Hopes high for Rehana
Trainer Michael Halford is ‘very excited’ to see what Rehana can do in the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Sunday.
The daughter of Dark Angel mixed it with the very best of her generation as a juvenile, claiming the notable scalp of Rhododendron when breaking her maiden tag last summer before sound efforts in the Debutante Stakes and the Moyglare Stud Stakes.
She kicked off the new campaign with a creditable effort in the Leopardstown 1,000 Guineas Trial – finishing less than a length behind Newmarket Guineas heroine Winter – and showed the benefit of that run when dominating her rivals in the Athasi Stakes at Naas at the start of May.
Halford said: “Fingers crossed everything has gone to plan, we’ve had a great run with her lately.
“It was nice to see her previous form with Winter boosted but now we have to go and try to beat her now
“She’s progressed this season and is a lot stronger. She loves good ground and is in great form
“We’re very excited. She’s a good couple of lengths better on good ground.”
Winter is one of four runners for Aidan O’Brien as he chases a seventh victory in this one-mile Classic.
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Hydrangea beat Winter and Rehana at Leopardstown in early April, but disappointed at Newmarket and O’Brien has reached for the cheekpieces for her weekend return.
The Ballydoyle handler also saddles Asking and Roly Poly, and said: “Winter has done well since Newmarket and is really thriving. She progressed from her first run to Newmarket and we think she has progressed again.
“We were disappointed with Hydrangea at Newmarket, and hopefully she will come back and run better.”
The Joseph O’Brien-trained Intricately won the Moyglare last September and was fourth in the aforementioned Leopardstown Guineas trial, but was another who failed to fire on the Rowley Mile three weeks ago.
Aneen is a fascinating contender for veteran trainer Kevin Prendergast.
The Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned filly was thoroughly impressive in a maiden here last October, but has not been seen in competitive action since.
Prendergast said: “She’s in good form and I think she’ll run a big race.
“We haven’t been able to get a run into her this spring. It just didn’t happen because of one or two niggly little things, but she’s been away and she’s working very well at the moment.
“She’s a good filly and I think she’ll run very well.”
Jim Bolger’s recent 1,000 Guineas Trial winner Bean Feasa completes the line-up.
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