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The Pretty Polly Stakes

We were a little unlucky not to get the win in the Derby yesterday as LONE EAGLE looked to be home and hosed. I personally thought Frankie kicked on too soon but take nothing away from the winner, he dug deep when it mattered.

Today we have the Pretty Polly stakes at the Curragh to get stuck into. It’s a smallish field but a fascinating race all the same. Let’s have a look at the key runners.

SANTA BARBARA (11/4) - It is very difficult not to reach the conclusion that this filly has been disappointing so far this year. I had high hopes for her coming into the start of the season as she’s bred to be a world beater and her debut win back in September was pretty jaw dropping. I was happy enough to excuse the average run in the 1000’s as it was a tough ask first time up but her run in the Oaks was more difficult to ignore. Whilst she travelled well enough and looked to be in a position to challenge, when Ryan said go the response was extremely limited. I can only assume that Aidan agrees with me which is why she’s dropping back in trip today and it may just be that 10 furlongs is as far as she wants to go. At least at his stage in her career. I would love to say that I think she’ll win today but I just can’t be sure and the current market weakness is also a major concern.

CAYENNE PEPPER (3/1) - For me this is the most likely winner of this contest. She had some smart form last season and I thought that her run at the Curragh back in May looked to be the perfect prep for this contest. She’s come in for some market support overnight and if the favourite does prove to be vulnerable then this filly will be ready to pick up the pieces.

THUNDERING NIGHTS (9/2) - This filly ran well at Belmont earlier in the month but in all honesty, she should have been winning that race rather than finishing 2nd. At the ratings she has something to find with both the horses above and I think a place is the best she can hope for.

SHALE (7/1) - This horse was a top notch 2 year old but has failed to show the same spark so far this year. The vibes from the yard have been good leading up to this race though so maybe she’ll put in an improved performance.


For me this is a race where I simply have to look to get the favourite beaten and for that reason, I’ve backed CAYENNE PEPPER to win and I’m quietly confident that she will get the job done today. 🦆

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