent form last month when a close third in Group 2 company. James Fanshawe will be hoping there is some rain, as her chance would increase on softer ground.
The ground will be less of an issue for Ralph Beckett’s consistent 5yo, Secret Gesture (8/1), who was almost 2l in front of Ribbons when landing a Group 2 at York last month (1m2f, good).
That represented a career best, and the fact she has made the top three in nine of her eleven career outings suggests she could be possible each-way material.
But what of Aidan O’Brien, who sends his 3yo, Diamondsandrubies (5/1), into battle? Well, this filly won a Listed race in France (1m4f, good to soft), prior to being around 5l behind Legatissimo at Epsom. However, Diamondsandrubies may have got closer that day but for a blocked path, and the manner in which she rallied suggests she will be a major player on Sunday.
Of the big prices, Kevin Prendergast’s 3yo, Tamadhor (25/1), is a big each-way price considering she was beaten only 4l by Pleascach in the Irish Guineas. Seen making late headway that day, before gaining compensation in a small race 18 days ago, she remains unexposed over this kind of trip.
A cracking renewal, and one in which a combination of the older runners holding an advantage of the Classic generation, plus the likelihood of firm ground, pointing up the likes of Secret Gesture. She made all at York last time, and such tactics may see her in the frame at 8/1.
*Prices correct at time of publication